From Empire to Republic
Turkish Nationalism & The Armenian Genocide

Taner Akcam (Author)
(ISBN: 978-1-84277-527-1)
2004 London
273 pages
Size: 5 3/4" x 8 3/4"
Language(s): English

This extraordinary book examines the relationship between Turkey's transition from Ottoman Empire to Turkish Republic, the Armenian Genocide, and the process of democratization in Turkey today. "Each ethnic group today views the others from the perspective of that period. Any effort towards democratization in the region today must begin with a dialogue about history and most importantly, the events that transpired during the transition from Empire to Republic,"" explained Akçam. ""Scholarly activity has been locked into a cycle of verification or denial of what happened in history, as opposed to analyzing the socio-political and historical factors that allowed that history to unfold."" From Empire to Republic is a significant step towards addressing the taboo in Turkey regarding the Armenian Genocide and creating a meaningful, historical dialogue. The first three chapters provide the reader with a framework for understanding Turkish nationalism, its origins, and its on-going relationship to the Armenian Genocide. In chapters four and five Akçam follows the changes in Ottoman Turkey's political climate that led to the decision for genocide and the implementation of the Genocide itself. He then tracks the impact of this history into the Republic. Through his analysis of the Treaties of Sèvres and Lausanne, Akçam provides an alternative framework for understanding the causes of the Genocide and his examination of Turkish political taboos shows how the Genocide continues to inform Turkish politics. In the concluding chapters, Akçam convincingly makes the case that debate about the Armenian Genocide is not only a measure of Turkey's democratization, but a necessary ingredient of the process itself. Finally, through a theoretical analysis of the obstacles to dialogue, Akçam offers some hope for reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian communities.

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