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Israel’s Parliament Must Recognize Armenian Genocide – Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein

JERUSALEM (Armenpress) — The Armenian delegation led by Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs Artak Zakaryan had a meeting with Speaker of the Parliament (the Knesset) of Israel Yuli-Yoel Edelstein in Israel, press service of the Armenian Parliament reported on Thursday.

Welcoming the guests, Yuli-Yoel Edelstein attached importance to the development of inter-parliamentary ties, the centuries-old friendship between the Armenian and Jewish people and expressed his readiness to make efforts for the cooperation in various sectors, in particular, in cultural , tourism, economic and agricultural sectors.

Yuli-Yoel Edelstein reaffirmed his stance that sooner or later the Knesset must recognize the Armenian Genocide.

“I am not so proud of the fact that Israel has not yet recognized the Armenian Genocide, nevertheless, a certain progress already exists on this path”, he said.

Yuli-Yoel Edelstein expressed hope it would be possible to find peaceful solutions to unsettled conflicts in near future. The Knesset Speaker promised to assist organizing regular meetings between the high-ranking officials of Israel and Armenia, as well as maintaining active inter-parliamentary relations.

In his turn Artak Zakaryan thanked for the invitation and reception and highlighted the role of inter-parliamentary contacts in terms of development of inter-state relations, implementation of joint projects in various sectors, as well as long-term political partnership. He attached importance to the inter-parliamentary Memorandum of Understanding signed recently between Armenia’s Parliament Speaker Galust Sahakyan and the Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein, as well as the recent “Armenian-Israeli international public forum” formed in Yerevan. He expressed hope the results of the second forum on January 19 can be visible and can contribute to the strengthening of mutually beneficial public relations in a number of sectors.

Artak Zakaryan presented also the current situation in the region and the Armenian stances on their solution.

At the end of the meeting Yuli-Yoel Edelstein wished success to Armenia’s Parliament in the organization of upcoming elections and expressed hope the Armenian-Israeli ties will be active in the newly elected Parliament as well.

The same day Yuli-Yoel Edelstein addressed a special message to the Armenian parliamentary delegation in the Parliament’s plenary session.

The message reads:

“Members of the Knesset,

I want to welcome the Armenia-Israel parliamentary friendship group. Distinguished guests, welcome to Jerusalem, capital of Israel, and the Knesset.

The Armenian and Jewish people had many things in common during their entire history. In the 20th century, our peoples passed though terrible tragedies, by facing the threat of elimination. We consider the Armenian people our friends and we hope to develop our ties and cooperation in the fields of culture, tourism, economy and especially agriculture.

In recent times, this is the second visit of the Armenian parliamentary delegation to Israel. We hope the mutual visits of the parliamentarians will become frequent, aiming at better recognizing and understanding each other.

Armenia, like Israel, has a great Diaspora, especially in the United States and France. Like the Jewish people, Armenians as well are firmly linked with their Fatherland. The Armenian Diaspora’s number is much larger than Armenia’s population itself which is typical also to the Jewish people. We hope to cooperate with you by exchanging our knowledge and experience on maintaining ties with the Diaspora.

On behalf of the Knesset, its members and personally myself I warmly welcome you and wish pleasant days in Israel and Jerusalem. My blessing to you and your great people”.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/01/israels-parliament-must-recognize-armenian-genocide-knesset-speaker-yuli-yoel-edelstein/

MP Garo Paylan Banned from Turkey’s Parliament After Genocide Remarks

ANKARA — Garo Paylan, Istanbul-Armenian member of parliament was temporarily banned from Turkey’s National Assembly after he used the term genocide to describe the deaths of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire a century ago, officials said on Saturday.

Paylan, a lawmaker belonging to the pro-minority Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said during a constitutional reform debate that Armenians had at one time made up 40 per cent of the Turkish population and now only constituted 0.1 per cent.

“Obviously, something has happened to us, and I call it a genocide,” Paylan said.

“The Armenian people know very well what happened to them. I know very well what happened to my grandparents,” he added.

