By Hambersom Aghbashian
Fehim Taştekin (born in 1972 in Oltu, district of Erzurum Province, Turkey) is a Turkish journalist. After graduating from Istanbul University- Faculty of Political Sciences, he joined the master’s program in international relations branch of the Institute of Islamic Countries at Marmara University but did not finish it. He is a columnist at the Turkish newspaper Radikal, based in Istanbul, and the host of a weekly program called “SINIRSIZ” on IMC TV. He is an analyst specializing in Turkish foreign policy, and Caucasus, Middle East and EU affairs. He participates in Hurriyet international analysis site as senior correspondent, and contributes to Al-Monitor’s Turkey Pulse as a columnist. He is the author of “Suriye: Yıkıl Git, Diren Kal” and was the founding editor of Agency Caucasus.
In an article posted on April 22, 2014, Fehim Taştekin wrote “Turkey wants to reconcile with the Armenians without taking any real step to appease them, marking the 99th anniversary of 1915 as that of the ‘Armenian atrocities’, signaling its denial policy is growing even tougher ahead of the centenary of the massacres.” He added “It took ages for a small group of Turkish intellectuals and politicians to utter the words ‘Armenian genocide’ in a country where the 1915 chapter of history books was headed as the ‘Armenians’ atrocities.’ A newly published book ‘1965: 50 years before 2015, 50 years after 1915’ by Aris Nalci and Serdar Korucu , provides a striking account of Turkey’s attitude on the ‘genocide’ throughout the years. (1)
On April 14, 2015, and under the title “AKP’s stance on Armenians worries Christians”, Fehim Taştekin wrote in Al MONITOR: “Early in its rule, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government raised expectations that Turkey was willing to face its past. But now, as the 100th anniversary of Armenian genocide approaches, the government, let alone facing up to the past, has indulged in a frenzy of casting shadows on the genocide observances and moved Turkey’s traditional Gallipoli celebrations, normally held March 18, to April 22-24.” Then quoting Turkish journalist Serdar Korucu he mentioned that “Armenians, because of their painful past, are fluttering like pigeons. History has taught Armenians that on this soil steps forward may easily be followed by steps backward. At the beginning of the 20th century, Armenians were the most ardent supporters of the revolutionary Committee of Union and Progress [CUP]. They paid for it with the Adana massacre of 1909 engineered by partisans of the sultan. Six years later Armenians became the targets of the CUP genocide. Armenians lived through similar steps backward in the 2000s also. Although there have been some positive steps in restoring properties of religious foundations, there are many issues that shake Armenian confidence, such as the claims that the forces that attacked Kessab were supported by Ankara, the targeting of the ancient church of Deir ez-Zor by the [Islamic State] said to be supported by Turkey and changing the date of the Gallipoli observances to overshadow the Armenian genocide anniversary.” (2)
Under the head line “The revival of Turkey’s ‘lynching’ culture”, Fehim Taştekin wrote on September 22, 2015: “Turkey’s past century has seen a series of pogroms and mob violence in which the state apparatus directly took part, acted as an instigator or conductor, or simply looked the other way. The 1915 Armenian genocide, the 1914-15 massacres that wiped Syriacs off this geographic area, the 1937-38 massacres of 13,000 Alevi Zazas in Dersim and the deportation of 12,000 others could be seen as planned actions of the state. But the 1934 pogroms in Thrace, which prompted the exodus of up to 15,000 Jews; the Sept. 6-7, 1955, Istanbul pogroms, which saw Greek, Jewish and Armenian properties ransacked; the 1978-80 massacres of Alevis in Maras, Sivas and Corum; and the 1993 torching of a hotel in Sivas in which 37 Alevi intellectuals perished are engraved in memory as the terrible deeds of frenzied mobs.” (3)