From Empire to Republic

Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide

Taner Akçam


The first serious scholarly attempt to understand the Armenian Genocide from a perpetrator rather than victim perspective, and to contextualize those events within Turkey's political history.
Taner Akçam is one of the first Turkish academics to acknowledge and discuss openly the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman-Turkish government in 1915. This book discusses western political policies towards the region generally, and represents the first serious scholarly attempt to understand the Genocide from a perpetrator rather than victim perspective, and to contextualize those events within Turkey's political history. By refusing to acknowledge the fact of genocide, successive Turkish governments not only perpetuate massive historical injustice, but also pose a fundamental obstacle to Turkey's democratization today.

Author Bio

Taner Akçam is Visiting Professor at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • 1. What Are Turkey's Fundamental Problems? A Model for Understanding Turkey Today
  • 2. A Theoretical Approach to Understanding Turkish National Identity
  • 3. Some Aspects of Turkish National Identity and the Armenian Genocide
  • 4. The Homogenizing and Ethnic Cleansing of Anatolia
  • 5. The Decision for Genocide in Light of Ottoman-Turkish Documents
  • 6. The Treaties of Sèvres and Lausanne: An Alternative Perspective
  • 7. The Causes and Effects of Making Turkish History Taboo
  • 8. The Genocide and Turkey
  • 9. Some Theoretical Thoughts on the Obstacles to Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation
  • Select Bibliography
  • Index


Taner Akçam is one of the new generation of scholars from Turkey developing a new understanding of Turkish history, and who are trying to explore the transition from the Ottoman Empire to the Republic. In Turkey, this subject has been made taboo politically and in official historical writing, and efforts at seeking historical truth and justice are full of personal risks. We hope that his example of courage and intellectual honesty will contribute to a better understanding between peoples in the region.'
Yair Auron, The Open University of Israel

'This book is original, discriminating, and confronts profound issues. It should be accessible to a wide audience, not scholars alone. From Empire to Republic is a book that could have a large impact on how both Turkish history and the Armenian Genocide are understood'
Roger W. Smith, Professor Emeritus, College of William and Mary

'Taner Akçam‘s approach to the analysis of the lingering Turkish-Armenian conflict is as novel as it is phenomenal. He proposes a new kind of scholarly dialogue that is based on non-partisan, authentic official documents and upon scholars, both Turkish and Armenian, whose commitment to unadulterated truth is optimal'
Vahakn N. Dadrian, Zoryan Institute

'Dr. Akçam has been working tirelessly, and against tremendous odds,to overcome prejudices and biases in order to initiate dialoguebetween the Turks and the Armenians. He has diligently delved into primary sources to understand, illuminate and analyze some of the darker aspects of human behavior in general and the Armenian tragedy in particular. His critical focus on this particular silence in Turkish history is bound to bolster the democratic forces in that society. Dr. Akçam‘s scholarship is meticulous, his perspectives illuminating, and his moral fortitude inspiring. In all, what is most remarkable is not only his perseverance, but also his genuine sense of optimism'
Fatma Müge Göçek, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

'Offers informative reading for those interested in debates surrounding the Armenian genocide.'
Hilmar Kaiser

'Taner Akçam has gained prominence in academic circles as the first Turkish historian to publicly argue that the disappearance of the Armenian population from Anatolia in the last decades of the Ottoman Empire was the result of genocide. This book, a set of inter-related essays on the place of the Armenian question in Turkish public life, will not make Akçam any less controversial a figure. He focuses on the mentality of the perpetrator rather than the victim, and argues that the humiliating transformation "From Empire to Republic" was the key experience leading to the emergence of a genocidal mentality among the Young Turks.'
Bill Kissane, Nation's and Nationalism, Volume 14, April 2008


Publication Date: 30 April 2004
288 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781842775271
eBook ePub: 9781848136779
eBook PDF: 9781848130661
eBook Kindle: 9781780327938
Library Edition: 9781842775264

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