Akçam, Taner 1953- (Altug Taner Akçam, Taner Akcam)

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Akçam, Taner 1953- (Altug Taner Akçam, Taner Akcam)


Born October 23, 1953, in Ardahan, Turkey; immigrated to Germany as a political refugee, 1978. Education: Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, bachelor of administrative sciences, 1986; University of Hannover, Germany, Ph.D., 1995.


Office—Department of History, University of Minnesota, 614 Social Sciences Bldg., 267 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55455. E-mail—[email protected]


Historian, sociologist, and writer. Member of the militant group Dev Yol (Devrimci Yol-Revolutionary Path) and the editor of its periodical Devrimci Genclik Dergisi (Revolutionary Youth Magazine), c. 1970s; arrested and sentenced to prison, 1976, escaped c. 1977; Hamburg Institute for Social Research, Hamburg, Germany, research scientist in sociology, beginning 1988; Hamburg Foundation, Hamburg Institute for Social Research, staff member. Also visiting scholar at the Armenian Research Center, University of Michigan-Dearborn; visiting professor at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; and visiting associate professor of history at the University of Minnesota, 2002—.


I's kenceyi durdurun: insan haklarõ ve Marksizm, Ayrnt (Istanbul, Turkey), 1991.

Siyasõ kültürümüzde zulüm ve isb kence, Iletisim Yaynclk (Istanbul, Turkey), 1992.

Türk ulusal kimligˇ i ve Ermeni sorunu, Iletisim Yaynclk (Istanbul, Turkey), 1992.

Islam'de hos görü ve sõnõrõ, Basak Yaynlar (Ankara, Turkey), 1994.

Armenien und der Völkermord: die Istanbuler Prozesse und die türkische Nationalbewegung, Hamburger Edition (Hamburg, Germany), 1996.

Insan haklarõ ve Ermeni sorunu: Ittihat ve Terakki'den Kurtulus Savas õ'na, Imge Kitabevi (Ankara, Turkey), 1999.

Ermeni tabusu aralanõrken: diyalogdan baska bir çözüm var mõ?, Su Yaynlar (Istanbul, Turkey), 2000.

Dialogue across an International Divide: Essays towards a Turkish-Armenian Dialogue, Zoryan Institute (Cambridge, MA), 2001.

From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide, Zed Books (New York, NY), 2004.

A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility, translated by Paul Bessemer, with Julie Gilmour, Metropolitan Books (New York, NY), 2006.


Taner Akçam is among the first Turkish academics to openly acknowledge and discuss the Ottoman Turkish government's pursuit of Armenian genocide in 1915, which the Turkish government has continually denied but which most historians estimate resulted in at least one million deaths. With his book From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide, the author also broke ground in that it is the first book to discuss the genocide from the perpetrator's perspective. In the process, Akçam focuses on the impact the genocide had on the evolution of Turkey's national identity, the continued government denial of the genocide more than one hundred years later, and the impact this has on the government and people of Turkey. Referring to the book as "an important milestone in the process of breaking down the wall of silence that surrounds open discussion of the Armenian Genocide in Turkey," Middle East Journal contributor Robert O. Krikorian added: "Akçam also explores the causes and effects of making Turkish history taboo, as well as some theoretical thoughts on obstacles to Armenian-Turkish reconciliation."

The author continues his examination of the Armenian genocide with his book A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility. Akçam builds up a body of evidence from old documents as proof of the Turkish government's primary role in the genocide. "He is unsparing in his evidence, including proof that Turkish officials who refused to obey murderous orders were themselves murdered," wrote a Kirkus Reviews contributor, who went on to call the book "of profound importance to history—and certain to stir up nests of hornets." A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted the author's "clear, well-researched work" and his "novel use of key Ottoman, European and American sources." Gary J. Bass, writing in the New York Times Book Review, commented: "This dense, measured and footnote-heavy book poses a stern challenge to modern Turkish polemicists, and if there is any response to be made, it can be done only with additional primary research in the archival records."



Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2006, review of A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility, p. 817.

Middle East Journal, spring, 2005, Robert O. Krikorian, review of From Empire to Republic: Turkish Nationalism and the Armenian Genocide, p. 320.

New York Times Book Review, December 17, 2006, Gary J. Bass, review of A Shameful Act, p. 30.

Publishers Weekly, September 4, 2006, review of A Shameful Act, p. 53.


Kurdish Media,http://www.kurdmedia.com/ (January 17, 2007), Hadi Elis, "Turkey Launches ‘Genocide’ Investigation against Taner Akcam."

Omroep.nl,http://omroep.nl/ (February 14, 2007), Taner Akçam, "The Genocide of the Armenians and the Silence of the Turks."

PanArmenian.net,http://www.panarmenian.net/ (January 10, 2007), "Wave of Accusations for ‘Insulting Turkishness’ Reached Taner Akçam."

University of Minnesota Web site,http://www.umn.edu/ (January 12, 2007), "Statement in Support of Taner Akçam."

Zoryan Institute,http://www.zoryaninstitute.org/ (February 14, 2007), "Turkish Scholar Taner Akçam Lectures on New Book."