Turkish Activist Says, Genocide Recognition will Raise Turkey’s Dignity

Library director Sargsyan (l) presents Zarakolu with medal

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)—Recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey will raise its dignity, rather than humiliate it, said Turkish human rights activist Ragib Zarakolu Tuesday. He was honored by the National Library for his contribution to condemning the Armenian Genocide and crimes against humanity, reported ArmRadio.

 “The Armenian Genocide fits into the term ‘genocide’ mentioned in all international documents. It is beyond question,” Zarakolu told reporters in Yerevan.

Armenian National Library director Davit Sargsyan honored the Turkish author by presenting the “Hakob Meghapart” medal for his contributions.

“We are talking about an individual committed to the ideas of humanism,” Sargsian said at a ceremony in Yerevan. “Unfortunately, he is not a desirable figure in modern-day Turkey because of his activities, principles and thinking,” reported RFE/RL.

“This is the most important award of my life,” Zarakolu said in a short speech.

Zarakolu rose to prominence in the 1970s as a newspaper columnist and editor highlighting human rights abuses committed in Turkey. He was twice imprisoned by military governments in Ankara before founding, together with other prominent Turks, the Human Rights Association of Turkey in 1986.

Around that time, Belge began publishing books on taboo subjects such as the World War One-era mass killings and deportations of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey. It has since translated into Turkish more than a dozen books by Diaspora Armenian authors challenging the official Turkish version of those events.

At least two of those translations landed Zarakolu in court. A Turkish court ruled in June 2008 that the publication of one of those books, written by the British-Armenian author George Jerjian, insulted “the institutions of the Turkish Republic.” The publisher received a suspended five-month prison sentence.

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10 Comments

  1. Seervart said:

    Here’s a man who gets all my respect, the honorable Mr. Ragib Zarakolu who lives his life with morality and he challenges his countrymen to follow suit by accepting the Armenian Genocide; 1) Indeed in the eyes of civilized nations and people Turkish people and their government will truly be regarded as civilized; 2) They will be freed of the burden of guilt; 3) They would not have to pay millions of dollars to the United States – State Dept. to have them deny the Armenian Genocide; 4) Turkish Intellectuals who are sympathetic towards Armenians and accept the facts of the Armenian Genocide will not have to be jailed or leave the country henceforth; 5) Article 301 will vanish; 6) The last phase of the Genocide, that is denial, shall exist no more. 7) Closed boarders will be opened and Armenians and Turks can finally come to terms with their sad and hurtful past, to start building good neigbourly relationships. Because of it, Armenia will be stronger and fair much better economically; 8) Turkish peoples’ burdens will be lifted and they will all be psychologically a much healthier and a well balanced country and people.

  2. Van said:

    How about committing funds to making a major Hollywood movie about this heroic figure thus bringing the Armenian cause forward and putting to rest the souls of our 2 million dead, instead of building so many churches in the Diaspora to enrich the clergy, deepen the rifts in our communities and add more wall space for donors to marvel at their names.

  3. Stephen T. Dulgarian said:

    We thank Ragib Zarakolu for his standing up for Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide. However, we well know the Turkish Government will not come forth on this issue since it means reparations & land returns to the Armenian Nation. But just as Ragib has stood up on this issue, also many other Turks have come forward on backing the Armenian Genocide. God Bless those Turks on this long delayed recognition, but I say shame on the United States of America to putting this aside because Turkey is a NATO ally but also Turkey is using five Jewish Organizations which is the main reason why the Armenian Genocide has not been passed here in America.

    • Van said:

      The corrupt and disfunctional Diasporan parties are to blame for the Armenian Genocide bill failures. They are more interested in Beoreg. And please stop blaming Jews. There are many Jewish organizations that are helping the Armenian cause, do your research, and many more could help if Armenians let go of their anti-Jewish rhetoric.

  4. gerard said:

    arto t. – ok! so one or two are ok, what about the rest.
    paul says “time will show” paul 90 years is not enough ?

    gerard

  5. anna said:

    Thank you Mr. Zarakoglu for everything you’ve done for us. We appreciate for your humanity and hard job all these years without fear and timidity. God bless you.

  6. Fred said:

    Ragip Zarakoglu is a Communist Shill. Many Turkish supporters of the genocide lie recoginition are actually Communists. Taner Akcam was a former member of the TKP, which was a Communist/Leftist group. Same with Orhan Pamuk, he is a communist too. Those people are not Democratic, but Leftist. They are ignorant and don’t know that this Armenian cause is a plot to divide Turkey between Greeks, Armenians and Kurds. Shame on pro-Genocide lie lunatics who are clueless and buy the bias from the Turkophobic worldwide mass media.

  7. ArdeVast Atheian said:

    Turkey please heal our wounds. That’s all I ask. Although I wish you’d return the lands that you took from us in the most recent of your treaties (1921), I won’t ask for it, nor will I demand reparations. Just heal me from those horrible memories that befell our fate as a nation and as a people living under your yoke.

    It’s like you cut my throat in half and left me to die by the banks of the Euphrates River but somehow I didn’t and I still feel the pain of that experience that took every other member of my father’s family.

    My father used to take me by the hand and show me where the Armenians driven from their homes by the thousands used to be slaughtered by the riverbanks of the city of my birth, Deir-Zohr in the Syrian Desert. We’d pick some of their dried and desert bleached bones and put it in a burlap bag for the martyr’s monument in our church. You wouldn’t want your kids to grow up with memories like these. It is just too painful to feel what the people of our own flesh and blood went thru.

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