Armenian Solidarity Book Launch

Armenia Solidarity
Nor Serount Cultural Association
Seyfo Centre

Centre of Halabja against the Anfalisation and Genocide of Kurdish

invite you to

A Discussion of the central themes and findings of
Desmond Fernandes’ new book

‘The Armenian, Assyrian, Greek, Kurdish and Greek Cypriot Genocides and
the Politics of Denialism’.

[Apec Press, Stockholm – 978-91-86139-01-8]

Featured speakers include:

Desmond Fernandes

Khatchatur Pilikian [Author of Refuting Terrorism – Seven Epistles
>From Diaspora, The Spectre of Genocide as Collateral Damage is
Haunting the World and UNESCO Laureates: Nazim Hikmet & Aram
Khatchaturian – Garod Books of the Gomidas Institute].

Nick Kounoupias [Co-Ordinator of the Lobby for Cyprus]
Kasim Agpak
Sponsor: David Drew, MP.
Venue: The Grand Committee Room, The House of Commons, Westminster.
Monday 21st July 2008
Time: 6.00 pm
Free Entry


‘Desmond Fernandes examines important and often ignored questions of
genocide where clear evidence exists but is still denied. The
difficulty in acknowledging genocide, not only in Turkey, but
internationally, is also surveyed and the conclusion leaves one in no
doubt that the international community continues to assist and support
the Turkish government’s campaign of denial. In contrast to the
international order, Desmond uses the ‘G-word’ as a person who has
read the history, and does not choose to avoid it like a politician,
afraid of controversies’ – Gurgîn Bakircioglu, Editor of and
Vice-Chair of the Kurdish Student and Academic Association (KSAF).

‘Turkey is a lynch pin in the politics of the Middle East, Europe and
the United States. The country’s history of hyperactivity in terms of
nationalism and secularism is clearly revealed in this scholarly
study. The research documents genocidal actions towards religious,
cultural and linguistic groups since the end of the Ottoman
Empire. Woven through Desmond Fernandes’ narrative is the
contradiction inherent in the democratic governance of the present
state and the level of extreme violence that can still be inflicted on
ordinary Turkish people. Not only experts in Turkish affairs, but also
activists will find in this volume invaluable information to enrich
their understanding of Turkey’s role in the so-called ‘global war on
terror” – Julia Kathleen Davidson, Scotland Against Criminalising

‘This book shows, with the help of massive evidence and without any
possible doubt, that the Turkish state (and its forerunner, the
Ottoman Empire) has been committing genocide against the groups
mentioned in the title of the book, at least since 1894, and continues
to commit genocide even today, in 2008, within the meaning of each of
the five types of genocidal act, today most brutally against the
Kurds. Turkey is even today guilty of crimes against humanity – This
is a reference book that cannot be surpassed easily (if at all). The
book is filled with minute detail in its documentation and
presentation and has an incredible number of up-to-date references.
The comparative aspect, documenting and comparing several genocides,
historically and today, is novel …

‘An important part of the book gives an invaluable resource to
concerned politicians, lawyers, conflict resolution analysts, peace
campaigners, parliamentarians and academics, regardless of their
ethnic background. This is a compact presentation of key positional
statements and perspectives on the genocide by the leading Kurdish
parties, and several key Turkish ones. These quotes, some quite
difficult to get hold of, have hardly ever been mentioned or used in
mainstream US-UK genocide debates [in English]. For these
representative Kurdish groups genocide is a key issue that they have
explicitly been raising for years …

‘Issues around the continuing broken promises in relation to all human
rights, be these civil and political or economic, social and cultural
(e.g. the right to self-determination, a fair trial or the freedom of
speech and association) and an analysis of the fact that other (mostly
big western) countries have not only allowed the crimes against
humanity but have also very often been and are today complicit in the
genocides fill much of the book, again, with massive documentation …

‘The painstakingly detailed, objective and accurate description in
itself forms ‘only’ a background for other path-breaking aspects of
this book. One reason for writing a book like this has been voiced by
Halil Berktay, co-ordinator of the History Department at Sabanci
University, Turkey. He is quoted by Desmond Fernandes as writing: ‘The
question of what happened in 1915-1916 is not a mystery, it’s not like
we know just 5 percent, so the question is not finding more
evidence. The question is liberating scholarship from the nationalist
taboos’ (emphasis added). ‘There may be differing interpretations of
genocide – how and why the Armenian Genocide happened. To deny its
factual and moral reality as genocide is not to engage in scholarship
but in propaganda and efforts to absolve the perpetrator, blame the
victims, and erase the ethical meaning of this history’…

‘Turkey’s denial of documented facts, the Turkish government’s threats
towards and imprisonment of people who have raised the issue of the
genocides, and the trouble Turkey is going into in order to prevent
the issues around genocide from getting to high-level courts is as
well known as it is difficult for outsiders to understand. This denial
has to be analysed from a multidisciplinary point of view, and this is
what Desmond Fernandes has also set out to do.

‘This book represents the cutting edge. Not only because of its
amazing research and documentation, the sharp analyses, the absolute
intellectual honesty. It is a necessary book. It is horrifying to
read, and makes one feel ashamed and guilty of belonging to the same
human race as those who have been and ARE today committing the
atrocities described in the book. But this is also cutting edge in
Del Valle’s terms because it is a risky undertaking to publish this
book … Perpetrators are more often shooting the messenger than
listening to the message. The least you as a reader can do is to start
screaming, and to finally demand international action to stop these
crimes against humanity’ – Dr. Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, University of
Roskilde, Department of Languages and Culture, Denmark, and Abo
Akademi University, Department of Education, Vasa, Finland [author of
Linguistic Genocide in Education – or Worldwide Diversity and Human
Rights? Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Mahwah, NJ & London, UK] –
Excerpted from the Foreword to the book

Desmond Fernandes is a policy analyst and former Senior Lecturer in
Human Geography and Genocide Studies at De Montfort University. He has
published widely in a number of journals and is author of The Kurdish
and Armenian Genocides: From Censorship and Denial to Recognition?
(2007, Apec, Stockholm) and co-author of Genozid an den Kurden in der
Türkei? – Verfolgung, Krieg und Zerstörung der ethnischen Identität
(2001, Medico International, Frankfurt). His most recent co-authored
article appears in the current issue of Genocide Studies and
Prevention, the journal of the International Association of Genocide

All who are interested in participating in Genocide lobbying are most
welcome for an informal discussion before the meeting eg at 3.45 in
the cafe inside parliament (in central lobby)

For further details, please contact Eilian Williams on: 07718982732
and/or 07876561398, or alternatively: [email protected]. The
book can shortly be purchased securely online at