The most controversial question that is still being asked about the First World War - was there an Armenian genocide? - will come to a head on 24 April 2015, when Armenians worldwide will commemorate its centenary and Turkey will deny that it took place, claiming that the deaths of over half of the Armenian race were justified. This has become a vital international issue. Twenty national parliaments in democratic countries have voted to recognise the genocide, but Britain and the USA continue to equivocate for fear of alienating their NATO ally. Geoffrey Robertson QC condemns this hypocrisy, and in An Inconvenient Genocide he proves beyond reasonable doubt that the horrific events in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 constitute the crime against humanity that is today known as genocide. He explains how democracies can deal with genocide denial without infringing free speech, and makes a major contribution to understanding and preventing this worst of all crimes. His renowned powers of advocacy are on full display as he condemns all those - from Sri Lanka to the Sudan, from Old Anatolia to modern Syria and Iraq - who try to justify the mass murder of children and civilians in the name of military necessity or religious fervour.
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.
Author: Geoffrey Robertson
Publisher: The New Press
Release Date: 2013-02-05
Genre: Political Science
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.
Author: Vicken Cheterian
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2015-09
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.
Author: Thomas De Waal
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date: 2015
"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"--
Author: Ronald Grigor Suny
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2015-03-22
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.
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 claimed to be above the law. In the end, they chose the radical lawyer John Cooke, whose Puritan conscience, political vision, and love of civil liberties gave him the courage to bring the king to trial. As a result, Charles I was beheaded, but eleven years later Cooke himself was arrested, tried, and executed at the hands of Charles II. Geoffrey Robertson, a renowned human rights lawyer, provides a vivid new reading of the tumultuous Civil War years, exposing long-hidden truths: that the king was guilty, that his execution was necessary to establish the sovereignty of Parliament, that the regicide trials were rigged and their victims should be seen as national heroes. Cooke’s trial of Charles I, the first trial of a head of state for waging war on his own people, became a forerunner of the trials of Augusto Pinochet, Slobodan Milosevic, and Saddam Hussein. The Tyrannicide Brief is a superb work of history that casts a revelatory light on some of the most important issues of our time. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Raymond Kevorkian
Release Date: 2011-03-30
The Armenian Genocide was one of the greatest atrocities of the twentieth century, an episode in which up to 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives. In this major new history, Raymond Kévorkian provides a long-awaited authoritative account of origins, events, and consequences of the years 1915 and 1916. Kévorkian explains and analyses the debates that occurred within the elite circles of the Young Turks, and traces the roots of the violence that would be raged upon the Ottoman Armenians. Uniquely, this is also a geographical account of the Armenian genocide, documenting its course region by region, including a complete account of the deportations, massacres and resistance that occurred. Kévorkian considers the role that the Armenian Genocide played in the construction of the Turkish nation state and Turkish identity, as well as exploring the ideologies of power, rule, and state violence, presenting an important contribution to the understanding of how such destruction could have occurred. Thus, Kévorkian examines the history of the Young Turks and the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as they came into conflict with one another, taking into consideration the institutional, political, social and even psychological mechanisms that culminated in the destruction of the Ottoman Armenians. Beginning with an exploration of the origins of the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, Kévorkian analyses the decision making process which led to the terrible fate of those who were deported to the concentration camps of Aleppo and along the Euphrates. Crucially, 'The Armenian Genocide' also examines the consequences of the violence against the Armenians, the implications of the expropriation of property and assets, and deportations, as well as the attempts to bring those who committed atrocities to justice. This covers the documents from the Mazhar Governmental Commission of Inquiry and the formation of courts martial by the Ottoman authorities, and the findings of the March 1920 Committee for the Protection of the Minorities in Turkey, created by the League of Nations. Kévorkian offers a detailed and meticulous account of the Armenian Genocide, providing an authoritative analysis of the events and their impact upon the Armenian community itself, as well as the development of the Turkish state. This important book will serve as an indispensable resource to historians of the period, as well as those wishing to understand the history of genocidal violence more generally.
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.
