The most controversial issue still arising from the First World War - was there an Armenian Genocide? - will come to a head on 24th April 2015, the day when Armenians around the world will commemorate it and Turkey will deny it ever happened. This question has an international impact; 20 parliaments in democratic countries have voted to recognise the genocide, but Britain prefers to equivocate while the US is torn between Congress, which wants to recognise, and President Obama who does not, for fear of alienating its ally Turkey. In this important book, Geoffrey Robertson QC, a former UN appeals judge, sets out to prove beyond all reasonable doubt that that the massacres and deportations were a crime against humanity which amounted to genocide. The book discloses recent secret policy memoranda prepared in the Foreign Office, showing how an unethical policy of 'genocide equivocation' has been developed behind the scenes by British diplomats in order to avoid alienating Turkey. The memoranda reveal how British policy on this issue has twisted and turned in order to avoid stating a truth of which Lloyd George and Winston Churchill were volubly certain, about massacres which Britain condemned in 1915 as 'a crime against humanity and civilisation'. The book makes a major contribution to the understanding of genocide, and to the steps the international community must take to prevent its recurrence. Published ahead of the centenary year of one of the biggest crimes of the last century, this extraordinary book proves conclusively that what took place in Turkey was genocide.
The assassination of the author Hrant Dink in Istanbul in 2007, a high-profile advocate of Turkish-Armenian reconciliation, reignited the debate in Turkey on the annihilation of the Ottoman Armenians. Many Turks soon re-awakened to their Armenian heritage, reflecting on how their grandparents were forcibly Islamised and Turkified, and the suffering their families endured to keep their stories secret. There was public debate around Armenian property confiscated by the Turkish state and the extermination of the minorities. At last the silence had been broken. Open Wounds explains how, after the First World War, the new Turkish Republic forcibly erased the memory of the atrocities, and traces of Armenians, from their historic lands -- a process to which the international community turned a blind eye. The price for this amnesia was, Vicken Cheterian argues, "a century of genocide." Turkish intellectuals acknowledge the price society must pay collectively to forget such traumatic events, and that Turkey cannot solve its recurrent conflicts with its minorities -- like the Kurds today -- nor have an open and democratic society without addressing the original sin on which the state was founded: the Armenian Genocide.
When it was first published in 1999, Crimes Against Humanity called for a radical shift from diplomacy to justice in international affairs. In vivid, non-legalese prose, leading human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson made a riveting case for holding political and military leaders accountable in international courts for genocide, torture, and mass murder. Since then, fearsome figures such as Charles Taylor, Laurent Gbagbo, and Ratko Mladic´ have been tried in international criminal court, and a global movement has rallied around the human rights framework of justice. Any such legal framework requires constant evolution in order to stay relevant, and this newly revised and expanded volume brings the conversation up to date. In substantial new chapters, Robertson covers the protection of war correspondents, the problem of piracy, crimes against humanity in Syria, nuclear armament in Iran, and other challenges we are grappling with today. He criticizes the Obama administration’s policies around “targeted killing” and the trials of Khalid Sheik Mohammed and other “high value” detainees. By rendering a complex debate accessible, Robertson once again provides an essential guide for anyone looking to understand human rights and how to work toward a more complete blueprint for justice.
The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing in the Ottoman Empire
Author: Taner Akçam
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Introducing new evidence from more than 600 secret Ottoman documents, this book demonstrates in unprecedented detail that the Armenian Genocide and the expulsion of Greeks from the late Ottoman Empire resulted from an official effort to rid the empire of its Christian subjects. Presenting these previously inaccessible documents along with expert context and analysis, Taner Akçam's most authoritative work to date goes deep inside the bureaucratic machinery of Ottoman Turkey to show how a dying empire embraced genocide and ethnic cleansing. Although the deportation and killing of Armenians was internationally condemned in 1915 as a "crime against humanity and civilization," the Ottoman government initiated a policy of denial that is still maintained by the Turkish Republic. The case for Turkey's "official history" rests on documents from the Ottoman imperial archives, to which access has been heavily restricted until recently. It is this very source that Akçam now uses to overturn the official narrative. The documents presented here attest to a late-Ottoman policy of Turkification, the goal of which was no less than the radical demographic transformation of Anatolia. To that end, about one-third of Anatolia's 15 million people were displaced, deported, expelled, or massacred, destroying the ethno-religious diversity of an ancient cultural crossroads of East and West, and paving the way for the Turkish Republic. By uncovering the central roles played by demographic engineering and assimilation in the Armenian Genocide, this book will fundamentally change how this crime is understood and show that physical destruction is not the only aspect of the genocidal process.