Paylan said four communities had been lost and “driven from these lands in large massacres (and) genocides,” referring to Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks and Jews, according to Anadolu Agency.

Videos showed lawmakers from the the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) angrily interrupting Paylan’s speech. They called for Paylan’s expulsion from the assembly, claiming he had “insulted the Turkish nation”.

In the end, Paylan has been banned for three full sessions before he was allowed to return to his parliamentary seat.

Paylan’s comments came after a vicious fight broke out in parliament on Thursday as lawmakers voted on parts of the 18-article constitution bill which — if passed — will be put to a referendum at the end of March or early April.

Paylan “I will not stop saying what I believe in”
MP Garo Paylan is planning to appeal to the Constitutional court over the ban, Armenpress reports.

“I have repeatedly talked about the Armenian Genocide, I have brought the issue of the Genocide and facing with it to the agenda. The ruling “Justice and Development” party entered into a coalition with the nationalists over the constitutional changes. Yesterday evening I said that it is necessary to confront the genocide in order to prevent the same mistake to happen now”, he said.

Paylan said he was removed from taking part in the three parliamentary sessions. “The AKP set such a punishment, although it doesn’t exist in the parliament’s rules of procedure. I was punished illegally”, he said.

He said due to the nationalist atmosphere existing in Turkey, the freedoms are more restricted, and if until recently it was not taboo to say Armenian Genocide, now the situation changed.

“In this new reality saying the term “genocide” is again being perceived as a crime. If I again say this word, perhaps the same punishment will be applied, but I will not stop saying what I believe in. At the moment my application to be submitted to the Constitutional Court is being prepared. I am going to appeal also to the European Court of Human Rights. I think I will succeed”, he said.

In response to a question of receiving threats, the lawmaker said of course they exist, however, he has many supporters. “Of course, negative reactions exist since we live in an atmosphere of nationalism. But I have supporters and will continue my fight”, Garo Paylan said.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/01/mp-garo-paylan-banned-turkeys-parliament-genocide-remarks/

Turkish Intellectuals Who Have Recognized the Armenian Genocide: Temel İskit

By Hambersom Aghbashian

Temel İskit (born in August 4,  1937 in Ankara ) is a Turkish diplomat, Ambassador, writer and poet. After completing his high school study at Saint Joseph French High School, he graduated from Istanbul University -Faculty of Law in 1963 and entered the Foreign Ministry service. He served as Turkey’s Ambassador to Prague, Brussels, Bonn, Tehran, Cairo, and also as the Turkish permanent representative in EEC, OECD and UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome (FAO). During 1983-1984, he was the first Director General of the Turkish Free Zones. After his retirement in 2002, he lectured at Bilgi and Sabanci Universities in diplomacy affairs. Presently he is working for Text newspaper as a part time contributor. Ambassador Temel İskit also published a book titled “Diplomatic History, Theory, and Practice Authority ”

In December 2008, 200 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. Ambassador Temel İskit is one of the Turkish intellectuals and a well know diplomat who signed the apology text.(1)

On December 19, 2008, shortly after releasing the apology campaign , there was a  Live TV Debate on Turkey’s Kanal D (32nd Day) program. The live debate was on the apology statement. The moderator of the debate was  Mehmet Ali Birand. The participants where two groups, Pro and Against extending apology for the 1915 events concerning the perished 1.5 million Armenians during the last days of the Ottoman empire.  The “Pro” team was represented by Dr. Cengiz Aktar; Ret. Ambassador Temel İskit and Journalist Oral Çalislar, while the “Against” team was represented by Ret. Ambassador Sükrü Elekdag (MP CHP), Ret. Ambassador Deniz Bölükbasi (MP MHP), and Ret. Ambassador Candan Azer. Long discussions took place where the first party defended the act and saw it is necessary to go on with it to show Turkey to the whole world as a modern and civilized country. They emphasized also that the unknown and forgotten pages of the Turkish history which concerns the last years of the Ottoman empire and the catastrophes should be thought in the schools. The other party was against all that during the debate.  Temel İskit mentioned that they were not thought of the Turkish history in the school and he added “The issue of Armenian genocide is, in fact, a political issue – i.e. an issue to go on to the stage in world public opinion. Turkey has a thesis; Armenians put forward another thesis. We have followed one path until now. And this path does not seem to work. We can look at this way: will such an apology statement soften or harden the world public opinion? One might also make such an evaluation: such apology statements may soften the public opinion; they might serve to give an image of more plural and free society, in this way they might make a positive contribution to the state’s interests. If Turkey respects minority rights, not only the rights of Armenians but all minorities, no one can condemn such a country in world public opinion (2)

