By Hambersom Aghbashian

Koray Caliskan is a Turkish political scientist and assistant professor of political science teaching at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Department of Political Science and International Relations. He is also a columnist at the liberal newspaper, Radikal, and works on the anthropology of capitalism. He has a book on global markets published by Princeton University Press in October 2010. He developed the idea of a TV series on honor crimes, “Menekse and Halil,” screened at a Turkish national channel in 2007-2008.(1)

In December 2008, two hundred 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 text of the apology was: “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.” Koray Caliskan was one of the intellectuals who signed the apology.(2)

According to “,” on April 25, 2001, Armenian and Turkish Panelists came together in Ground Breaking Dialogue on Genocide at Fordham University” where many intellectuals, historians, scholars, Human Right activists and others participated in it. Koray Caliskan also participated and had his input where he eloquently discussed his own educational history and how there was no mention of the massacres in his elementary and secondary teachings. It was only during his university years that he discovered “curious tensions about what happened in our historical past. “as he described it. And despite Turkey’s constant denial of such a horrific event ever taking place, he believed that “the unbearable silence is produced in such a noisy milieu” and that breaking this silence should be of utmost importance for those who truly want to say that they are Turkish.(3)

Under the headline “Recognition of the Armenian Genocide”, “aghet 1915.” wrote, “The fact of the Armenian Genocide by the Ottoman government has been documented, recognized, and affirmed in the form of media and eyewitness reports, laws, resolutions, and statements by many historians, states and international organizations. The complete catalogue of all documents categorizing the 1915 massacre of the Armenian population in Ottoman Empire as a premeditated and thoroughly executed act of genocide, is extensive”. Then added a list of Turkish historian who have recognized the Armenian Genocide. It includes Halil Berktay , Taner Akçam , Murat Belge, Ahmet Insel , Bulent Peker , Salim Deringil, Ali Ertem, Fatma Muge Gocek , Koray Caliskan and many others.(4)

Koray Caliskan and many other Turkish intellectuals, historians, scholars, Human Rights activists, writers and others, where criticized for being friendly to the Armenians Genocide issue and recognizing it, and as Turkish scholars they agree with the Armenians that what happened in 1915 to the Armenians is a Genocide. (5)

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