The Young Turks' Crime Against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire

Overview

"For the past two decades, Taner Akam has been tirelessly unearthing the Armenian Genocide. In The Young Turks' Crime against Humanity, he writes with a compassionate understanding both for the fears of the Ottoman Turks, who nearly became a subject people at the end of World War I, and for the aspirations of Armenians, Greeks, and others to emancipate themselves from the Ottoman yoke. This is essential reading for all who want to understand these world-historical events."--Seyla Benhabib, Yale University

"Taner ...

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The Young Turks' Crime against Humanity: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire

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Overview

"For the past two decades, Taner Akam has been tirelessly unearthing the Armenian Genocide. In The Young Turks' Crime against Humanity, he writes with a compassionate understanding both for the fears of the Ottoman Turks, who nearly became a subject people at the end of World War I, and for the aspirations of Armenians, Greeks, and others to emancipate themselves from the Ottoman yoke. This is essential reading for all who want to understand these world-historical events."--Seyla Benhabib, Yale University

"Taner Akam, a meticulous and courageous scholar, continues his pathbreaking work on the Turkish genocide of Armenians. The Young Turks' Crime against Humanity will have extraordinary significance not only for Armenians and Turks, but for all students of genocide and for the larger human struggle to identify, name, and combat mass killing."--Robert Jay Lifton, author of Witness to an Extreme Century: A Memoir

"This major new contribution to our understanding of the Turkish atrocities directed against the Armenians in 1915 draws upon much hitherto untapped material. Akam is a courageous scholar who has paid a stiff price for his intellectual integrity. He is also a masterful academic who thoroughly researches the primary sources and then writes with unquestionable authority."--William A. Schabas, Middlesex University

"Akam's newest book on the Armenian genocide is based on stunning documentation from the Ottoman Turkish archives. Arguing that the annihilation of the Armenians (and the ethnic cleansing of the Ottoman Greeks) was based primarily on the Young Turks' commitment to demographic engineering, Akam also explores the forced conversion and assimilation of Armenian children and the seizure of Armenian property. The book stands as powerful testimony to those who perished and as an unimpeachable rebuttal to denial."--Norman M. Naimark, author of Stalin's Genocides

"This is an extraordinary book in many ways. It is an important contribution to the documentation of the Armenian Genocide and stands as a marker to what we now know. And it is simply stunning to read through the documents gathered by Akam and to hear the voices of those who ordered the deportations and killings."--Ronald Suny, University of Michigan

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Editorial Reviews

American Diplomacy
[A] major breakthrough in the our understanding of the social engineering that led to the near destruction of the Armenians of Anatolia, and of the dual-track mechanism for organizing it that the Young Turks employed. . . . [A] must for serious scholars of the Armenian Genocide.
— John M. Evans, former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia (2004-2006)
Financial Times
Akçam has long courted controversy in Turkey, where he was jailed as a student activist in the 1970s before claiming asylum in Germany, but his intellectual courage is beyond question. Moreover, while Turkey's official account of what happened in 1915 is unchanged, Turkish public and intellectual opinion is now much more open to debate. This dispassionate, scholarly study is a valuable contribution to help that debate move on.
— Delphine Strauss
Foreign Affairs
[T]he fact that a Turkish historian with access to the Ottoman archives has written this book is of immeasurable significance.
American Diplomacy - John M. Evans
[A] major breakthrough in the our understanding of the social engineering that led to the near destruction of the Armenians of Anatolia, and of the dual-track mechanism for organizing it that the Young Turks employed. . . . [A] must for serious scholars of the Armenian Genocide.
Financial Times - Delphine Strauss
Akçam has long courted controversy in Turkey, where he was jailed as a student activist in the 1970s before claiming asylum in Germany, but his intellectual courage is beyond question. Moreover, while Turkey's official account of what happened in 1915 is unchanged, Turkish public and intellectual opinion is now much more open to debate. This dispassionate, scholarly study is a valuable contribution to help that debate move on.
Choice
Akcam has long been the most vocal Turkish scholars regarding the Ottoman participation in genocidal acts against Armenians. Here, using Ottoman archival sources, the author makes his case that the Young Turk government had planned prior to WWI to remove the empire's Christian and no-Turkish Muslim population. . . . The author's discussion of the removal and execution of the Armenians is extremely detailed and well documented, and his usage of Ottoman sources, although questioned by Turkish nationalist scholars, is a very important addition to the study of this issue.
From the Publisher

