ZORYAN ANNOUNCES NEW BOOK THAT SETS POST-WWI OTTOMAN TRIALS IN THEIR HISTORICAL AND LEGAL CONTEXT

AZG DAILY
30-11-2011

Armenian Genocide Update: 2011-11-30 00:24:52 (GMT +04:00)

In the aftermath of its disastrous defeat in WWI, Ottoman Turkey
had to face the wartime crime of the destruction of its Armenian
population. An inquiry commissioned by the Ottoman government in 1919
presented enough preliminary evidence to organize a series of trials
involving the perpetrators of these crimes. It is the record of these
trials and the unparalleled details they provide on the planning and
implementation of these heinous crimes that has brought together the
two most renowned scholars of the Armenian Genocide, Professors Vahakn
Dadrian and Taner Akcam, in their first joint publication. It is with
great pride that the Zoryan Institute announces that after years of
research and analysis, the authors have compiled for the first time
in English the complete documentation of the trial proceedings and
have set these findings in their historical and legal context.

The book is entitled Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian Genocide

Trials and is published by Berghahn Books of New York and Oxford.

In describing the book, Prof. Dadrian commented, "This is a most
important work, for two reasons. First, it is based on authentic
Turkish documentation, which the Ottoman government was forced to
release during the trials. Second, unlike most books on the Armenian
Genocide, which are historical interpretations, this study, for the
first time is based also on the testimony of high-ranking Ottoman
officials, given under oath, on the magnitude of the crimes against
the Armenians, and in this sense, serves as a legal case study of
the Armenian Genocide."

During his more than fifty years of research on the subject, Dadrian
discovered that the Takvim-i Vekâyi, the official Ottoman government~Rs
gazette, was not the only major source of information on these military
tribunals. In fact, Renaissance, a French language Armenian newspaper
in Constantinople at the time, reported summaries of many of the
trial proceedings taken from the reports of the Ottoman language
newspapers of the day, which were otherwise not accounted for in
official government records. Prof. Akçam, the book~Rs co-author, noted
that "While the official government record lists only twelve trials,
newspapers provide us details on sixty-three. For the first time,
information from the Ottoman newspapers of the era has been utilized to
reconstruct the trials. A great deal of effort was required to track
down all issues possible of fourteen different Ottoman newspapers,
which meant visiting many libraries in different cities.

Often, the articles we were looking for had been cut out of the paper
in one location, but we were able to find a copy in another location."

The Zoryan Institute sponsored the collection of these newspapers,
their translation and transliteration, as part of the long-term
project known as "Creating a Common Body of Knowledge," and retains
copies in its archives.

According to the Institute~Rs President, K.M Greg Sarkissian, "The
objective is to provide knowledge that will be shared by Turkish
and Armenian civil societies and western scholarship. The aim is to
locate, collect, analyze, transliterate, translate, edit and publish
authoritative, universally recognized original archival documents
on the history of the events surrounding 1915, in both Turkish and
English.

Elaborating on the importance not only of the primary source material
in this book, but also the analysis provided by the book~Rs authors,"
he continued, "the more such documents are made available to Turkish
society, the more it will be empowered with knowledge to question
narratives imposed by the state.

Restoring accurate historical memory will benefit not only Turkish, but
also Armenian society. Both will be emancipated from the straightjacket
of the past. Such a Common Body of Knowledge will hopefully lead to an
understanding of each other, act as a catalyst for dialogue, and aid in
the normalization of relations between the two societies. Judgment at
Istanbul is the most recent example of the Zoryan Institute~Rs strong
belief in the importance of a Common Body of Knowledge as a key factor
in helping the future of any relationship between Turkey and Armenia."

The trials described in Judgment at Istanbul had a far-reaching
bearing in the international community.

As the first national tribunal to prosecute cases of mass atrocity, the
principles of "crimes against humanity" which were introduced then had
their echo subsequently in the Nuremberg Charter, the Tokyo Charter,
and the UN Genocide Convention. This book is an essential source for
historians, legal scholars, political scientists, sociologists, policy
makers, and those interested in Genocide Studies, Turkish Studies,
and Armenian Studies. It also holds great current relevance, with
recent interest internationally regarding the Armenian Genocide and
its denial.

Vahakn N. Dadrian and Taner Akçam, Judgment at Istanbul: The Armenian
Genocide Trials. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2011. 363p. ISBN
978-0-85745-251-1 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-85745-286-3 (ebook). $110.00
($75.00 to Zoryan Friends).

To order a copy for yourself, as a gift, or to help sponsor a book to
be placed in university libraries, please contact the Zoryan office,
416-250-9807, [email protected]



From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress