Armenian History and the Question of Genocide

Hardcover | April 15, 2011

byMichael M. Gunter, Michael M Gunter

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This book presents the Turkish position regarding the Armenian claims of genocide during World War I and the continuing debate over this issue. The author illustrates that although genocide is a useful concept to describe such evil events as the Jewish Holocaust in World War II and Rwanda in the 1990s, the term has also been overused, misused, and therefore trivialized by many different groups seeking to demonize their antagonists and win sympathetic approbation for them. This book includes the Armenians in this category because, although as many as 600,000 of them died during World War I, it was neither a premeditated policy perpetrated by the Ottoman Turkish government nor an event unilaterally implemented without cause. Of course, in no way does this excuse the horrible excesses that were committed. To illustrate this point, this book uses the recent work of the noted French scholar Jacques Semelin, and such long-suppressed Armenian personalities as Hovhannes Katchaznouni (the first prime minister of Armenia after WWI) and K.S. Papazian (an historian), among others. This book also illustrates how today Armenians have sought to politicize and legislate their version of history in parliamentary and other governmental bodies around the world, damning their opponents as genocide deniers and perpetrators of hate speech. The case of the renowned scholar Bernard Lewis is a prime example of this Armenian misuse and distortion of their politicized version of history. This book also analyzes the hypermobilized Armenian lobbying tactics that have achieved considerable success in politicizing their version of history. Among many other issues, this book also analyzes the recent “soccer diplomacy” between Turkey and Armenia, which has led to their signing treaties that will establish diplomatic relations between them and an historical commission to analyze their different versions of history

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This book presents the Turkish position regarding the Armenian claims of genocide during World War I and the continuing debate over this issue. The author illustrates that although genocide is a useful concept to describe such evil events as the Jewish Holocaust in World War II and Rwanda in the 1990s, the term has also been overused, ...

Michael M. Gunter is a Professor of Political Science at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville, Tennessee and teaches during the summer at the International University in Vienna, Austria. He is the author of seven critically praised scholarly books on the Kurdish question, the most recent being The Kurds Ascending: The Evol...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:208 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:April 15, 2011Publisher:Palgrave MacmillanLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0230110592

ISBN - 13:9780230110595

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Table of Contents

The Historical Origins of the   Turkish-Armenian Animosity * What Is Genocide? * Armenian Terrorism in the 20th Century * Politicizing History * Turkish Counterterror and Harassment?

Editorial Reviews

"Michael M. Gunter presents a scholarly and very readable presentation of the Turkish and the Armenian positions regarding the Armenian claims of genocide during World War I and the continuing debate over this issue. Without denying the great Armenian tragedy, the author illustrates that although “genocide” can be a useful concept, the term has also been overused, misused, and therefore trivialized by many different groups including the Armenians seeking to demonize their antagonists and win sympathetic approbation for themselves. This book is particularly timely given the recent “soccer diplomacy” between Turkey and Armenia and Turkey’s growing importance in international political and economic relations." --M. Hakan Yavuz, Professor of Political Science, The University of Utah"This book fairly and dispassionately presents and elucidates the Turkish position on what Armenians call the first genocide of the twentieth century. I recommend it as a useful addition to the literature on this controversial and acrimoniously debated subject."--Guenter Lewy, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Massachusetts at Amherst and author of The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide "Professor Gunter has written a superb book that fills an important gap in our understanding of the forces which have shaped the contemporary debate over the alleged Armenian Genocide of 1915. His elegant linkage of the past with the politics of the present gives the book great currency and relevance.  Of particular note is Gunter’s comprehensive exposition of the evolution of the indispensable and 'hypermobilized' Armenian lobby. It is an indispensible read for anyone seeking to understand these events."  --Dr. Edward J. Erickson, Associate Professor of Military History, Marine Corps Command & Staff College, Quantico, Virginia "In Armenian History and the Question of Genocide, Michael M. Gunter brings a historian’s touch to separate fact from fiction and myth from reality and to examine one of the most contentious subjects in twentieth century history.  Against the backdrop of Armenian genocide claims and Turkish denials, Gunter has written the most incisive and balanced account of the episode, shedding light not only on events almost century ago, but also on how and why the issue continues to resonate in international relations today" --Michael Rubin, resident scholar, American Enterprise Institute "With this book,  Michael Gunter  seeks to open up debate on one of the most volatile issues in modern Middle Eastern history, the 'Armenian Question'.   Professor Gunter follows the trail from its appearance on the diplomatic agenda in the late 19th century to  the assassination of  Turkish diplomats in the late 20th and  efforts presently being  made by both the Turkish and  Armenian republics to  overcome their differences.     For  the wounds of  the past to be healed,   and  for dialogue to succeed,  he believes, all ethno-religious communities  bearing the legacy of this brutal period of history must  acknowledge the wicked  deeds committed by their forefathers. Turks and Armenians committed to  different versions of history that are equally blighted by  propaganda will undoubtedly find fault with Professor Gunter's account  Scholars are also bound to disagree with some of the points he makes  but on such a sensitive issue this is virtually unavoidable.   Overwhelmingly,  though,  above and beyond partisan or scholarly considerations,  what Professor Gunter's narrative shows is that the 'Armenian question' is far more complex than many will have been led to believe.   Herein lies the value of this book,  although,  read in the right quarters,  it might also contribute to the rapprochement between two peoples – Armenians and Turks -  driven apart by events that occurred before almost anyone alive today was born."  --Jeremy Salt, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Bilkent University, Ankara, Turkey and author of The Unmaking of the Middle East: A History of Western Disorder in Arab Lands