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Umit Kurt to Examine Armenian Genocide Perpetrators in City of Aintab in NAASR Lecture

BELMONT, MA — Dr. Umit Kurt, currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, will give a talk entitled “The Curious Case of Ali Cenani Bey: The Story of a Genocide Perpetrator During and After the 1915 Armenian Genocide,” on Thursday, February 23, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA 02478. The lecture is co-sponsored by NAASR and the Kaloosdian-Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University.

Within the scholarship on the history of Armenian Genocide, studies of the perpetrators have received and continue to receive special attention. Seen from a wider perspective, it is important to conduct research on the executors of the Armenian Genocide, for even when the agents of genocide are not explicitly mentioned, the consequences of their deeds remain all too visible. Yet case studies of individual perpetrators remain rare.

In this lecture, Dr. Umit Kurt will focus on Aintab—situated on the boundaries of Cilicia and Syria, near both the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Alexandretta—and reveal the activities of the perpetrators and their involvement in the destruction of Armenians at the local/provincial level.

Presenting a wide range of people, functions, actions, and motives that highlight the complexity of the persecution process, but without neglecting the crucial element of personal responsibility, Kurt will explain who these perpetrators were and what their roles and motivations were. The lecture will focus especially on one major perpetrator, Ali Cenani Bey (1872-1934), his background, deeds, active and involvement in the 1915 Armenian deportation and genocide as well as his life story in the post-genocide period in modern Turkey.

Umit Kurt received his Ph.D. in history at Clark University in 2016, with his dissertation focusing on the confiscation of Armenian properties and the role of local elites/notables in Aintab during the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1921. He is the author of numerous historical and political articles in scholarly journals and newspapers, several books in Turkish, and co-author with Taner Akçam of The Spirit of the Laws: The Plunder of Wealth in the Armenian Genocide.

For more information about Dr. Kurt’s talk, contact NAASR at 617-489-1610 or hq@naasr.org.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/02/umit-kur-examine-armenian-genocide-perpetrators-city-aintab-naasr-lecture/

Umit Kur to Examine Armenian Genocide Perpetrators in City of Aintab in NAASR Lecture

BELMONT, MA — Dr. Umit Kurt, currently a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Harvard University, will give a talk entitled “The Curious Case of Ali Cenani Bey: The Story of a Genocide Perpetrator During and After the 1915 Armenian Genocide,” on Thursday, February 23, 2017, at 7:30 p.m., at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center, 395 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA 02478. The lecture is co-sponsored by NAASR and the Kaloosdian-Mugar Chair in Armenian Genocide Studies at Clark University.

Within the scholarship on the history of Armenian Genocide, studies of the perpetrators have received and continue to receive special attention. Seen from a wider perspective, it is important to conduct research on the executors of the Armenian Genocide, for even when the agents of genocide are not explicitly mentioned, the consequences of their deeds remain all too visible. Yet case studies of individual perpetrators remain rare.

In this lecture, Dr. Umit Kurt will focus on Aintab—situated on the boundaries of Cilicia and Syria, near both the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Alexandretta—and reveal the activities of the perpetrators and their involvement in the destruction of Armenians at the local/provincial level.

Presenting a wide range of people, functions, actions, and motives that highlight the complexity of the persecution process, but without neglecting the crucial element of personal responsibility, Kurt will explain who these perpetrators were and what their roles and motivations were. The lecture will focus especially on one major perpetrator, Ali Cenani Bey (1872-1934), his background, deeds, active and involvement in the 1915 Armenian deportation and genocide as well as his life story in the post-genocide period in modern Turkey.

Umit Kurt received his Ph.D. in history at Clark University in 2016, with his dissertation focusing on the confiscation of Armenian properties and the role of local elites/notables in Aintab during the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1921. He is the author of numerous historical and political articles in scholarly journals and newspapers, several books in Turkish, and co-author with Taner Akçam of The Spirit of the Laws: The Plunder of Wealth in the Armenian Genocide.

