By Hambersom Aghbashian
Omer Laciner (born Aug.10, 1946 in Sivas – Turkey) is a Turkish author and publisher. He graduated from the Military Academy in 1966 and while serving in the army , he became a member of a socialist political organization. He was dismissed from the army in 1971 and imprisoned for three years. In 1975, together with Murat Belge and Can Yusel published a socialist culture promoting monthly magazine “Accumulation”, which prior to 1980 military coup in Turkey, was recognized as the leader of a youth group. He left the country after 12 Sept. 1980 military coup and lived in France for a while (Accumulation was suspended,1980-89). He returned to Turkey in 1989 and became again the executive editor of “Accumulation”. His published books are, Rethinking Socialism-P1, Rethinking Socialism-P2, Socialism Revolution, Army barracks Constitution, Poverty Cases For a New Left Imagining, Once upon a time there were Armenians*(co-writer), and many other books. His translations are, Marx ‘s Philosophy and Marx ‘s Sociology. Omer Laciner was awarded in 2001 by the” Turkey Publishers Association- Freedom of Expression Award.”(1)
Under a head line “Armenian genocide commemorated for first time in Turkey”, “http://www.network54.com/Forum/248068/ (April 24.2010) “ stated “ Though similar demonstrations have become a tradition, this year was somewhat different because a group of Turkish intellectuals expressed their sadness over the sufferings that occurred almost a century ago. Three protests took place on in Taksim Square, the Haydarpaþa Train Station and in front of the Turkish-Armenian Agos weekly. A sit-down strike organized by the ‘Say No to Racism and Nationalism initiative’ in Taksim Square was attended by a group of public figures including Professor Ahmet Ýnsel, columnists Ali Bayramoðlu, Roni Marguiles, Alper Görmüþ, Ferhat Kentel, Erol Katýrcýoðlu, Ümit Kývanç, Birikim journal Editor-in-Chief Ömer Laçiner, pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Ufuk Uras , artists Nur Sürer , Zeynep Tanbay and many others “(2). Publisher Ömer Laçiner told bianet, “This was a good start. We want this to become a tradition”.(3)
The Armenian Weekly (Dec. 18,2012) mentioned that Ömer Laçiner (chief editor, Birikim Review) was one of the Turkish Citizens who signed a Petition “Against Denialist Exhibit in Denmark”. They have been distressed to learn that the Royal Library of Denmark has given the Turkish government the opportunity to present an “alternative exhibit” in response to the Armenian Genocide exhibition, and asked them “Not to Stand Against Turkey’s Democratization and Confrontation with its History.”(4)
According to “http://www.remember24april1915.eu”, (Feb 19, 2014), a group of Turkish and other intellectuals launched a petition to commemorate the Armenian genocide together in Turkey. “ This year, human rights and anti-racist activists, committed citizens, civil society leaders, intellectuals and artists, united in Turkey and across Europe by a common desire to see the truth finally recognized, will commemorate the Armenian Genocide in Turkey on April 24th 2014. Even though we are on the eve of the centenary of the perpetration of the genocide, its legacy remains part of our present. Our shared initiative is one for recognition, solidarity, justice, and democracy.” It was signed by thousand of intellectuals, Politicians, writers, artists, human rights activists and others all over the world. Omer Laciner was one of the signee’s. (5)
*Once upon a time there were Armenians . Writers, Ömer Laçiner, Ümit Kývanç, Þükrü Argýn, Ahmet Çiðdem, Ahmet Ýnsel, Etyen Mahçupyan, Hamit Bozarslan, Taner Akçam, Suavi Aydýn, Melissa Bilal, Timuçin Binder, Yetvart Danzikyan and Hans-Lukas Kieser.