The book represents an earthquake in genocide studies, particularly in the field of Armenian Genocide research. A unique feature of the Armenian Genocide has been the long-standing efforts of successive Turkish governments to deny its historicity and to hide the documentary evidencesurrounding it. This book provides a major clarification of the often blurred lines between facts and truth in regard to these events. The authenticity of the killing orders signed by Ottoman Interior Minister Talat Pasha and the memoirs of the Ottoman bureaucrat Naim Efendi have been two of the most contested topics in this regard. The denialist school has long argued that these documents and memoirs were all forgeries, produced by Armenians to further their claims. Taner Akçam provides the evidence to refute the basis of these claims and demonstrates clearly why the documents can be trusted as authentic, revealing the genocidal intent of the Ottoman-Turkish government towards its Armenian population. As such, this work removes a cornerstone from the denialist edifice, and further establishes the historicity of the Armenian Genocide.
Author: Michael Smith
Publisher: Biteback Publishing
Release Date: 2011-10-31
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.
Author: Geoffrey Robertson
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2011-01-25
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Geoff Robertson was born in Australia, bu came to London in 1970. He made his name as the fearless defender of Oz magazine at the celebrated trial and went on to engage in some of the most newsworthy cases in recent history. He has defended John Stonehouse, Cynthia Payne, Salman Rushdie, Kate Adie, Arthur Scargill, Daniel Sullivan, Gay News, 'The Romans of Britain', 'Niggaz with Attitude', and a pair of foetal earrings. The book includes accounts of recent cases including the defence of a West London gym owner against the Prince of Wales, the Matrix Churchill affair, and the defence of the Guardian in the cash-for-questions affair. Hugely readable, funny, scandalous, revelator, this will become one of the great books about the law.
Author: Paul Moon
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2008-08-04
Though stronger evidence of this horrid practice prevailing among the inhabitants of this coast will scarcely be required, we have still stronger to give.' - Captain James Cook This Horrid Practice uncovers an unexplored taboo of New Zealand history - the widespread practice of cannibalism in pre-European Maori society. Until now, many historians have tried to avoid it and many Maori have considered it a subject best kept quiet about in public. Paul Moon brings together an impressive array of sources from a variety of disciplines to produce this frequently contentious but always stimulating exploration of how and why Maori ate other human beings, and why the practice shuddered to a halt just a few decades after the arrival of Europeans in New Zealand. The book includes a comprehensive survey of cannibalism practices among traditional Maori, carefully assessing the evidence and concluding it was widespread. Other chapters look at how explorers and missionaries saw the practice; the role of missionaries and Christianity in its end; and, in the final chapter, why there has been so much denial on the subject and why some academics still deny that it ever happened. This Horrid Practice promises to be one of the leading works of New Zealand history published in 2008. It is a highly original work that every New Zealand history enthusiast will want to own and read.
Geoffrey Robertson led students in the ’60s to demand an end to racism and censorship. He went on to become a top human rights advocate, saving the lives of many death-row inmates, freeing dissidents and taking on tyrants in a career marked by courage, determination and a fierce independence. In this witty, honest and sometimes irreverent memoir, he recalls battles on behalf of George Harrison and Julian Assange, Salman Rushdie and Václav Havel, Mike Tyson and the Sex Pistols, and battles against General Pinochet, Lee Kuan Yew and Mrs Thatcher (the true story of Spycatcher is told for the first time). Interspersed with these forensic fireworks is the story of a pimply schoolboy from a state comprehensive, inspired by a banned book to become a barrister at the Old Bailey and who went on to found the UK’s leading human rights practice (Doughty Street Chambers) and to defend troublemakers throughout the world. Rather His Own Man captures the drama of the trial, the thrill of victory and the feeling of ‘courtus interruptus’ when a big case settles. Its cast of characters includes Princess Diana, Pee-Wee Herman, Dame Edna, the Queen and Rupert – the bear and the media mogul. It’s a read that is both exhilarating and erudite – and very funny.
THE CASE OF THE POPE delivers a devastating indictment of the way the Vatican has run a secret legal system that shields paedophile priests from criminal trial around the world. Is the Pope morally or legally responsible for the negligence that has allowed so many terrible crimes to go unpunished? Should he and his seat of power, the Holy See, continue to enjoy an immunity that places them above the law? Geoffrey Robertson QC, a distinguished human rights lawyer and judge, evinces a deep respect for the good works of Catholics and their church. But, he argues, unless Pope Benedict XVI can divest himself of the beguilements of statehood and devotion to obsolescent canon law, the Vatican will remain a serious enemy to the advance of human rights.