For more information about Dr. Kurt’s talk, contact NAASR at 617-489-1610 or hq@naasr.org.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/02/umit-kur-examine-armenian-genocide-perpetrators-city-aintab-naasr-lecture/

Turkish Intellectuals Who Have Recognized the Armenian Genocide: Eser Karakaş

By  Hambersom Aghbashian

Eser Karakaş (born 18 October 1953 in Istanbul) is a Turkish professor of economics and the head of Bahçeşehir University’s European Union department and one of the remarkable Turkish academics. He studied economics at the Faculty of Administrative Sciences at Boğaziçi University -Department of Economics, then completed his master’s degree in economics at Istanbul University, and earned his Ph.D. from the Department of Finance of the same university in 1985. Dr. Eser Karakaş was appointed as assistant professor at Istanbul University – Faculty of Economics in 1987, then as associate professor in 1990 and became a professor in 1996.

Between 1996 and 1999, he served as the head of the Finance department at Istanbul University, also as Deputy Director of the Institute of Social Sciences. Between 1993 and 2003 he served as the Dean of Bahcesehir University – Faculty of Business Administration. Between 2003 and 2007 he served as Vice- Rector at Bahcesehir University, also as Head of EU Affairs. He is a columnist for Star Newspaper and has many published books, among them, “Normalization Process of the European Union in Turkey,” “Political Civil Global Economy”, and many other books.

In his article “2015 ” in Todayzaman , Prof. Karkas wrote “2015 will be a very important year for Turkey in many aspects, the general elections, the economic growth, a new democratic constitution, the settlement of the Kurdish issue and the Armenian genocide. He added “I am not a historian, I cannot read and write Ottoman Turkish and I have almost no special knowledge in the field. Due to this, I don’t think I am qualified to speak about the background of the 1915 incidents. But, there is a fundamental reality which I, like everyone else, know, that there were many people in this country of Armenian identity 100 years ago; now, there are few such people. Even if we put the technical and historical dimensions of the issue aside, this basic and unpleasant fact is sufficient to show that very unnerving incidents took place in this country in 1915.” He added “I think it is very important to approach the issue from a humanitarian perspective, regardless of whether you describe the incident as a great disaster or genocide.” He continued “Developments unfavorable for a certain part of the Turkish state will take place in various countries around the world in 2015, the centenary of the 1915 incidents. Many parliaments will make decisions to recognize these incidents as genocide and important messages will be sent to Turkey and the pressure on Turkey to recognize these incidents as genocide will increase. Although there is little time left before 2015, Turkey seems unwilling to take any steps that will diminish the pressure on the country due to the 1915 incidents. (1)

Eser Karakas is of Sabbatean* descent and according to Rifat Bali a researcher and publisher in the field of non-Muslim minorities of Turkey, anti-Semitism, conspiracy theories, the social and cultural transformation of the Turkish society and Doenmes (Crypto Jews), and the author of “A Scapegoat for All Seasons: The Doenmes or Crypto-Jews of Turkey “, “…there is the claim that is was not the Turks, but the Sabbateans, who both planned and implemented the 1915 Deportation resulting in the mass slaughter and death of most of the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian population. According to this view the idea of mass deportation and slaughter emerged because the country’s Jewish bourgeoisie wished to take control of the empire’s economic life, and, since many of the leaders of the ruling Committee of Union and Progress were of Dönme origin (e.g. Talât Pasha and Dr. Nâzım), they proposed this plan to the committee as a way of eliminating their Armenian competitors”, but Eser Karakas is one of Turkish intellectuals who  questioned about the lost Armenians during WWI and why there are only few of Armenian in Turkey now.


  • Sabbateans (Sabbatians) is a complex general term that refers to a variety of followers of, disciples and believers in Sabbatai Zevi (1626–1676), a Jewish rabbi who was proclaimed to be the Jewish Messiah in 1665 by Nathan of Gaza. Vast numbers of Jews in the Jewish diaspora accepted his claims, even after he became a Jewish apostate with his conversion to Islam in 1666. Sabbatai Zevi’s followers, both during his “Messiahship” and after his conversion to Islam, are known as Sabbateans. Part of the Sabbateans lived on until well into the 20th century as Dönmeh.

