Turkey's bid to join the European Union has lent new urgency to the issue of the Armenian Genocide as differing interpretations of the genocide are proving to be a major reason for the delay of the ratification. This book provides vital background information and is a prime source of legal evidence and eye-witness testimony of the intent and the crime of genocide against the Armenians. After a long and painstaking effort, the authors, one an Armenian, the other a Turk, generally recognized as the foremost experts on the Armenian Genocide, have prepared a new, authoritative translation and detailed analysis of the Takvim-i Vekâyi, the official Ottoman Government record of the Turkish Military Tribunals concerning the crimes committed against the Armenians during World War I. The authors have compiled the first-known English-language documentation of the trial proceedings and situated them within their historical and legal context. These documents show that Wartime Cabinet ministers, Young Turk party leaders, and a number of other parties inculpated in these crimes were court-martialed by the Turkish Military Tribunals in the years immediately following World War I. Most were found guilty and received sentences ranging from prison with hard labor to death. In remarkable contrast to Nuremberg, the Turkish Military Tribunals prosecuted solely on the basis of existing Ottoman domestic penal codes. This substitution of a national for an international criminal court stands in history as a unique initiative of national self-condemnation. This compilation is significantly enhanced by an extensive analysis of the historical origins, political nature and legal implications of the criminal prosecution of the twentieth century's first state-sponsored crime of genocide. For a better understanding of one of key controversies in Genocide Studies, this book is essential for historians, political scientists, sociologists, legal scholars, and policy makers.
About the Author
Vahakn N. Dadrian was director of a large Genocide Study Project sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the H. F. Guggenheim Foundation. The project's first major achievement was the publication of an extensive volume, The History of the Armenian Genocide: Ethnic Conflict from the Balkans to Anatolia to the Caucasus (Berghahn Books 1995), now in its 8th edition. This study was preceded by one published in the Yale Journal of International Law (1989), in which the Armenian Genocide was examined as a major problem of international law. His other major work, Warrant for Genocide: Key Elements in the Turko-Armenian Conflict (Transaction 1999). In 2005, he received four separate awards for his lifetime contribution to genocide studies. Vahakn Dadrian, who taught at the State University of New York (SUNY) system (1970-1991), has been Director of Genocide Research at the Zoryan Institute since 1999. Taner Akcam was born in the province of Ardahan in the northeast of Turkey and became interested in Turkish politics at an early age. As the editor-in-chief of a political journal, he was arrested in 1976 and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment. One year later, he escaped and fled to Germany as a political refugee. His books include Dialogue Across an International Divide: Essays Towards a Turkish-Armenian Dialogue (2001), From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide (2004). A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility was published in November 2006 and has since been translated into Dutch, French, Italian, Polish and Spanish. He is the first Turkish scholar to have drawn attention to the historicity of the Armenian Genocide and has been persecuted by the Turkish state for it. In April 2006, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts presented a distinguished award to him for his outstanding work in human rights and fighting genocide denial. Currently, he is Associate Professor of History and the Kaloosdian/Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University.