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

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Princeton University Press, 2012 - History - 483 pages

"For the past two decades, Taner Akcam 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 Akcam, 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. Akcam 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

"Akcam'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, Akcam 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 Akcam and to hear the voices of those who ordered the deportations and killings."--Ronald Suny, University of Michigan


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Fascinating and important book, largely based on unknown or little known primary sources.


Ottoman Sources and the Question of Their Being Purged
The Plan for the Homogenization of Anatolia
The Aftermath of the Balkan Wars and the Emptying of Eastern Thrace and the Aegean Littoral in 191314
The Transformation of Ottoman Policies toward the Ottoman Greeks during the First World War
The Initial Phase of AntiArmenian Policy
Final Steps in the DecisionMaking Process
Interior Ministry Documents and the Intent to Annihilate
Demographic Policy and the Annihilation of the Armenians
Assimilation The Conversion and Forced Marriage of Christian Children
The Question of Confiscated Armenian Property
Some Official Denialist Arguments of the Turkish State and Documents from the Ottoman Interior Ministry
Toward a Conclusion
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2012)

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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