1-http://www.todayszaman.com/op-ed_2015-by-eser-karakas-_346443.htm

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/02/turkish-intellectuals-recognized-armenian-genocide-eser-karakas/

Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavusoglu Calls on Armenia to Set Up Joint Commission

ANKARA — Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavusoglu has called on Armenia “to set up a joint commission to study the events of 1915.” Panorama.am reports referring to Ermenihaber news agency.

As the source reports, during the meeting with the reporters Turkish minister has welcomed the decision adopted by the French Constitutional Court on overturning the law on the criminalization of the Armenian Genocide denial. In addition to this, Çavusoglu is pleased about the fact that the resolution on 1915 adopted by the Danish Parliament does not use the word genocide.
In his call addressed to Armenia Turkish foreign minister has particularly mentioned about setting up a joint commission which will also include histories from various countries. “Let everyone open their archives, afterwards we will accept any revelation,” he noted claiming that Armenia has not agreed to set such a commission as there has been no genocide, however Armenia continues its cooperation with lobbying foreign forces against Turkey.

In addition to those ridiculous claims, Çavusoglu even announced that the Armenian Diaspora collaborates with the Gülen movement, which is classified as a terrorist organization in Turkey.

Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly (NA) of Armenia, Eduard Sharmazanov, responded to Çavusoglu’s proposal, calling it useless brain exercise.

“Instead of making senseless proposals and brain exercises, Turkey must come to terms with its history, following Germany’s suit, which admitted its guilt for the Jewish Holocaust. If Çavusoglu is not aware, he can get familiarized with the statements of France, Russia and UK on the events of 1915, which had described Turkey’s actions against the Armenian people as a crime against humanity. He can also read the decision of the Constantinople’s Military Tribunal of 1915, in which the Armenian Genocide was characterized as a crime against humanity and civilization,” he said.

Sharmazanov stressed that Turkey must recognizing the Armenian Genocide, and open the border with Armenia, fulfilling the obligations taken up since 2009.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/01/turkish-fm-mevlut-cavusoglu-calls-armenia-set-joint-commission/

Spanish City of Sabadell Recognizes Armenian Genocide

The Spanish city of Sabadell in Catalonia,  has officially recognized the Armenian Genocide, the Armenian Embassy in Spain informs on its Facebook page.

The heads of all political forces represented in the Sabadell City Hall have signed a joint statement, describing the events of 1915 as “genocide and crime against humanity.

The statement reads: “Any crime against humanity must be condemned to prevent reoccurrence of similar developments at any part of the world, again representatives of any nation, race or religion.  The municipal authorities of Sabadell officially recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

The document was authored by the Ciudadanos party at the request of the Armenian community of Sabadell. Party Speaker Adrian Ernandes welcomed the support of partner parties “as it allows Sabadell to join the ranks of the Spanish cities that have officially acknowledged and condemned the Armenian Genocide.” 

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/01/spanish-city-sabadell-recognizes-armenian-genocide/

French Constitutional Council Censors the Law Criminalizing Genocide Denial

PARIS — The Constitutional Council of France on Thursday annulled the decision, which the country’s National Assembly had adopted on December 22, 2016, with respect to criminalizing the denial of genocides and mass murders on national or religious grounds.

The Constitutional Council required some amendments to the Equality and Citizenship Act article that refers to the penalty for the denial of genocide and some crimes—including those which still legally are not considered as such.

The French Constitutional Council decided that the criminalizing of genocide denial and the ensuing penalties are mandatory for application, since they are in violation of the Law on Freedom of Speech and Press that was adopted in 1881, and which runs counter to the Constitution of France.

The Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF) has said “the Constitutional Council has the moral and political responsibility for exposing many French citizens, and especially those of Armenian origin, to the aggression with complete impunity of Turkey’s state denial.”