Turkish scholars, artists, and writers harshly condemned primary and middle school textbooks that are replete with anti-Armenian rhetoric in Turkey, and demanded that the books be pulled from circulation. In a statement issued in September (2014), the signatories wrote, “After immediately pulling the ‘History’ and ‘History of the Turkish Revolution’ textbooks from circulation, apologies should be issued to all students, particularly to Armenian ones. As we approach 2015, the road to Turkish-Armenian peace that we long for passes through here.” The textbooks portray Armenians as traitors who plotted with foreign enemies to tear apart the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, and as mass murderers of innocent Turkish and Muslim women and children while Muslim men were waging a war of survival. The textbooks, all published over the past few years and approved by a special commission of Turkey’s Ministry of Education, are also mandatory in Armenian schools in Turkey. Two newspapers in Turkey, Agos and Taraf, had published a series of articles by Taner Akçam on the anti-Armenian hate-filled rhetoric in Turkish textbooks earlier in September. The long list of signatories included  Adalet Ağaoğlu, Ahmet Altan, Ahmet Hakan, Ahmet İnsel, Ali Bayramoğlu, Ali Nesin, Asaf Savaş Akat, Aydın Engin, Ayhan Aktar, Ayşe Günaysu, Ayşe Hür, Baskın Oran, Bekir Ağırdır, Betül Tanbay, Bülent Bilmez, Bülent Keneş, Cafer Solgun, Cemal Uşak, Cengiz Aktar,retired, Temel İskit and many other intellectuals(3)


1- http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/200_prominent_Turks_apologize_for_great_catastrophe_of_1915
2- http://www.network54.com/Forum/149359/thread/1231878924/last-1231878924/Live+TV+Debate-+32nd+Day
3- armenianweekly.com/2014/09/30/textbooks-vilifying-armenians

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

The Story of the Nuncio Who Tried to Stop the Armenian Genocide

ROME (Rome Reports) – Valentina Karakhanian is one of two researchers from the Vatican Secret Archives who has gathered every document the Holy See keeps on the Armenian Genocide.

The result is the dramatic chronological account of how the apostolic delegate of the then Pope Benedict XV gradually became aware of the tragedy that was being perpetrated and tried to stop it.

“We have tried to organize the documents so that they themselves account for the massacre of Armenians. The protagonists include Armenians, bishops, nuncios, and ambassadors who lived or witnessed the first genocide of the 20th century,” Valentina Vartuhi Karakhanian stated in an interview.

The main character of the book is the pope’s representative, Cardinal Angelo Maria Dolci. It shows how he tried to mobilize the diplomatic corps in Constantinople, denounce what happened and reach the Sultan, without much success.

“The Vatican did what it could, and in some cases what it could not, because the Nuncio went to meet with people who were outside the diplomatic sphere. The apostolic delegate had no right to go to those offices. But he went and showed the delegation’s private documents, because to get to the Sultan it was necessary to show the pope’s signature. He met with ministers, with the Grand Vizier, and with the Sultan. He spoke on behalf of the pope and the Holy See, because he was certain that Pope Benedict XV wanted to help and save these people,” the researcher said.

The first-person accounts from the papal representative give a terribly close-up view of the extermination of Christians expelled from their homes.

“In some regions they have been massacred, others deported to unknown places, left to die along the way. There are mothers who have even sold their own children to save them from death.”