The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility
Author: Taner Akcam
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
A landmark assessment of Turkish culpability in the Armenian genocide, the first history of its kind by a Turkish historian In 1915, under the cover of a world war, some one million Armenians were killed through starvation, forced marches, forced exile, and mass acts of slaughter. Although Armenians and world opinion have held the Ottoman powers responsible, Turkey has consistently rejected any claim of intentional genocide. Now, in a pioneering work of excavation, Turkish historian Taner Akçam has made extensive and unprecedented use of Ottoman and other sources to produce a scrupulous charge sheet against the Turkish authorities. The first scholar of any nationality to have mined the significant evidence—in Turkish military and court records, parliamentary minutes, letters, and eyewitness accounts—Akçam follows the chain of events leading up to the killing and then reconstructs its systematic orchestration by coordinated departments of the Ottoman state, the ruling political parties, and the military. He also probes the crucial question of how Turkey succeeded in evading responsibility, pointing to competing international interests in the region, the priorities of Turkish nationalists, and the international community's inadequate attempts to bring the perpetrators to justice. As Turkey lobbies to enter the European Union, Akçam's work becomes ever more important and relevant. Beyond its timeliness, A Shameful Act is sure to take its lasting place as a classic and necessary work on the subject.
"The destruction of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire in 1915-16 was a brutal mass crime that prefigured other genocides in the 20th century. By various estimates, more than a million Armenians were killed and the survivors were scattered across the world. Although it is now a century old, the issue of what most of the world calls the Armenian Genocide of 1915 has not been consigned to history. It is a live and divisive political issue that mobilizes Armenians across the world, touches the identity and politics of modern Turkey, and has consumed the attention of U.S. politicians for years. In Great Catastrophe, the eminent scholar and reporter Thomas de Waal looks at the changing narratives and politics of the Armenian Genocide and tells the story of recent efforts by courageous Armenians, Kurds, and Turks to come to terms with the disaster as Turkey enters a new post-Kemalist era. The story of what happened to the Armenians in 1915-16 is well-known. Here we are told the much less well-known story of what happened to Armenians, Kurds, and Turks in its aftermath. First Armenians were divided between the Soviet Union and a worldwide diaspora, with different generations and communities of Armenians constructing new identities, while bitter intra-Armenian quarrels sometimes broke out into violence. In Turkey, the Armenian issue was initially forgotten and suppressed, only to return to the political agenda in the context of the Cold War, an outbreak of Armenian terrorism in the 1970s and the growth of modern 'identity politics' in the age of genocide-consciousness. In the last decade, Turkey has begun to confront its taboos and finally face up to the Armenian issue. New, more sophisticated histories are being written of the deportations of 1915, now with the collaboration of Turkish scholars. In Turkey itself there has been an astonishing revival of oral history, with tens of thousands of people coming out of the shadows to reveal a long-suppressed Armenian identity. However, a normalization process between the Armenian and Turkish states broke down in 2010. Drawing on archival sources, reportage and moving personal stories, de Waal tells the full story of Armenian-Turkish relations since the Genocide in all its extraordinary twists and turns. He strips away the propaganda to look both at the realities of a terrible historical crime and also the divisive 'politics of genocide' it produced. The book throws light not only on our understanding of Armenian-Turkish relations but also of how mass atrocities and historical tragedies shape contemporary politics"--
History by Ronald Grigor Suny,Fatma Müge Göçek,Norman M. Naimark
Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire
Author: Ronald Grigor Suny,Fatma Müge Göçek,Norman M. Naimark
Publisher: Oxford University Press
One hundred years after the deportations and mass murder of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and other peoples in the final years of the Ottoman Empire, the history of the Armenian genocide is a victim of historical distortion, state-sponsored falsification, and deep divisions between Armenians and Turks. Working together for the first time, Turkish, Armenian, and other scholars present here a compelling reconstruction of what happened and why. This volume gathers the most up-to-date scholarship on Armenian genocide, looking at how the event has been written about in Western and Turkish historiographies; what was happening on the eve of the catastrophe; portraits of the perpetrators; detailed accounts of the massacres; how the event has been perceived in both local and international contexts, including World War I; and reflections on the broader implications of what happened then. The result is a comprehensive work that moves beyond nationalist master narratives and offers a more complete understanding of this tragic event.