The CCAF will never accept such a submission and will continue to denounce and combat negationism which has no connection with any historical debate but instead participates in the elaboration and justification of the crime of genocide, the supreme stage of racism.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/01/french-constitutional-council-censors-law-criminalizing-genocide-denial/

Turkish Intellectuals Who Have Recognized The Armenian Genocide: İhsan Dağı

By Hambersom Aghbashian

İhsan Duran Dağ (born in January 29, 1964, in Kilis – Turkey) is a Turkish academician, writer and columnist. He is a graduate of Gazi University, Department of Public Administration, Economics and Science Faculty in 1985. He received his master’s degree in 1989 from the University of Lancaster in England, and his Ph.D degree in 1993. Since 2004, he has been a professor at the Faculty of International Relations at the Middle East Technical University, and is a columnist in Zaman and Today’s Zaman newspapers.

İhsan Dağ is the author or co-author of many books in Turkish, among them are “Identity Discourse and Politics / The Origin of the Welfare Party in the East-West Context”, “Islam and Politics in the Middle East”, “Tradition and Change in Turkish Foreign Policy”, “Turkey’s Foreign Policy Agenda / Identity, Democracy, Security”, “Human Rights Global Politics and Turkey”, “Fear of Westernization / European Union, Democracy, Human Rights”, and has published a book in english titled “Turkey: Between Democracy and Militarism Post Kemalist Perspectives”. İhsan Dağ is married to Zeynep Dağı, a member of the Justice and Development Party in Ankara and has two children.

Ihsan Dagi is one of the Turkish intellectuals who have signed the “I Apologize Campaign” which was an initiative launched in December 2008 in Turkey by numerous journalists, writers, politicians and professors and called through a form of a signature campaign for an apology for what they considered as the “Great Catastrophe that Ottoman Armenians were subjected to in 1915”. This was a clear reference to the Armenian Genocide, a term still too sensitive to use so openly. The campaign was done mostly online. The message shown on the website which people had to sign stated “My conscience does not accept the insensitivity showed to and the denial of the Great Catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected to in 1915. I reject this injustice and for my share, I empathize with the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers. I apologize to them.” The campaign was signed by 5,000 people in the first 24 hours of its publication and 30,000 signatories by January 2009. The campaign, which some interpreted as indirect reference to the Armenian Genocide, created widespread outrage in Turkish society.

On Dec. 20, 2008, Today’s Zaman daily published a long article under the title (Joint committee of historians on Armenian debate) where it mentioned among other facts, the “apology” campaign, which has gathered support from many respected intellectuals, and the reactions to it have shown that there are disagreements not only between Turks and Armenians, but also among Turks concerning the incidents of 1915. There are distinguished figures both in the supporters and opponents of this campaign. If we have a sneak preview of more than 10,000 supporters notable intellectuals like Ali Bayramoglu, Ihsan Dagi, Cengiz Candar, Atilla Eralp, Enis Batur, Omer Laciner, Omer Marda, Leyla Ipekci, Huseyin Hatemi, Oral Calislar, Hasan Cemal and thousands are within the list of the supporters. So many people cannot be just labeled as traitors or terrorists and ignored. A number of columnists who criticize the campaign’s wording or timing refrain from being disrespectful towards these people. (1)

Under the title “The Armenian question, Turkey and the US”, Ihsan Dagi wrote on Monday, April 27, 2009, “Can you imagine a foreign policy strategy in which a particular issue turns into a constant source of problems that cannot be resolved permanently? It appears that Turkish foreign policy has been taken hostage by the genocide issue and as if Turkey is prepared to do anything to make the word “genocide” be forgotten or prevent it from being spelled out. (2)


1- http://setasarmenian.blogspot.com/2009/01/more-on-turkish-online-apology.html
2- http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/the-armenian-genocide

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/01/turkish-intellectuals-recognized-armenian-genocide-ihsan-dagi/

Danish Parliament adopts Armenian Genocide Resolution

COPENHAGEN — The Parliament of Denmark voted 89 to 9 with 11 abstentions on January 26 to adopt an Armenian Genocide resolution, according to the website of the Danish Parliament.