“At one point he understood that the persecution was not specifically against the Armenians, but against the Christians on the territory. The Christians had to be eliminated from that territory. Together with the Armenians, many Assyrians, Chaldeans, Melkites, Maronites were persecuted and murdered … It was the pain and persecution that united them,” Valentina Vartuhi Karakhanian concluded.

It is estimated that the deportations and eliminations carried out by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1916 resulted in killing 1,500,000 Armenians.

There are many publications on the horror that these people experienced. But perhaps this is the first piece that gathers details of how the Holy See lived and combated the genocide.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/01/story-nuncio-tried-stop-armenian-genocide/

Turkish Intellectuals Who Have Recognized the Armenian Genocide: Mahir Günşiray

By Hambersom Aghbashian

Mahir Günşiray (born August 10, 1960, in Istanbul) is a Turkish Artist. He is a cinema  and theater actor and director. He  graduated from Hacettepe University – Faculty of Fine Arts, State Conservatory, Theater department and  gained his Master’s degree  from Leeds University in London- at The Workshop Theater, and his Art proficiency doctorate from Mimar Sinan University. Currently he  is a professor at Mimar Sinan University, Faculty of Fine Arts – Department of Stage and Visual Arts. Mahir Günşiray started acting in 1986 at  Bursa State Theater, he then worked in Istanbul State Theater, Theater Studio , Theatre Van der Ruhr (Germany), TI Theatre  and Playhouse Theater. In 1966 he founded the Oyunevi theater  with his friends and in the next year he resigned from the State theater. Mahir Günşiray appeared in many motion pictures  and serials. He has a long lists of films, serials and theater performances.  Since 1987, he is involved as  instructor at various universities and private educational institutions.

January 19, 2008, was the first anniversary of the Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink’s assassination. The main commemoration took place in front of the Armenian newspaper Agos in Istanbul where Dink was shot to death. Many other commemorations took place in Istanbul, Berlin, Frankfurt, Koln, Paris, California, Ottawa, and London. “Remembering Hrant ” was one of the events in Istanbul where many of Hrant Dink’s friends participated to remember him with different activities, reciting, singing, playing misic etc.. Mahir Günşiray was one of the participants. (1)

On 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. Mahir Günşiray is one of the intellectuals who signed the statement. (2)

According to Today’s Zaman, lawyers for the co-plaintiffs in the trial over the murder of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink requested on October 12, 2009 documents found during the searches of homes and offices of suspects from the prosecutor investigating Ergenekon, a clandestine organization whose alleged members are currently standing trial in two separate court cases. The 11th hearing of Hrant Dink’s murder suspects’ trial was heard on October 12, 2016 with suspects Ogun Samast. Lawyer Fethiye Cetin demanded that the court request documents seized during the Ergenekon probe relating to the organization’s Psychological Action Plan against minorities in Turkey. Cetin stated that Dink’s killing, along with the 2006 killing of an Italian priest and the 2007 killing of three Christians in Malatya, was part of an operation in the works being carried out by Ergenekon. In addition to the suspects, a large number of high-profile spectators including Dink’s wife, Rakel Dink, and other family members; Democratic Society Party (DTP) deputy Sebahat Tuncel; Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy and head of the Parliament’s Human Rights Commission, Zafer Uskul; co-chair of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission, Helene Flautre; Ali Yurttagül, a political adviser for the Greens in the European Parliament; and Vincent Niore and Alexandre Couyoumdjian, representing the Bar Associations of Brussels and Paris, also attended the hearing. Meanwhile, a group gathering at the Beşiktaş Barbaros Square, not far from the courthouse, protested the Hrant Dink murder by unrolling posters that read, “For Hrant, for Justice.” Actor Mahir Gunsiray, in a statement on behalf of the group, claimed there were attempts to cover up the real culprits behind the murder. (3)


1- http://blogian.hayastan.com/2008/01/14/hrant-dink-commemoration-events/
2- http://armeniapedia.org/wiki/200_prominent_Turks_apologize_for_great_catastrophe_of_1915
3- http://asbarez.com/71880/dink-lawyers-petition-for-ergenekon-evidence/

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

Turkish Politician Pushes for Reversal of Swiss Law on Genocide Denial

ZURICH (Swissinfo.ch) — With the backing of Europe’s top human rights court, a Turkish politician keeps testing Switzerland’s tolerance for freedom of speech.