Co-Winner of the 2013 Albert Hourani Book Award, Middle East Studies

One of ForeignAffairs.com's Best Books on the Middle East for 2012

"Akam has long courted controversy in Turkey, where he was jailed as a student activist in the 1970s before claiming asylum in Germany, but his intellectual courage is beyond question. Moreover, while Turkey's official account of what happened in 1915 is unchanged, Turkish public and intellectual opinion is now much more open to debate. This dispassionate, scholarly study is a valuable contribution to help that debate move on."--Delphine Strauss, Financial Times

"[T]he fact that a Turkish historian with access to the Ottoman archives has written this book is of immeasurable significance."--Foreign Affairs

"Akam has long been the most vocal Turkish scholars regarding the Ottoman participation in genocidal acts against Armenians. Here, using Ottoman archival sources, the author makes his case that the Young Turk government had planned prior to WWI to remove the empire's Christian and no-Turkish Muslim population. . . . The author's discussion of the removal and execution of the Armenians is extremely detailed and well documented, and his usage of Ottoman sources, although questioned by Turkish nationalist scholars, is a very important addition to the study of this issue."--Choice

"[A] major breakthrough in the our understanding of the social engineering that led to the near destruction of the Armenians of Anatolia, and of the dual-track mechanism for organizing it that the Young Turks employed. . . . [A] must for serious scholars of the Armenian Genocide."--John M. Evans, former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia (2004-2006), American Diplomacy

"Taner Akam's study represents a giant step forward. He produced a most important book, all the more so because the ideology of Islamism has endured, and most recently some of its outstanding proponents have seized power in the Middle East."--Dr. Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, Scholars for Peace in the Middle East

"Taner Akam's study represents a giant step forward. He produced a most important book, all the more so because the ideology of Islamism has endured, and most recently some of its outstanding proponents have seized power in the Middle East."--Wolfgang G. Schwanitz, Jewish Political Studies Review

"The Young Turks' Crime against Humanity is an informative work whose usefulness is greatly enhanced by several well-drawn maps. Akcam draws upon rich archival sources--particularly the Prime Ministerial Ottoman Archive in Istanbul and the archives of the Ministry of the Interior, as well as Turkish court proceedings immediately after the war--to advance an argument about the deliberate 'demographic engineering' planned and implemented by the Ottoman state before and during the First World War."--Peter Gatrell, European Review of History

"This book, an edited translation of the now outdated 2008 Turkish original, is a welcome addition to the scholarship."--Ugur Ungor, European History Quarterly

"The book is a welcome addition to the scholarship on the Armenian genocide. Clearly structured . . . the book offers some captivating discussions."--Ugur Umit Ungor, Journal of Ecclesiastical History

"Akcam's impressive brick-by-brick dismantling of the official Turkish historiography will certainly become a landmark study of the Armenian Genocide and will help serve as yet another nail in the coffin of state-sponsored genocide negationism."--Artyom H. Tonoyan, Journal of Church and State

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Product Details

Meet the Author


Taner Akçam, the first scholar of Turkish origin to publicly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, holds the Kaloosdian and Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University. His many books include "A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility" (Metropolitan Books).
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Table of Contents


Preface ix
Guide to Ottoman Turkish Words and Names xxxvii
Abbreviations xxxix
CHAPTER ONE Ottoman Sources and the Question of Their Being Purged 1
CHAPTER TWO: The Plan for the Homogenization of Anatolia 29
CHAPTER THREE: The Aftermath of the Balkan Wars and the"Emptying" of Eastern Thrace and the Aegean Littoral in 1913-14 63
CHAPTER FOUR: The Transformation of Ottoman Policies toward the Ottoman Greeks during the First World War 97
CHAPTER FIVE: The Initial Phase of Anti-Armenian Policy 125
CHAPTER SIX: Final Steps in the Decision-Making Process 157
CHAPTER SEVEN: Interior Ministry Documents and the Intent to Annihilate 203
CHAPTER EIGHT: Demographic Policy and the Annihilation of the Armenians 227
CHAPTER NINE: Assimilation: The Conversion and Forced Marriage of Christian Children 287
CHAPTER TEN: The Question of Confi scated Armenian Property 341
ELEVEN Some Official Denialist Arguments of the Turkish State and Documents from the Ottoman Interior Ministry 373
CHAPTER TWELVE: Toward a Conclusion 449
Selected Bibliography 453
Index 471
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