Geoffrey Robertson QC has been at the centre of internationally high-profile legal cases for over three decades. From representing Princess Diana to Salman Rushdie, to his involvement in the celebrated criminal trials of Oz magazine and Gay News, Robertson is an unfailing champion of human rights, justice, freedom and democracy. In this captivating memoir, Robertson reveals what draws him to each case, his ingenious analysis and interpretation of the courtroom proceedings, and the legal and civic consequences – wrapping each case into a thrilling, rollercoaster sequence of events. Entertaining, scandalous and hugely insightful, The Justice Game provides a piercing behind-the-scenes look into courtroom cases, the practice of the law and the never-ending fight in striving to narrow the gap between the law and justice. A highly recommended read for those interested in current affairs, criminal and public law, legal history and the British legal system. ‘This wonderful book...reads like a John Grisham, infused with moral anger’ Independent
Why the so-called "Armenian Genocide" has been known as one-sided story, which for the most part has ignored, dismissed, or forgotten facts about the true story behind these claims. Why USA and Europe never listen or disregard the Turk's side story and act for only one side, Armenian's side? Nevertheless, the claims and fabricated stories of the Armenian Diaspora have tainted the history. In order to get recognition of their claim they attempted to rewrite history with the help of hired historians, they introduced their falsehood into the educational curricula across the USA with the assistance of the like-minded politicians, and they flooded the media with the support of the duped journalists. Prominent scholars deny the Armenian Genocide include Bernard Lewis, Stanford Shaw, David Fromkin, Justin McCarthy, Guenther Lewy, Norman Stone, Michael Gunter, Andrew Mango, Roderic H. Davison, Edward J. Erickson, and Steven T. Katz.
Geoffrey Robertson QC explains how to avoid war in the Middle East and a catastrophic nuclear disaster. - What is worse: Iran getting the bomb or America bombing Iran? - Will our children ever live in a world without nuclear weapons? - Can states that mass-murder their own people be trusted with a weapon that mass-murders? - Will a nuclear explosion change the climate before climate change does? In Mullahs Without Mercy, Geoffrey Robertson explores these and other awesome questions that arise from Iran's potential for acquiring the bomb. The scramble for nuclear weapons by brutal or unstable regimes poses the clearest present danger to the peace and the climate of the world. This ground-breaking book exposes Iran's crimes against prisoners and dissidents, perpetrated by the very same mullahs who may soon have their fingers on nuclear triggers. But it argues that America has no legal right to attack, as Israel - hypocritically hiding its own nuclear arsenal - demands. In this vividly written and authoritative book, one of our highest-profile legal minds shows how the mushroom cloud hovering over the Middle East might yet have a silver lining - forcing the world to reassert the rule of international law, which could lead to the elimination of a weapon with the power to destroy us all.
An incisive and witty collection of Geoffrey Robertson's best writings and speeches. The satirical magazine Private Eye has described Geoffrey Robertson as 'an Australian who's had a voice transplant'. Robertson explains: 'In my first appearance at the Old Bailey I had to tell a prim and proper judge that I appeared on behalf of a company which manufactured T-shirts emblazoned with the 'F' word. I nervously mustered up the courage to tell him that the offending logo read 'F*** Art, let's Dance.' His eyebrows shot up in horror. 'F*** Art let's WHAT, Mr Robertson?' 'Let's dance, my Lord.' 'Oh I see. You're an Australian. What you mean to say is 'F*** Art, lets Darnce'. In these witty, wonderfully incisive essays, Geoffrey Robertson muses on a wide range of subjects: his illustrious career at the bar and as a champion of free speech and human rights around the world; the humanity and enlightenment of our first governor, Arthur Phillip; little-known Tom Curnow, whose courage Robertson compares to what he sees as the cruelty of Ned Kelly; the endemic problems facing Indigenous Australia; our war record; his relationship with Julian Assange, and much else. With his unmistakeably biting intelligence and humanity Robertson cuts through to what is brilliant and terrible about Australia in the twenty-first century.
In 1905, Jewish leaders calling themselves "Young Turks" met in Masonic lodges in Salonika, Italy, Paris and Vienna. They plotted a coup d'etat against the Sultan of Turkey Abdul Hamid II. Jews and crypto-Jewish Doenmeh of the Committee for Union and Progress took over complete control of the Turkish Empire in 1909. They had several goals. Their primary objective was to establish a segregated "Jewish State" in Palestine. They also sought to instigate World War I, to slaughter entire Christian populations, and to destroy the Turkish Empire and supplant Islamic religion and culture with a soulless and cultureless society engineered by Jewish positivists in Vienna, Paris, Italy and Salonika. This is their story.
