By Hambersom Aghbashian
Ahmet Alper Görmüş (born 21 November 1952) is a Turkish journalist and writer. He is a columnist for Taraf (since 2007) and for Yeni Aktüel. He was the editor-in-chief of the weekly Nokta (2006-7), and was previously a contributor to Aydınlık (1977 – 1980). Following the 1980 Turkish coup d’état Aydınlık was closed down and he worked outside journalism in a variety of roles. Görmüş resumed journalism at Nokta (1986 – 1990), and was then editor-in-chief of Yeni Aktüel (1991 – 1995). He received the Hrant Dink International Award* in 2009, with Amira Hass**. (1)
In December 2008, (200) prominent Turkish intellectuals released an apology for the “great catastrophe of 1915”. This was a clear reference to the Armenian Genocide, a term still too sensitive to use so openly. The signatories also announced a website related to this apology, and called on others to visit the site and sign the apology as well. The complete, brief text of the apology says “My conscience does not accept the insensitivity showed to and the denial of the Great Catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected to in 1915. I reject this injustice and for my share, I empathize with the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers and sisters. I apologize to them.” Alper Görmüş was one of the Turkish intellectual who signed the petition which in few days was signed by over 13,000 signatories.(2)
The Armenian genocide was commemorated for the first time in Turkey on April 24,2010, where Intellectuals gathered in Taksim Square to commemorate the killings of Armenians in 1915. 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 Insel, columnists Ali Bayramoglu, Roni Marguiles, Alper Görmüş, Ferhat Kentel, Erol Katýrcýoglu , Ümit Kývanç and many others.(3)
www.panarmenian.net (April 20, 2011 ) quoted Turkish Zaman newspaper reporting that “Armenians who lost their lives in the Armenian displacement that took place in 1915, during the final days of the Ottoman Empire, will be commemorated through a variety of events for a second time this year. Commemoration ceremonies will be held in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, Ankara, Izmir, Diyarbakir and Bodrum. The ceremonies are being organized by the “Say Stop to Racism and Nationalism”. Spokesman Cengiz Algan said what took place in 1915 is “a hurt we all share”, and added “We need to confront the realities that have been hidden by the official ideology for 100 years”. A statement with the headline, “This pain is ours,” has been opened up for signatures. More than 100 people including intellectuals, writers and journalists, among them Alper Görmüş signed the statement. “(4)
According to www.noravank.am , July 11,2013, and under the title (Turkey on the threshold of 2015) , it was mentioned that “The representative of the Turkish intelligentsia who writes critical articles for “Taraf” newspaper , Alper Germus, expressed an opinion in connection with assaults against the Armenians in Samatia district of Istanbul saying that the assaults against the Armenians were direct in consequence of “anti-missionary” movement which had been initiated in early 2000s in Turkey, which could be considered as purposeful actions directed to the intimidation of the Armenians on the threshold of 2015. (5)
* The International Hrant Dink Award is presented by the HDV every year on Sept. 15, Dink’s birthday. The foundation states on its website: “The award will be presented to people who work for a world free of discrimination, racism, and violence, take personal risks for their ideals, use the language of peace and by doing so, inspire and encourage others. With this award, the Foundation aims to remind to all those who struggle for these ideals that their voices are heard, their works are visible and that they are not alone, and also to encourage everyone to fight for their ideals.”Each year, the award committee selects one recipient from Turkey and one from abroad.
**Amira Hass is an Israeli left-wing journalist and author, mostly known for her columns in the daily newspaper Ha’aretz