Violence lies at the root of Turkey’s denial of Armenian Genocide: Turkish writer Dogan Akhanli

Writer Dogan Akhanli has said in an interview with EUobserver that the Turkish regime had embraced violence as a means of rule.

He is currently stuck in Madrid after Spanish police arrested him while he was on holiday on the basis of a Turkish Interpol request.

Akhnali was born in Turkey but fled to Germany in 1991 after being persecuted for his views on the Armenian Genocide and on Turkey’s repression of its Kurdish minority.

He said violence lay at the root of its denial of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and of its killings of Kurdish separatists.

He also said the regime’s nationalist ideology created a dangerous environment.

“Under the Erdogan government, the history of violence is not just a story. It is not passive. It is killing people before our very eyes,” he said, referring to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He said Erdogan’s mass arrests of people accused of sympathising with last year’s failed coup, such as Ahmet Sik, another journalist, were part of the same pattern.

Born in the Artvin region of Turkey, Dogan Akhanli’s work centers around the major genocides of the 20th century, the systematic extermination of the Armenians and the Jews.

Akhanli is a collaborator of the association “recherche international“, which furthers the investigation of the Armenian Genocide, committed in the first quarter of the 20th century. He has repeatedly raised his voice to debate the crimes against the Armenians. He also initiated the foundation of the Raphael Lemkin Library, located in Cologne, named after the man, who  first described the atrocities against the Armenians as genocide.

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