The parliament held a 2.5 hours discussion on January 19 about adopting the Armenian Genocide resolution, brought to the agenda by Nick Hækkerup (S) , Søren Espersen (DF) , Michael Aastrup Jensen (V) , Henrik Dahl (LA) , Martin Lidegaard (RV) , Naser Khader (KF).

The document reads in part:
“The Parliament confirms its decision no. V 54 of 19 May 2015 on the tragic and bloody events that took place in eastern Anatolia in the period 1915-1923.

The Danish Parliament finds that the best path to reconciliation will be an open dialogue about the story on the basis of a free and uncensored history research, including the release of all official documents from the period.

The Parliament regrets that Turkish law prohibits citizens and media to use the term “genocide” about the events, and considers this to be an unreasonable restriction of both academic freedom as freedom of expression relates to the use of this term. Parliament maintains its parliamentary tradition not to issue judgments about historical events.”

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/01/danish-parliament-adopts-armenian-genocide-resolution/

“The German Bundestag Would Have Probably Never Passed the Genocide Resolution Without Hrant Dink.”- Cem Özdemir

TORONTO — On the 10th anniversary of Hrant Dink’s assassination, Armenian political, cultural, religious, business, philanthropic and academic organizations of Toronto and Montreal gathered together to commemorate Hrant Dink and remember his immense contributions to human rights.

The Zoryan Institute of Canada prepared the contextual, audio-visual presentation celebrating Hrant Dink’s life, featuring the events leading to his murder and the significance of his loss to the cause of human rights worldwide.

On this occassion, Mr. Cem Özdemir, Co-Chair of the Green Party of Germany, and his colleague, Dr. Henriette Rytz, traveled from Berlin for the event to express their solidarity with the principles advocated by Hrant Dink.

Mr. Özdemir was one of the champions of Germany’s parliamentary resolution that recognizes the 1915 mass murder of Armenians as genocide and accepted its complicity in the crime, in collaboration with the Ottoman Turks.

Also on this occasion, Hrant Dink’s widow, Mrs. Rakel Dink, sent a special video message of appreciation to the audience and Mr. Özdemir himself.

“I would like to salute all of you with my most sincere thanks, love and yearning.I would like to thank all the organizers, participants and the ones who made the efforts to realize such an event in Unity. During the past ten years, communities and human rights activists worldwide come together to combat discriminationand strengthen their power. My special thanks to Cem Özdemir who is among you today. He was always on Hrant Dink’s side, ten years ago….He always had a share in this struggle. Thank you.”

Ms. Megan Reid, Zoryan Institute’s Outreach Coordinator, opened the event by welcoming the German delegation headed by Mr. Özdemir and revealed the relationship between the Institute and Hrant Dink.

”The Zoryan Institute shares the values promoted by Hrant Dink who understood that true peace can be achieved only if Turks and Armenians can speak openly about their past.”

Mr. Raffi Bedrosyan, the initiator of the program and Special Advisor to the Zoryan Institute on Turkish Affairs, was the moderator of the evening and summarized the meaning of the event: “The objective of today’s event is not only to commemorate Hrant Dink, but to reaffirm our commitment to continue Hrant Dink’s mission for reconciliation among people with different ethnicities, cultures and religion, particularly among Armenians and Turks.”

He further explained how Hrant Dink, the founder and editor-in-chief of Agos, aimed to eliminate all stereotypes, hatred discrimination against minorities in Turkey. To demonstrate the type of hatred promoted by Turkish officials at the highest level, he shared a part of a speech by Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, who complained about people calling him “..even uglier things…an Armenian.”

