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 Agaoglu, Ahmet Altan, Ahmet Hakan, Ahmet Insel, Ali Bayramoglu, Ali Nesin, Asaf Savas Akat, Aydin Engin, Ayhan Aktar, Ayse Günaysu, Ayse Hür, Baskin Oran, Bekir Agirdir, Betül Tanbay, Bülent Bilmez, Bülent Kenes, Cafer Solgun, Cemal Usak, Cengiz Aktar, Daron Acemoglu, Defne Asal, Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, Deniz Türkali, Edhem Eldem, Elçin Macar, Emel Kurma, Emine Uçak Erdogan, Eren Keskin, Erol Katircioglu, Fatih Akin, Ferhat Kentel, Fikret Adanir, Fuat Keyman, Gülten Kaya, Hadi Uluengin, Halil Berktay, Halil Ergün, Hasan Cemal, Hidayet Sefkatli Tuksal, Ibrahim Betil, Ihsan Eliaçik, Ihsan Yilmaz, Ismet Berkan, Istar Gözaydin, Kemal Burkay, Kenan Çayir, Kutlug Ataman, Leyla Neyzi, Mehmet Altan, Murat Belge, Murat Morova, Nilüfer Göle, Niyazi Kizilyürek, Oktay Özel, Oral Çalislar, Orhan Pamuk, Oya Baydar, Ömer Laçiner, Ömer Faruk Gergerlioglu, Ömer Madra, Perihan Magden, Roni Margulies, Samim Akgönül, Saruhan Oluç, Savas Genç, Selçuk Gültasli, Selim Deringil, Serra Yilmaz, Sevgi Akarçesme, Seyfettin Gürsel, Sinan Çetin, Soli Özel, Sahin Alpay, Sanar Yurdatapan, Sebnem Isigüzel, Taner Akçam, Tarik Ziya Ekinci, Temel Iskit, Tilbe Saran, Turgay Ogur, Ufuk Uras, Ugur Kömeçoglu, Umut Özkirimli, Ümit Kardas, Ümit Kivanç, Üstün Ergüder, Vedat Türkali, Yasemin Çongar, Yavuz Baydar, Zeynep Direk and Zeynep Tanbay.