Dogu Perinçek, chairman of the Turkish Patriotic Party, first made headlines when he said publicly in Switzerland on three different occasions in 2005 that the mass killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turkish forces a century ago did not constitute genocide.

Swiss courts in 2007 convicted him of violating Swiss anti-racism law, which forbids denying, belittling or justifying genocide. Perinçek appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, based in Strasbourg, France.

The European court acquitted Perinçek of the racism charges in September 2015 and concluded a month later that Switzerland violated his right to freedom of speech. Since winning his nearly decade-long legal battle, Perinçek has not let up pushing the Swiss on these issues.

During a press conference on Tuesday at the Zurich-based Turkish consulate, he blasted his conspiracy theories about recent terror attacks in Europe and said he supported a Swiss lawmaker’s initiative that would provide more legal cover for expressing scepticism about genocide.

Perinçek claimed the United States “is behind” the recent terror attacks in Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Turkey because he said it wants to divide Turkey and weaken Europe, Swiss daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung reported.

Perinçek also expressed support for a new proposal filed by Swiss parliamentarian Yves Nidegger, which requests a modification to the Swiss penal code that would strike out the mention of genocide, or at least require that it be “verified by a competent court.”

The Swiss penal code calls for imprisonment or a fine if someone is found guilty of trying to deny, grossly minimise or justify genocide or other crimes against humanity.

Israel and more than a dozen European nations, including Switzerland, have laws that criminalise denial of the Holocaust. Still others have laws that deal more broadly with the deliberate killing of a large group of people along national or ethnic lines, known as genocide. The legal definition of genocide stems from a 1948 international convention.

Turkey has strongly opposed any genocide reference, and Western nations have been cautious using the term for fear of upsetting Turkey as a NATO ally in a part of the world experiencing huge upheaval.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2017/01/turkish-politician-pushes-reversal-swiss-law-genocide-denial/

Turkish Intellectuals Who Have Recognized the Armenian Genocide: Suavi Aydın

By Hambersom Aghbashian

Professor Suavi Aydin (born 1962,in Ankara ), is a Turkish Anthropologist. He  graduated from  Hacettepe University School of Sociology in 1986, then earned his MA in sociology from the same department and his PhD degree in Anthropology from the same University. He served as associate Prof. of Anthropology at Hacettepe University till 2005 and became a full Prof. in Communication Sciences at Hacettepe University in 2010, and   the Dean of the Communication Sciences Department-Hacettepe University in 2011. His fields of interest are ethnicity, nationalism, state problematic, etc. He  has been working in the field of local history and the settlement date. Professor Suavi Aydin has many published works, including “Modernization and Nationalism” (1993), “The Problem of Identity, Nationality and the Turkish Identity” (1998), “Mardin: tribal, community, State” (2000), Anthropology Dictionary (2003), etc.. Professor Aydin  was a member of UNESCO’s  Cultural Corridor Trade Committee (2008-2010) and since 2010 he is UNESCO’s Intercultural Dialogue Specialized Committee Member. Also he is a member of the Economic and Social History Foundation of Turkey.

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. The complete, brief text of the apology says “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.” Suavi Aydin was one of the intellectual who signed the petition which in few days was signed by over 13,000 signatories. (1)

