ANKARA — Turkish-Armenian journalist and writer Etyen Mahçupyan will serve as a chief advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Davutoglu offered the post to Mahçupyan last week, on the sidelines of a meeting of the intellectuals’ council. Mahçupyan accepted the offer, according to Sabah daily.

Mahçupyan was a columnist for the Zaman newspaper and headed Agos weekly for some time after Hrant Dink’s assassination, and gained wide public recognition. He is now said to be working for Akcam, a publication standing close to the ruling authorities. He was earlier a member of the Wise People Committee, which was set up in 2013 to elaborate proposals for resolving the Kurdish issue. The committee has over 60 members representing different NGOs, scholarly circles and the media.

The Turkish Sabah describes the move as an attempt towards pushing forth a thaw in the Armenia-Turkey relations (following PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s April 23 condolence address).

The publication says that Mahçupyan received the proposal directly from the prime minister who personally met with him after the Committee’s meeting last week, he will deal with the settlement of Kurdish and Armenian issues as well as national problems..

Davutoglu reportedly praised Mahçupyan’s contribution to Turkey’s democratization and civil society building efforts, attaching importance to his constrictive position on state and public issues.

Mahçupyan was born in 1950. A graduate of the Bogaziçi University, he later majored in international economics at the University of Ankara (where was a professor from 1977 to 1980). From 1980 until 1996, Mahchupipian engaged in entrepreneurial activities, heading different private organizations.

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