The keynote speaker, Mr. Cem Özdemir, a close friend of Hrant Dink, gave a heartfelt speech about why he came to this event and why the German Bundestag passed the resolution. Speaking about his background and his values, he had this to say:

“I grew up in a Turkish family. My mother and father came as so called guest workers to Germany. They taught me that [I] should not select [my] friends by their nationality or religion but you select them by the heart they have. My mother grew up in Istanbul and experienced as a 6/7 years old child what was then a pogrom happening towards the Greek minority in 1955. She told me, they were our neighbours, we were living together. We visited them when they had their Christian holidays and they visited us when we had our Muslim celebrations. Then the nationalists came. Of course, the neighbours didn’t want to attack their neighbours so they had to bring in people from the prisons from far away to attack the Greeks. My mom who is a Muslim believer, stressed to me that [I] have to protect people even if they are from other religions or… are not a good Muslim.”

Referring to Hrant Dink’s influence on him, Cem Özdemir explained how Hrant “taught [him] most about the Armenian Genocide and what happened to other Christian minorities in Turkey. Without Hrant, I would not be here. Without Hrant, a lot of Armenians in Turkey, believe me, would not talk about the Genocide. Without Hrant, a lot people of Turkish origin would have never heard about the Genocide and without Hrant, the German Bundestag would have probably never passed the genocide resolution.”

“We should not finger point at Turkey. We [the Germans] should also talk about our involvement. We were eye witnesses, our diplomats, missionaries, knew exactly what was happening. They told us precisely and thanks to Mr. Wolfgang Gust, his wife and the Zoryan Institute, all of this is documented,” Özdemir said.

Mr. Özdemir explained the importance: “…that we talk about German guilt and German responsibility. That is why we talked about the responsibility of Germany, to do everything we can do and of course the EU too, that Armenia, the country Hrant loved so much and at the same time he also loved his other country, Turkey. That those two countries that Hrant loved so much, that one day they have an open border and it is as easy to go from Armenia to Turkey and from Turkey to Armenia. Just as easy it is for me today to go from Germany to France and from France to Poland.”

Reaffirming Hrant Dink’s mission, Özdemir stated the following: “If we have the chance to hear the other side of the story, even if they may be brainwashed, I am sure they will start to ask questions. That is the start for change and rethinking.”

He further added “….Trust the Zoryan Institute…trust what your fathers, mothers and grandparents told you, nobody can neglect that and nobody can take that away.”

He closed the tribute to Hrant Dink with a heartfelt statement, ”I want to use this opportunity to thank Hrant and say how much I miss him. I am sure you all miss him too.”

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/01/german-bundestag-probably-never-passed-genocide-resolution-without-hrant-dink-cem-ozdemir/

Turkish Intellectuals Who Have Recognized The Armenian Genocide: Ayşe Önal

By Hambersom Aghbashian

Ayşe Önal (born in 1955) is a Turkish journalist and writer. A former editor in chief of Nokta. She worked as a psychological counselor at a juvenile prison in the early 1980s, but was fired for her leftist ideas. In 1984 she joined the weekly Nokta as a political reporter, and became its editor-in-chief. Önal was one of the first people to write about JİTEM*, for Dinç Bilgin’s Ateş newspaper on 2 July 1994. She had learned about it from Veli Küçük after being introduced to him through MIT** spy and fellow journalist, Tuncay Güney. In 1994 Turkish Hizballah published a death threat against her, leading Önal to go into hiding in Cyprus for three months. She moved to London in 2000 and became foreign correspondent for Kanal 7, before moving to Akşam and Show TV in 2003. Her best known book is (Honor Killing: Stories of Men Who Killed) which was published in Turkish and translated to other languages (2004 Turkish, 2008 English, 2013 Japanese). From 1995 to 1997 she hosted a discussion show Minefield on Kanal 7, which brought together Jews, Armenians and Turks five days a week in a way not previously seen on Turkish television. The International Women’s Media Foundation, which gave her a “Courage in Journalism” Award in 1996, said of her in 2008: “Önal has been a controversial journalist most of her life. She was on the hit list of both the revolutionary left and the Islamic radicals. Her early kudos came from reports on prison abuse of children, but she went on to cover the first Gulf War, the war in Bosnia and the evolving political situation of the Kurds. She rattled the Turkish government by many reports about corruption and in the mid-1990s officials put her on a black list, which effectively barred her from employment in any media controlled by the government. That “embargo” against her was lifted right before she got the Courage Award but she was still seen as almost unemployable.”

