Turkey Must Apologize to Armenians before Centennial, Says Hasan Cemal

Hasan Cemal

ISTANBUL (Armenpress)—Turkey must understands the pain felt by Armenians in the aftermath of 1915, Turkish journalist and publicist Hasan Cemal wrote in an article published Wednesday in Turkey’s T24 online newspaper, Armenpress reports.

In his piece, Cemal says Turkey must share that pain and present the tragedy to society at large, ahead of the forthcoming centennial of the genocide.

“Armenians are a people from Anatolia. Their roots and their motherland is in Anatolia. Armenians, like the Kurdish people, had lived in Anatolia before the Turkish appeared there. The truth is that Turkey has not yet accepted the fact that the Armenians were cut off from their historical roots and their motherland in 1915,” writes Hasan Cemal.

“The border between Armenia and Turkey should be opened. Diplomatic relations should be established between the two countries. These two steps should be made without any preconditions. Turkey, as a state, should apologize to the Armenians,” adds Cemal.

Hasan Cemal is a Turkish journalist, writer, and a grandson of Jemal Pasha, one of the leading perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide. He was the editor of Turkish newspapers including Cumhuriyet from 1981 to 1992 and Sabah from 1992 to 1998. In 2013 he resigned from the Milliyet newspaper after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized his article supporting Milliyets publication of minutes of a parliamentary visit to Öcalan. Milliyet subsequently suspended him and refused to publish his regular column.

He is best known for acknowledging and apologizing for the Armenian Genocide, a crime in which his grandfather played a leading role. His 2012 book on the subject, written partly in response to the 2007 assassination of his friend Hrant Dink, is titled 1915: Ermeni Soykirimi (1915: The Armenian Genocide).

The book went on to be a bestseller in Turkey. Cemal remarked in his book, “To deny the Genocide would mean to be an accomplice in this crime against humanity.”

The book was written following a visit by Cemal to Armenia. The book highlights Cemal’s “personal transformation” and his experiences in Armenia. While Cemal was in Armenia, he had an opportunity to meet and have lunch with Armen Gevorkyan, the grandson of the man who assassinated his grandfather Jemal Pasha in 1922.

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16 Comments

  1. danoog said:

    We, as Armenians, must always keep in mind that there are many, many educated and enlightened Turks such as this man. Many Turks risked their lives during the genocide to shelter helpless Armenians. Brave men like Cemal are valuable allies in our quest for justice.

    • GeorgeMardig said:

      Armenians should use their strongest weapon, WORD OF MOUTH, the word of mouth of 10 million diaspora Armenians can go a long way.

  2. Kurken Berksanlar said:

    Asbarez, thank you for publishing this article which is a clear indication of changing dynamics about the Armenian genocide issue among the Turkish intellectuals. For Diaspora to understand this reality carries importance, since it may guide us where new alliances can be formed to make sure that the Armenian Genocide is understood and fully recognized in Turkey by the people of Turkey. Only than, the government of Turkey will have no choice but to follow suit.

    I must say that, when publishing this article it would have been proper and noteworthy, if you have also mentioned the event, “where and when”, Hasan Cemal for the first time in public acknowledged the Armenian Genocide and called it as such. The event took place here in Los Angeles in UCLA on March 31, 2011 called “From Der Zor to Dzidzernagapert”, organized by AGBU Asbeds. In his book 1915=Armenian Genocide, in few passages he talks about this event and the transformation this event caused in his life, since it gave him an opportunity for coming out and calling it publicly the Armenian Genocide.

  3. tsoghig said:

    Hopefully this dude and his way of thinking will gain traction in Turkey. We unfortunately, I believe, need Turks within turkey to support us. I think it will help our cause significantly if turks begin to advocate for the truth.

    • Dino said:

      Yes, there is the turk and then there is the azeri, turkey’s younger retarded brother.

  4. Florin said:

    Elemente din istoria dramatica a poporului armean cat si exemplul actiunii unor oameni care au manifestat daruire pentru acest popor demn, sunt de dorit sa apara mai frecvent, sa fie mai accesibile publicului din intreaga lume.

  5. Alex Postallian said:

    The jerks(turks) must know their GUILTY OF LYING,ABOUT THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE;THEY WOULDNT BE DENYING IT SO VEHEMENTLY….A intelligent respose would acknowledge,but the mongol jerks,never were too smart..

    • D. Afarian said:

      Your comments offend me and I’m am Armenian. This man is an intellectual and he’s sharing our pain. He could just as easily have had hostile feelings against the Armenians, after all, he suffered a personal loss too. But he’s putting that aside and taking our side. Senseless remarks just add to the point of those that have ignored our situation for this long. Stop your random rants. Don’t say just something just for the sake of talking. You don’t represent “The Armenians”, you certainly don’t represent me.

  6. Arn.Sweden. said:

    The Man Errs !.

    As an Example –

    If I take a Knife and goes to a Family and Cut them Down – would it be enuff if I apologizes after some Decades ?

    Blood can only be reconsiled and cleansed with Blood – dont delude yourself – either the Murderers or the Blood of Jesus Christ.

    The Turkish National Consciousness is a Vulture living on prey.and is not cleansed nor reconsiled with its victims.

    Before the Mongol Turks did come to todays Turkey,
    they destroyed the Armenian Country to the East of the Caspian Sea,
    – in what is today West-Turkestan.
    They Murdered and Slaughtered Everything in their Path.

    Bukhara(Togarma is the Bible – 1.Mos.Chap.10.) is the name of the Forfather of the Armenian People

    Arn.Sweden.

  7. Dino said:

    Armenians are so naïve. This man, the grandson of a perpetrator, is of the school of thought of recognition but no restitution. A growing number of turks like him want to solve the Armenian Question with just words. We have to accept an apology on the condition we renounce monetary and land compensation, accept the present illegal borders and formally renounce the still standing Wilson arbitral award.

  8. Armen said:

    So long as Turkey denies the Genocide, it will remain the SICK MAN OF THE WORLD.

    You should spread this line everywhere!

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