As Stefan Ihrig shows in this first comprehensive study, many Germans sympathized with the Ottomans’ longstanding repression of the Armenians and with the Turks’ program of extermination during World War I. In the Nazis’ version of history, the Armenian Genocide was justifiable because it had made possible the astonishing rise of the New Turkey.
by Norman M. Naimark,Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies Norman M Naimark
Author: Norman M. Naimark,Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies Norman M Naimark
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Genocide occurs in every time period and on every continent. Using the 1948 U.N. definition of genocide as its departure point, this book examines the main episodes in the history of genocide from the beginning of human history to the present. Norman M. Naimark lucidly shows that genocide both changes over time, depending on the character of major historical periods, and remains the same in many of its murderous dynamics. He examines cases of genocide as distinct episodes of mass violence, but also in historical connection with earlier episodes. Unlike much of the literature in genocide studies, Naimark argues that genocide can also involve the elimination of targeted social and political groups, providing an insightful analysis of communist and anti-communist genocide. He pays special attention to settler (sometimes colonial) genocide as a subject of major concern, illuminating how deeply the elimination of indigenous peoples, especially in Africa, South America, and North America, influenced recent historical developments. At the same time, the "classic" cases of genocide in the twentieth Century - the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, Rwanda, and Bosnia -- are discussed, together with recent episodes in Darfur and Congo.
Starting in early 1915, the Ottoman Turks began deporting and killing hundreds of thousands of Armenians in the first major genocide of the twentieth century. By the end of the First World War, the number of Armenians in what would become Turkey had been reduced by 90 percent—more than a million people. A century later, the Armenian Genocide remains controversial but relatively unknown, overshadowed by later slaughters and the chasm separating Turkish and Armenian interpretations of events. In this definitive narrative history, Ronald Suny cuts through nationalist myths, propaganda, and denial to provide an unmatched account of when, how, and why the atrocities of 1915–16 were committed. Drawing on archival documents and eyewitness accounts, this is an unforgettable chronicle of a cataclysm that set a tragic pattern for a century of genocide and crimes against humanity.
The Story of the Man who sent Charles I to the Scaffold
Author: Geoffrey Robertson
Publisher: Random House
Charles I waged civil wars that cost one in ten Englishmen their lives. But in 1649 parliament was hard put to find a lawyer with the skill and daring to prosecute a King who was above the law: in the end the man they briefed was the radical barrister, John Cooke. Cooke was a plebeian, son of a poor farmer, but he had the courage to bring the King's trial to its dramatic conclusion: the English republic. Cromwell appointed him as a reforming Chief Justice in Ireland, but in 1660 he was dragged back to the Old Bailey, tried and brutally executed. John Cooke was the bravest of barristers, who risked his own life to make tyranny a crime. He originated the right to silence, the 'cab rank' rule of advocacy and the duty to act free-of-charge for the poor. He conducted the first trial of a Head of State for waging war on his own people - a forerunner of the prosecutions of Pinochet, Miloševic and Saddam Hussein, and a lasting inspiration to the modern world.
In this witty, engrossing and sometimes poignant memoir, a sequel to his best-selling The Justice Game, Australia?s inimitable Geoffrey Robertson charts his progress from pimply state schoolboy to top Old Bailey barrister and thence onwards and upwards to a leading role in the struggle for human rights throughout the world.He wryly observes the absurdities of growing up as one of 'Ming?s kids?; the passion of student protest in the sixties and his early crusades for 'Down Under-dogs?, before leaving on a Rhodes Scholarship to combat the British establishment, with the help of John Mortimer of 'Rumpole? fame. There are dramatic accounts of fighting for lives on death rows, freeing dissidents and taking on tyrants, armed only with a unique mind and a passion for justice - on display whenever he boomeranged back to Australia to conduct Geoffrey Robertson?s Hypotheticals.His is an amazing life story of David and Goliath battles - riveting, laugh-out-loud tales filled with romance and danger, featuring a cast of characters ranging from General Pinochet to Pee-Wee Herman; from Malcolm Turnbull to Mike Tyson; from Nigella Lawson to Kathy Lette and Julian Assange. Throughout his exploits - recounted here with irreverent humour and dashes of true wisdom - Geoffrey Robertson has remained determinedly independent and his own man. He has also, in respect of human rights, changed the way we think.
How the Bletchley Park codebreakers helped win the war
Author: Michael Smith
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
A melting pot of Oxbridge dons, maverick oddballs and more regular citizens worked night and day at Station X, as Bletchley Park was known, to derive intelligence information from German coded messages. Bear in mind that an Enigma machine had a possible 159 million million million different settings and the magnitude of the challenge becomes apparent. That they succeeded, despite military scepticism, supplying information that led to the sinking of the Bismarck, Montgomery’s victory in North Africa and the D-Day landings, is testament to an indomitable spirit that wrenched British intelligence into the modern age, as the Second World War segued into the Cold War. Michael Smith constructs his absorbing narrative around the reminiscences of those who worked and played at Bletchley Park, and their stories add a very human colour to their cerebral activity. The code breakers of Station X did not win the war but they undoubtedly shortened it, and the lives saved on both sides stand as their greatest achievement.
Though geographically far apart, Turkey and Australia are much closer than many would think. This collection provides a relevant, comparative and comprehensive study of two countries seeking to reconcile their history with their geography.