Armenian Journalist Named Chief Advisor to Turkey’s Prime Minister

Turkish-Armenian journalist Etienne Mahchupian

ANKARA—Etienne Mahchupian, an ethnic Armenian journalist in Turkey, has been appointed as a senior advisor to Turkey’s new prime minister and former foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Mahchupian (born 1950 in Istanbul) writes as a columnist for the Turkish newspapers Taraf and Zaman. Mahchupian also headed the Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos weekly from 2007 to 2010, following Hrant Dink’s assassination. He was earlier a member of the Wise People Committee, a public-private committee which was set up in 2013 to elaborate proposals for resolving the “Kurdish issue.”

Turkey’s Sabah news agency describes the move as an attempt toward thawing relations between Armenia and Turkey.

The publication says that Mahchupian received the proposal directly from the prime minister last week and that Mahchupian accepted.

Davutoglu reportedly praised Mahchupian’s contribution to Turkey’s democratization and civil society building efforts, attaching importance to his constrictive position on state and public issues.

A graduate of Boğaziçi University, Mahchupian studied chemistry and later economics at the University of Ankara, where he lectured as a professor until 1980. From 1980 to 1996 he worked as an entrepreneur, heading various businesses.

Mahchupian said following his appointment that he is hopeful that he can contribute to the development of Turkey in a new direction in his new position, Turkey’s Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.

It has been noted that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Etienne Mahchupian have been closely acquainted for some time, including when Davutoğlu was foreign minister. Davutoğlu told media representatives that he made the decision on Mahchupian’s appointment for his “intellectual identity”.

Mahchupian said that he will support the Turkish Prime Minister by carrying out works in the direction of “democracy,” “government and public relations” and “minorities.” Mahchupian is the first non-Muslim person among the Advisors of the Turkish President and Prime Minister.


Discussion Policy

Comments are welcomed and encouraged. Though you are fully responsible for the content you post, comments that include profanity, personal attacks or other inappropriate material will not be permitted. Asbarez reserves the right to block users who violate any of our posting standards and policies.


  1. Vindicated Man said:

    This step is nothing more than propaganda, Turks are going to use this man’s ethnicity. Strange he agreed to play the role, but I can’t judge as he seems to be under a proverbial gunpoint.

  2. Emre Solak said:

    Congratulations to Etyen Mahcupyan for having being appointed as chief advisor to Prime Minister Mr. Davutoglu. Mahcupyan’s qualifications surely made him an ideal advisor in the Turkish government.
    I wish him utmost success in his new position and pray that his presence in the Turkish government would bring Turkey and Armenia closer as two neighbors.

  3. GeorgeMardig said:

    Mr.Mahchupian should remeber always the 1.5 million Armenian Genocide, during the history Armenians have worked hard to florish Turkey, and in return they did the Armenian Genocide, Anyting you do, do not betray the memory of the 1.5 million dead and always remeber betrayel is in the DNA of the Turkish people.

  4. Pro Civil Society said:

    This is nothing more than a ploy to make the AKP look good, after their disastrous record on Syria, Egypt, Israel/Palestine conflict, Gezi Park, Kobane, relations with ISIS, Journalists and the list goes on and on. I mean, Mohammad Morsi had a Coptic official in his party, but does that mean the Muslim Brotherhood liked the Copts. That’s a N-O.

  5. mgl said:

    They are good, bad and ugly in any nation. Let’s hope that eventually good will prevail even in Turkey.

  6. Ed Haroian said:

    To prove that this is not just a propaganda ploy and/or an attempt to combat Centennial Commemorations of the Armenian Genocide, the Turkish Prime Minister’s first action should be to officially and unequivocally recognize the Armenian Genocide, and his second action should be the initiation of talks regarding reparations. Anything short of the aforementioned would, in essence, be no better than the “Young Turks” who used the Armenian population to support their rise to power, then turned around to conceive and carry out the Genocide of the Armenians {“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”}.

  7. David Dilanchian said: