Today.Az » World news » Ottoman-era Armenians added to list of slain Turkish journalists
09 March 2011 [17:40] - Today.Az

The Contemporary Journalists Association, or ÇGD, adds 10 journalists of Armenian origin killed in 1915 to its list of slain journalists in Turkey. The association will hold a ceremony April 24, the date when some countries commemorate the alleged Armenian genocide in Ottoman lands.

Ten journalists of Armenian origin who were killed in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire will be added to a list of slain journalists in Turkey by the Ankara-based Contemporary Journalists Association, or ÇGD. The association will hold a ceremony April 24, the date when some countries commemorate the alleged Armenian genocide in Ottoman lands.

The newly added names include Krikor Zohrab, a lawyer, author and three-time deputy in the Ottoman Parliament; Taniel Varujan, a renowned Armenian writer; Rupen Zartaryan, Siamento (Atom Yarjanian) and six others, all also pioneers of western Armenian literature.

Though the ÇGD was late in making the move, it did not have the necessary documents to add the journalists to the list before, association head Ahmet Abakay told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review. "We realized it when the list prepared by the Arrested Journalists Solidarity Platform reached us. Journalist Ali Bayramoğlu wrote on April 24 about the Armenian-origin journalists killed and we realized the list we had was incomplete. We expect assistance to add more names to it," Abakay said.

The 76-name list of journalists killed in Turkey before and after the foundation of the Turkish Republic includes well-known figures such as Abdi İpekçi, Çetin Emeç and Uğur Mumcu, but previously contained only one Armenian name: Hrant Dink, a Turkish journalist of Armenian descent who was assassinated in Istanbul in 2007.

When asked whether the ÇGD is worried about the potential response to adding the Armenian journalists to the list, Abakay said: I wish we had the information before and has taken this radical step before. We, the Turkish people, unfortunately do not know anything but what the official history has told us. The truth was hidden from us.

Mistakes made in the past must be discussed if the country believes wholeheartedly in democracy, the ÇGD head said. "It is a crime to hide from the people those names that have made contributions to the Turkish press," Abakay said. "They are all people of this country. They have been slain just like Abdi İpekçi, Uğur Mumcu and others."

He added that the association seeks to add more names to the list and raise awareness about it.

Armenia claims up to 1.5 million Armenians were systematically killed in 1915 under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. Turkey denies this, saying that any deaths were the result of civil strife that erupted when Armenians took up arms for independence in eastern Anatolia.

/Hurriyet Daily News/

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