A Question of Genocide: Armenians and Turks at the End of the Ottoman Empire

Publication Year



One hundred years after the deportations and mass murder of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and other peoples in the final years of the Ottoman Empire, the history of the Armenian genocide is a victim of historical distortion, state-sponsored falsification, and deep divisions between Armenians and Turks. Working together for the first time, Turkish, Armenian, and other scholars present here a compelling reconstruction of what happened and why.

This volume gathers the most up-to-date scholarship on Armenian genocide, looking at how the event has been written about in Western and Turkish historiographies; what was happening on the eve of the catastrophe; portraits of the perpetrators; detailed accounts of the massacres; how the event has been perceived in both local and international contexts, including World War I; and reflections on the broader implications of what happened then. The result is a comprehensive work that moves beyond nationalist master narratives and offers a more complete understanding of this tragic event.


Perennially controversial subject, given the official state-sponsored campaign to deny what happened.   Features Turkish and Armenian scholars together in a single volume.   Multinational cast of contributors draws on international archives and documents in a range of languages. Reviews "As a scholarly addition to the understanding of the Armenian genocide, the late Ottoman Empire, and the beginning of the Turkish Republic--A Question of Genocide succeeds." —H-Net   "Nearly a century on from the attempted Ottoman destruction of the Armenians, Turkish politics of denial, on the one hand, and an Armenian mythic representation of a singular Turkish guilt, on the other, have repeatedly sabotaged chances for dialogue. Yet in this book a group of leading historians from both sides of the divide, and beyond, demonstrate that the reality of genocide can be examined in its multi-causal dimensions not only without partisanship but in recognition of a shared history. A Question of Genocide can be read as a breakthrough historical study providing a contextualized, nuanced yet sensitive set of interpretations of an Armenian-but also wider Ottoman- tragedy. Equally, however, it may come to be remembered as a timely intervention on the path to reconciliation between post-Ottoman peoples." —Mark Levene, University of Southampton   "Although the Armenian genocide is probably the clearest case of that crime apart from the Holocaust, for political reasons it has been one of the more controversial. A Question of Genocide offers valuable new studies of this very important topic, written by some of the leading experts in the field, including both Armenian and Turkish scholars. It carries on the work of the courageous Turkish Armenian writer Hrant Dink, who was assassinated in Istanbul in 2007." —Ben Kiernan, author of Blood and Soil: A World History of Genocide and Extermination from Sparta to Darfur About the Editors Ronald Grigor Suny is the Charles Tilly Collegiate Professor of Social and Political History and Director of the Eisenberg Institute of Historical Studies at the University of Michigan. Fatma Müge Göçek is Associate Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. Norman M. Naimark is the Robert and Florence McDonnell Professor of East European Studies and Senior Fellow of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
Oxford University Press
Oxford and New York
ISSN Number
9780195393743, 0195393740