Turkey’s democracy is at a crossroad. A failed coup d’état, an authoritarian leader, a polarised society, a country said to be affected by wilful amnesia. Is there any way out of Turkey’s drift towards autocracy?
Taner Akçam is a passionate Turkish-German historian, sociologist, and Professor of History at Clark University, USA. He offers a much needed historical perspective on how Turkey can deal with its past, present and future. He knows very well how high the stakes can be when times become turbulent and people are no longer free to voice their views; in 1976, as editor-in-chief of a student political journal, Professor Akçam was arrested and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. Amnesty International adopted him as a prisoner of conscience. A year later he escaped to Germany where he received political asylum. As a historian and one of the first Turkish academics to acknowledge and openly discuss the Armenian genocide, Taner Akcam believes that a society can establish a democratic future only when it faces its own past. He explains how State sponsored denial of the Armenian genocide exemplifies the current Turkish political deadlock.
Professor Taner Akçam is a Turkish-German historian, sociologist, and Professor of History at Clark University, USA. He is one of the first Turkish academics to acknowledge and openly discuss the Armenian genocide and he is recognised as a leading international authority on the subject. He argues for an attempt to reconcile the differing Armenian and Turkish narratives of the genocide, and to move away from the behaviour which uses those narratives to support national stereotypes. Professor Akçam has lectured and published extensively, with numerous books and articles in English, French, German and Turkish.
The Spirit of the Laws: The Plunder of Wealth in the Armenian Genocide (2015), The Young Turks’ Crime Against Humanity (2012), A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the question of Turkish responsibility (2006), From Empire to Republic: Turkish nationalism and the Armenian genocide (2004).
Taner Akçam at Clark University
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