Hrant Dink Foundation organized a conference entitled “The Social and Economic History of Mardin and the Region” in Mardin on November 2-3, 2012 co-sponsored by Mardin Chamber of Physicians, Mardin Law Society, KAMER Mardin Office, Mardin Film Society and Tur Abdin Syriac Culture and Solidarity Association. The aim of the meeting was to look at the social and economic development of Mardin and its environs between 1838 and 1938. The genocide perpetrated against the Christian population of the region in 1915 was also discussed extensively. It was said that being able to talk about these issues in Mardin was already a big achievement as it would have been impossible to have such a meeting in the past. The two-day meeting was organized in five sessions, each one covering much of the neglected, and often denied, history of the region: “A General Panorama of Mardin and its Surroundings”, “Ethnic Diversity”, “Third Party Intervention and Emerging Nationalisms”, “Violence, Pogrom and Genocide”, “Post-traumatic Survival.” The participants included well-known academics from abroad, such as David Gaunt, Eden Naby, Michael Abdalla, Andrew Palmer, Nineb Lamassu, Martin Tamcke, Naures Atto, Ara Sarafian, Hilmar Kaiser, Raymond Kevorkian, Ishkhan Chiftjian and Aryo Makko, as well as scholars from Turkey, such as Fusun Alioglu, Osman Koker, Elcin Macar, Ayse Gul Altinay, and Suavi Aydin. (2)

On November 20 and 21, 2015,  the Hrant Dink Foundation in Istanbul held the latest in a series of groundbreaking historical conferences. The 2015 edition was entitled ‘A Civilization Destroyed: The Wealth of Non-Muslims in the Late Ottoman Period and the Early Republican Era’. The conference organized in cooperation with Bogazici University, Istanbul Bilgi University and Sabanci University was held with broad participation at Bogazici University, Albert Long Hall. The history of expropriation and destruction of the wealth of non-Muslims through policies of annihilation of minorities and Turkification in the Late Ottoman and Early Republican Period was explored with an interdisciplinary perspective. A total of 27 papers were presented at the meeting which was attended by 29 scientific researchers from 11 countries. Prof. Suavi Aydın chaired the last panel which was titled ‘Cultural Losses’ and where Ümit Eser, Francesca Penoni, Fırat Güllü and Stefani Kundakjian presented their papers. (3)

“History, Autobiography and Truth” is a Historiography book compiled by  Bülent Somay, and the writers are Taner Akcam, Ayhan Aktar, Suavi Aydin, Ohannes Kılıçdağı, Bulent Somay, Hero Şakul and it is published by Istanbul Bilgi University. The book contains collected articles on the subject of the debate concerning the publication of the Turkish translation of the memoirs of Sarkis Torossian (1891-1954), author of the book “From Dardanelles to Palestine a True Story of Five Fronts Battle of Turkey and Her Allies”- (Boston, 1947). (4)  Sarkis Torossian was a high ranked army officer in the Ottoman army and was defending the Ottoman lands in Dardanelles. When he came back home, he discovered that his family members were deported with other families as part of Ottoman’s plan of deporting all Armenians, a plan which led to the Armenian Genocide.


1- http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/200_prominent_Turks_apologize_for_great_catastrophe_of_1915
2- http://www.gomidas.org/press/show/13
3- http://europeofdiasporas.eu/ideas/conference-civilization-destroyed
4- http://www.librabooks.com.tr/books/tarih-otobiyografi-ve-hakikat-yuzbasi-torosyan-

Article source: https://massispost.com/2016/12/turkish-intellectuals-recognized-armenian-genocide-suavi-aydin/

Turkish Intellectuals Who Have Recognized The Armenian Genocide: Vedat Türkali

By Hambersom Aghbashian

Vedat Türkali (born May 13, 1919, in Samsun – passed away August 29, 2016, in Yalova), is a Turkish writer, poet and novelist. After studying at Samsun High School he continued his study at Istanbul University, Faculty of Arts and graduated from Turkish Language and Literature Department, then worked as a literature teacher. He was arrested in 1951 for his political activities; and was sentenced to 9 years imprisonment, which was changed to 7 years and after some time he was released conditionally. Vedat Türkali has a long list of published works. Some of his major works are, One Day Alone – (novel, 1974 ),  Old Poems, New Songs – (poems, 1979 ), Dark Blue – (novel, 1983 ),  Old Movies – (Scenarios, 1984 ), Single Death – (novel, 1989 ), Confidence – (novel, 1999 ), Communist memory –  (2001 ), Lost Roma – (novel, 2004 ), False Witnesses Coffee – (novel, 2009 ), Done Done Not done – (novel, 2014 ) and others. He was awarded Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, Best Screenplay Award, 1965, TRT Games Award (Department Must Be Green), 1970, Nationalities Publishing Novel Competition First Prize, 1974 , Orhan Kemal Novel Award, 1976,  the Cinema Writers Association (SIYAD) Honor Award, 2009, and the White Seagull Arts Honor Award, 2016.  His “One Day Alone” became one of the greatest works of Turkish literature.

