Some intellectuals and academicians are getting ready to launch a campaign to apologize Armenians for the denial of the “Great Catastrophe” they were subjected to in 1915.
“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 them.”
This is the text of the campaign that was introduced by Journalist Ali Bayramoğlu, professors Baskın Oran and Ahmet İnsel and Dr. Cengiz Aktar, with the support of some the other academicians. The text will be opened for signature in the internet for one year, starting on the new years day.
“It has been almost hundred years, and it has not been discussed openly”
Aktar told Tülay Şubatlı of daily Vatan why they were apologizing:
“We are apologizing for not being able to discuss, not talk openly about this topic for such a long time, nearly one hundred years.”
“This is a voice coming from individual’s conscience”
Aktar described the purpose of the campaign as such:
“What happened to the Armenians is not well-known; people are forced to forget it, and the subject is highly provocative. The Turks have heard this mostly from their elders, their grandfathers. But, the subject has not become an objective historical narrative. Therefore, today many people in Turkey, with all the good intentions, think that nothing happened to the Armenians .”
“The official history has been saying that this incident happened through secondary, not very important, and even mutual massacres; they push the idea that it was an ordinary incident explainable by the conditions of the First World War. However, unfortunately, the facts are very different. Perhaps there is only one fact and it is that the Kurds and Turks are still here, but the Armenians are not. The subject of this campaign is the individuals. This is a voice coming from the individual’s conscience. Those who want to apologize can apologize, and those who do not should not.” (TK/TB)
Bia news center - İstanbul
05 December 2008, Friday