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.