New Case Filed against Turkish Publishers of British Blue Book

ISTANBUL (BIA)–Retired Turkish Ambassador and Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy–Sukru Elekdag is suing publisher Muzaffer Erdogdu for the Turkish translation of "The Treatment of Armenia’s in the Ottoman Empire–1915-1916," also known as "The Blue Book."

The book covers the correspondence and memoirs of witnesses and officials including refugees and foreign dignitaries–as well as newspaper articles–about the Armenian genocide between the years of 1915 and 1916.

Elekdag–a member of the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Commission and the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission–is demanding 20,000 Turkish Liras ($15,000) in libel damages from those involved in the publishing of the book–claiming he was insulted in a section of the book edited by historian Taner Akcam.

The book’s publisher Erdogdu–historian Akcam–and translator Ahmet Guner will appear in court on May 30 as defendants in the case. Akcam is also being accused by Elekdag for an article he wrote last year.

In his suit–Elekdag claims Akcam committed libel in the section of the book titled "A Scandal: Where is the letter of the TBMM (Grand National Assembly of Turkey) Sukru Elekdag and Justin McCarthy dragging this country?" as well as in Akcam’s article published in the May-June 2005 issue of the Birikim magazine.

Elekdag charges that both the book and the article insulted him and that his individual rights had been attacked. He also says both his professionalism and credibility were damaged due to Akcam’s articles.

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