Turkish Intellectuals Condemn Anti-Armenian Textbooks
ISTANBUL (Today’s Zaman)—A group of academics, journalists, artists and intellectuals have released a statement condemning in the harshest terms what they define as expressions that include “open hatred and hostility” towards Armenians in Turkish schoolbooks, which were recently exposed by the newspapers Agos and Taraf.
The two newspapers recently published reports on hateful remarks targeting Armenians in the textbooks used in history classes.
A letter accompanying the text of the condemnation, written by historian Taner Akçam, notes that including such expressions as lesson material to teach children is a disgrace.
The signees said textbooks in schools should seek to encourage feelings of peace, solidarity and living together over inciting hatred towards different religious and cultural groups, Akçam said. He further wrote: “Standing with integrity in the face of history is the prerequisite for establishing the future on the foundations of friendship and peace. I do hope that this signature campaign will be taken as a scream from all of us for the publication of textbooks that we would like to see.”
The statement said: “The revolutions history and history textbooks should be collected immediately, with an apology issued to everyone and particularly to Armenian students. This is where the path to Turkish-Armenian peace lies, at this time when we are approaching 2015.” Revolutions history classes teach students the reforms carried out by the first government of Turkey after the end of the Ottoman Empire.
The signatories include some of Turkey’s most respected writers and journalists. The full list of the supporters of the statement is as follows: Adalet Ağaoğlu, Ahmet Altan, Ahmet Hakan, Ahmet İnsel, Ali Bayramoğlu, Ali Nesin, Asaf Savaş Akat, Aydın Engin, Ayhan Aktar, Ayşe Günaysu, Ayşe Hür, Baskın Oran, Bekir Ağırdır, Betül Tanbay, Bülent Bilmez, Bülent Keneş, Cafer Solgun, Cemal Uşak, Cengiz Aktar, Daron Acemoğlu, Defne Asal, Dengir Mir Mehmet Fırat, Deniz Türkali, Edhem Eldem, Elçin Macar, Emel Kurma, Emine Uçak Erdoğan, Eren Keskin, Erol Katırcıoğlu, Fatih Akın, Ferhat Kentel, Fikret Adanır, Fuat Keyman, Gülten Kaya, Hadi Uluengin, Halil Berktay, Halil Ergün, Hasan Cemal, Hidayet Şefkatli Tuksal, İbrahim Betil, İhsan Eliaçık, İhsan Yılmaz, İsmet Berkan, İştar Gözaydın, Kemal Burkay, Kenan Çayır, Kutluğ Ataman, Leyla Neyzi, Mehmet Altan, Murat Belge, Murat Morova, Nilüfer Göle, Niyazi Kızılyürek, Oktay Özel, Oral Çalışlar, Orhan Pamuk, Oya Baydar, Ömer Laçiner, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioğlu, Ömer Madra, Perihan Mağden, Roni Margulies, Samim Akgönül, Saruhan Oluç, Savaş Genç, Selçuk Gültaşlı, Selim Deringil, Serra Yılmaz, Sevgi Akarçeşme, Seyfettin Gürsel, Sinan Çetin, Soli Özel, Şahin Alpay, Şanar Yurdatapan, Şebnem İşigüzel, Taner Akçam, Tarık Ziya Ekinci, Temel İskit, Tilbe Saran, Turgay Oğur, Ufuk Uras, Uğur Kömeçoğlu, Umut Özkırımlı, Ümit Kardaş, Ümit Kıvanç, Üstün Ergüder, Vedat Türkali, Yasemin Çongar, Yavuz Baydar, Zeynep Direk and Zeynep Tanbay.