According to Today’s Zaman, September 26, 2014, a group of Turkish scholars, artists, and writers harshly condemned primary and middle school textbooks that are replete with anti-Armenian rhetoric in Turkey, and demanded that the books be pulled from circulation. In a statement issued in  September (2014), the signatories wrote, “After immediately pulling the ‘History’ and ‘History of the Turkish Revolution’ textbooks from circulation, apologies should be issued to all students, particularly to Armenian ones. As we approach 2015, the road to Turkish-Armenian peace that we long for passes through here.” The textbooks portray Armenians as traitors who plotted with foreign enemies to tear apart the Ottoman Empire and Turkey, and as mass murderers of innocent Turkish and Muslim women and children while Muslim men were waging a war of survival. The textbooks, all published over the past few years and approved by a special commission of Turkey’s Ministry of Education, are also mandatory in Armenian schools in Turkey. The cover page of Unit 2 of the Middle School textbook on the history of the Turkish Revolution and Ataturk. Two newspapers in Turkey, Agos and Taraf, had published a series of articles by Taner Akçam on the anti-Armenian hate-filled rhetoric in Turkish textbooks earlier in September. Vedat Türkali, Yasemin was one of the Turkish intellectuals who signed the statement. The signees said textbooks in schools should seek to encourage feelings of peace, solidarity and living together over inciting hatred towards different religious and cultural groups. Vedat Türkali was is one of the prominent Turkish intellectuals who signed it.(1)

The Armenian Cause and the 1915 Genocide have been comprehensively covered for the first time ever in Turkey in a new novel written by Vedat Türkali. The author has written about various ethnic minorities in other literary pieces. The new novel presents a retrospective look into history against the background of the love story of a self-confident young lady and a young man who lost the sense of confidence in the aftermath of a trauma suffered in a prison in Diyarbekir (Dikranagert).

The author’s brief overview of the Armenian history is accompanied by a depiction of the other nations killed in Turkey (where he says every inch of land had seen bloodshed) in the Ottoman Empire’s last days. Türkali writes about the various groups like the Hamidiyes (cavalry), the Ittihat ve Terakki (Committee of Unions and Progress), Cembalists, and others. He tells the history of the 1909 Cilicia massacres (committed by Ittihat ve Terakki) which preceded the Armenian Genocide. The author also writes about the deportations from the province of Kharberd and the other regions of historical Armenia. He remembers how the soil turned into a vast graveyard, witnessing losses, forced conversion of people to Islam, and more.(2)

Vedat Türkali, who is considered one of the greats in modern Turkish literature, (died at the age of 97), was one of the few Turkish writers who had extensively reflected on Armenian Genocide, especially in his scandal-causing novel entitled “BİTTİ BİTTİ BİTMEDİ”,  It’s Over, It’s Over, [But] It’s not Over. (3)


1-http://www.todayszaman.com/national_group-of-intellectuals-condemn-anti-armenian-statements-in-textbooks_359935.html
2- http://asbarez.com/128957/armenian-genocide-novel-published-in-turkey/
3- http://news.am/eng/news/343722.html

Article source: https://massispost.com/2016/12/turkish-intellectuals-recognized-armenian-genocide-vedat-turkali/

German Court Rejects Suits Against Armenian Genocide Vote

BERLIN – Germany’s highest court has rejected a string of complaints against a decision by the country’s parliament to label the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago as genocide, AP reports.

The Federal Constitutional Court threw out eight complaints against the resolution approved by lawmakers in June.

It published one of the decisions Monday, in which judges said the plaintiff had failed to provide sufficient evidence that his fundamental rights had been violated and that no such violation was obvious.