According to Reporters Without Boarders organization, July 3, 2007, The trial of Hrant Dink’s murderers was of historic importance. The press freedom organization said “This trial is of historic importance. It is now up to Turkey, which aspires to join the European Union, to reject violence and to choose to respect the rule of law.” Reporters Without Borders, the International Pen Club and the Association of Turkish Journalists asked to be granted civil party status in the trial but they were not given permission to attend the hearings. Only the Dink family, their lawyers and the representatives of Agos and Birgün, the two newspapers Dink worked for, were allowed to remain in the courtroom. Ayşe Önal, as “Association of Turkish Journalists” representative was leaving the courtroom along with all the others who had to leave, she shouted: “We are the ones who are being murdered, we are Hrant Dink.” The judge replied: “I know, I am truly sorry, but it is the law.” (1)

Amnesty International UK, in association with the Armenian Institute, English PEN and Index on Censorship organized a special event on February 28, 2008, to commemorate with a tribute to Hrant Dink and his work.  The event was under the motto “For Hrant, For Justice and The ongoing struggle for freedom of expression in Turkey”: People were invited to participate in the event and see the premier screening of a 50-minute documentary by Nouritza Matossian of in-depth interviews with Hrant Dink, followed by a panel discussion with Matossian, writer and broadcaster Ayşe Önal and Andrew Gardner, Amnesty International Turkey Researcher.(2)

In December 2008, two hundred prominent Turkish intellectuals released an apology for the “great catastrophe of 1915”. This was a clear reference to the Armenian Genocide, a term still too sensitive to use so openly. The signatories also announced a website related to this apology, and called on others to visit the site and sign the apology as well. This is the brief text of the apology: “My conscience does not accept the insensitivity showed to and the denial of the Great Catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected to in 1915. I reject this injustice and for my share, I empathize with the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers and sisters. I apologize to them.” (3) Ayşe Önal is one of the prominent Turkish intellectuals who signed it. (3)


JİTEM*: Jandarma İstihbarat ve Terörle Mücadele or Jandarma İstihbarat Teşkilatı (abbr. JİTEM or JİT; English: “Gendarmerie Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism” or “Gendarmerie Intelligence Organization”) is the controversial wing and intelligence agency of the Turkish Gendarmerie. JİTEM was active in the Kurdish–Turkish conflict. After the Susurluk scandal, former prime ministers Bülent Ecevit and Mesut Yılmaz have confirmed the existence of JİTEM. According to Murat Belge of Istanbul Bilgi University, who has reported that he was tortured in 1971 by its founder, Veli Küçük, JİTEM is an embodiment of the deep state. In other words, it is used by “the Establishment” to enforce alleged national interests. It is also said to be the military wing of Ergenekon, an underground Turkish nationalist organization. In 2008, long-maintained official denials of JİTEM’s existence started collapsing in the courts, as ex-members of Turkey’s “deep state” security apparatus testified to their participation in covert and illegal activities over the last few decades as part of the ongoing Ergenekon investigation.

MIT**: The National Intelligence Organization is the governmental intelligence organization of Turkey.

1- https://rsf.org/en/news/hrant-dink-murder-trial-opens-court-urged-show-it-protecting-no-one
2- http://setasarmenian.blogspot.com/2008/02/for-hrant-for-justice.html
3- http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/200_prominent_Turks_apologize_for_great_catastrophe_of_1915

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/01/turkish-intellectuals-recognized-armenian-genocide-ayse-onal/

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'Genocide Monument'

Using the unrecognized Genocides of the past as a reason to keep vigilance on all current ones around the world. The iPhone app is now available free on the Apple App Store. The Android and Blackberry versions of 'Genocide Monument' are currently being funded for production.