Istanbul–Belge International Press in Istanbul has just released a book in Turkish on the Armenian Question by Armenian American-historian Levon Marashlian. "Ermeni Sorunu ve Turk-Amerikan Iliskileri–1919-1923" (The Armenian Question and Turkish-American Relations) is a translation of the paper Marashlian delivered in Ankara at the 11th Turkish History Congress in 1990–the first time an Armenian scholar went to Turkey to lecture on the Armenian Question and the Genocide.
In 1994–the government-sponsored Turk Tarih Kurumu (Turkish Historical Society) published Marashlian’s paper in its entirety as a lengthy article in the proceedings of the Congress–which was another first.
Prof. Marashlian teaches history–political science–and ethnic studies courses at Glendale Community College in California.
The translator of the new book is Ms. Sen Suer. The publisher–Ragip Zarakolu–who has been to Armenia–wrote the foreword. Mr. Zarakolu and his wife Ayse are prominent advocates of human rights in Turkey.
In his foreword–Zarakolu discusses the publication of Marashlian’s book in Turkey in the context of the recent disputes over genocide resolutions and the possibilities of "going beyond numerous prejudices through dialogue." Zarakolu points out that because of the resolution in the US Congress–"a lively debate began" in Turkey–with "differing viewpoints being advanced," in a climate that is not as closed as it used to be.
The publisher commen’s that ten years before–during a period that was more restrictive–"at a time that can be considered ‘early,’ Marashlian had the moral courage to come to Ankara. All alone–he defended his opinions. He criticized opposing opinions. He rebutted the criticisms directed against his work. Yet he did not create any disruption."
"Ermeni Sorunu" includes archival documentation and fresh interpretations related to the Genocide–the post-war claims of the Armenia’s–and the treaties of Sevres and Lausanne. Much of the information and ideas in Marashlian’s book have not been openly available in Turkish until now.
A central theme in the book is that the White House and the State Department–driven by "an inept and unnecessarily frantic scramble" for economic gain–turned away from backing Armenia’s independence and the creation of an "Armenian National Home" in Turkey–despite the fact that "all key American policymakers were convinced that the Armenia’s were victims of a deliberate attempt at mass extermination during World War I," and despite the fact that the new leaders of Turkey were "renewing persecutions" and continuing "the old Ottoman government’s policy of confiscating Armenian properties."
"Ermeni Sorunu ve Turk-Amerikan Iliskileri–1919-1923" (Istanbul: Belge Uluslararasi Yayincilik–2000) is 119 pages and it includes a bibliography–an index–and photographs. It is now being sold throughout Turkey and on the Internet.