The parliamentary vote infuriated the Turkish government and prompted it to withdraw its ambassador from Berlin for a few months.

Ankara also refused to let German lawmakers visit German military personnel stationed at Turkey’s Incirlik air base, but relented after the German government stressed the resolution isn’t legally binding.

Article source: https://massispost.com/2016/12/german-court-rejects-suits-armenian-genocide-vote/

Turkish Intellectuals Who Have Recognized The Armenian Genocide: Leyla İpekçi

Leyla İpekçi (born in October 13, 1966, in Istanbul ) is a Turkish journalist, screenwriter and author. After  completing her secondary study at Saint Michel French High School, she continued her education and graduated from  Bogazici University -Department of Sociology. She worked for Kadınca (Development publications), 1985-86 ,  Term Publishing, 1988,  Adam monthly magazine (Sun Publications), 1989-90, also served as  correspondent for  Tempo weekly magazine in 1992, and worked as editorial staff for Rapsodi magazine in 1993, the editor of Aktüel magazine in 1994-95, and the general editor of Esqurie magazine in 1995. Leyla İpekçi has also published articles in Gazetepazar and became a columnist for the newspaper, and worked as a  columnist for Zaman newspaper , July 2011-Dec. 2013. After leaving Zaman  newspaper she continued as a columnist for Yeni Safak. Leyla İpekçi has published many books including “Maya”, “Mayan of Sinan”, “The first Evil”, “Fire and Garden”, “5 Times in Istanbul” and others. She received Milliyet Sanat “First Book First Edition” contest first prize in 1988 for her novel “Maya”, Writers Union of Turkey’s  “Author of the Year” award in 2007 and “Best book of the year” award in 2011 by by ESKADER for her “Trial of the second dream”.

Leyla İpekçi is one of the Turkish notable 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”. 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”.

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: Ali Bayramoglu, Ihsan Dagi, Cengiz Candar, Atilla Eralp, Enis Batur, Omer Laciner, Omer Marda, Leyla İpekçi, Huseyin Hatemi, Oral Calislar, Hasan Cemal and the list goes on. 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)

On April 20,  2011, Today’s Zaman published another article concerning the Armenian Genocide where it wrote “Armenians who lost their lives in the Armenian displacement that took place in 1915, during the final days of the Ottoman Empire, will be commemorated through a variety of events for a second time this year. Armenians all over the world commemorate this tragedy on April 24 because it was on that day in 1915 when many Armenians who were deported by the Ottoman Empire perished. The first commemoration ceremony held in 2010, 95 years after the incident, lingered on a message that this was a hurt that belonged both to Turks and Armenians. This year’s commemoration ceremonies will be held in İstanbul’s Taksim Square, Ankara, İzmir, Diyarbakır and Bodrum. Victims of the displacement will be remembered in silence with carnations and candles. During the ceremonies the “duduk,” an Armenian musical instrument, will be played during a reading of the names of victims. The ceremonies are being organized by the Say Stop to Racism and Nationalism! (Dur De!) initiative. Spokesman Cengiz Algan said what took place in 1915 is “a hurt we all share.”

“We need to confront the realities that have been hidden by the official ideology for 100 years”. A statement with the headline, “This pain is ours,” has been opened up for signatures. More than 100 people including intellectuals, writers and journalists including Ahmet İnsel, Ali Bayramoğlu, Alper Görmüş, Bekir Berat Özipek, Cafer Solgun, Ferhat Kentel, Gülten Kaya, Leyla İpekçi, Mehmet Bekaroğlu, Oral Çalışlar, Orhan Miroğlu, Oya Baydar, Şebnem Korur Fincancı and Ümit Kardaş have already signed the statement. Deputies from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and independent candidates supported by the party will be supporting the commemoration ceremony to be held in Diyarbakır.(2)


1- http://setasarmenian.blogspot.com/2009/01/more-on-turkish-online-apology.html
2- http://www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/Armenian_Genocide_Commemorations_in_Turkey

Article source: https://massispost.com/2016/12/turkish-intellectuals-recognized-armenian-genocide-leyla-ipekci/

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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.