Monday, December 15, 2008

Hopeful Apology

Academics Prof. Ahmet İnsel, Prof. Baskın Oran, Dr. Cengiz Aktar and journalist Ali Bayramoğlu have started an online petition aimed at all Turkish people to sign and affirm their feelings of injustice about the negation of the Armenian massacres of 1915.

Here is a translation of the statement that you can read in Turkish on the homepage of the website ("özür diliyoruz" means "we apologize"):
My conscience does not allow me to deny and be insensitive to the Great Catastrophe experienced by the Ottoman Armenians in 1915. I reject this injustice, for my own part share my fellow Armenian brothers and sisters' feelings and pain, and apologize from them.
After you enter your name and other relevant details, you have to click on "özür diliyorum" (I apoligize) to sign the petition.

Among the supporters of this hopeful initiative are famous writers, activists, artists and more like Cem Özdemir, Nilüfer Göle, Murathan Mungan, Nedim Gürsel, Perihan Magden ...(see the complete list under "Destekleyenler" on the homepage of Ozur Diliyorum).
I can only applaud such an initiative but do acknowledge that the way to reach real understanding and reconciliation between the two nations has been extremely slow and full of denials during the last 90 years. There is still a lot to do, and if signing the online petition can help taking a step forward, I have no other choice than taking action and start with an apology.

Also read Sarah Rainsford article on BBC news and the Turkish newspaper Radikal's short report.


rifat öcal said...
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rifat öcal said...

I have been thinking about this apology for a long time, and now I am happy for this.

Some people which are actually some retired ambassadors of Turkey claim that we should not apology for the things happened about 90 years ago, since we are not the ones who are responsible for that and contrarily they say Armenians should apology because of the murdered ambassadors by ASALA.

I believe that we owe Armenians an apology since we have been totally insensitive and careless to those people who has lost their homelands forever. The trauma of them is beyond our understanding.

The kinship that we are searching for 100 years in other geographies, in asia, is placed around us, indeed is here with us like the others.