In this age of information it is absurd that there are still many discrepancies between what historians hold as facts and politicians would have us believe as truths. The Blue Book is an observational documentary, which scrutinizes one of these cases.
In 2005 The Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) sent a petition to the British Parliament, asking the latter to apologise for its 1916 publication, “The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-1916”. This report was the first account of the Armenians Genocide using eyewitness testimonies. The TGNA wanted the British Parliament to declare it as false and based on forgeries. The petition was signed by all of the members of the Assembly, including Erdogan the Prime minister, and Gül the then foreign secretary now President of Turkey.
Five years earlier in 2000 Ara Sarafian a British historian, had republished the Parliamentary report “The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 1915-1916”, also known as the Blue Book. He had based his research on documents at the National Archives in the UK and USA. All of these documents show clearly where their sources were. They were authenticated at the time and could be easily authenticated again today.
When Sarafian heard about the petition he started a campaign defending the original work and the integrity of his republication. This campaign took him to Turkey where at a symposium tilted “New approaches to Turkish-Armenian relations”; he confronted the deniers of the Armenian Genocide and the architects of the 2005 petition.
While there Sarafian met and discussed the issue with number of historian, including historians from the state sponsored Turkish Historical society. He became centre of media attention and was invited to take part in discussion with a historian from the Turkish Historical Society (TTK) on a television program.
Throughout the program the Turkish Historian held to the deniers’ position, but during the commercial break while still being filmed for the documentary he commented that the Petition sent by the TGNA did not have any academic merit and it was purely a political exercise.
“The Blue Book” records the ongoing Turkish denial of the Armenian Genocide at the highest levels of Turkish state, media and academia. It shows that the official British and United States position supporting the Turkish position is cynical if not dishonest. It also shows that the Blue Book issue still remains a test of Turkey’s willingness to discuss the Armenian Genocide issue in an open and critical manner.
54 minutes. Observational Documentary.
Download Press Release
Download Blue Book Poster