By Hambersom Aghbashian
Professor Dr. Erol Katırcıoğlu was born in 1951 in Istanbul- Turkey. After graduating from Kabatas High School in 1970, he studied political science at School of Political Science (1971-1975), and begun working as an assistant at the same school in 1971. Professor Katırcıoğlu was a “guest student” at the University of Wisconsin (1981-1986) then a “guest lecturer”. He returned home in 1987 and served as assistant professor at Marmara University- Economics Department, then as “associate professor of economics,” and ” professor of economics”. He served also as economic adviser for the Deputy Prime Minister Erdal İnön (Turkey). He also worked in the field of Industrial Economics, and published various studies concerning Turkey’s economy monopolization and the problems caused by monopolization. Some of his studies were supported and published by organizations such as ISO and Frindirch Ebert foundation.
Under the title “Turkish court drops charges against Lagendijk,” (Turkish Daily News) wrote on April 2, 2006, that a Turkish court dropped charges against Dutch Green deputy Joost Lagendijk, who is a senior member of the European Parliament.Turkish prosecutors investigated prosecuting Lagendijk for insulting Turkey’s armed forces. It added that In the meantime, a group of European Parliament members including Lagendijk are expected to travel to Turkey over the weekend to attend the trial of five leading Turkish journalists, Murat Belge, Hasan Cemal, İsmet Berkan, Haluk Şahin and Erol Katırcıoğlu, who were critical of a court’s banning a conference in Istanbul about the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire in the last century and charged with insulting Turkish courts.As in the case of best-selling novelist Orhan Pamuk, the journalists are accused of insulting Turkishness. (1)
According to www.armeniapedia.org, “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. The brief 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.” Erol Katırcıoğlu was one of the Turkish intellectuals who signed the apology. (2)
According to Today’s Zaman, September 2014, A group of academics, journalists, artists and intellectuals have released a statement condemning in the harshest terms what they define as expressions that include “open hatred and hostility” towards Armenians in Turkish schoolbooks, which were exposed by Agos and Taraf newspapers. A letter accompanying the text of the condemnation, written by historian Taner Akçam, notes that including such expressions as lesson material to teach children is a disgrace. The signees said textbooks in schools should seek to encourage feelings of peace, solidarity and living together over inciting hatred towards different religious and cultural groups, Akçam said. He further wrote: “Standing with integrity in the face of history is the prerequisite for establishing the future on the foundations of friendship and peace. Erol Katırcıoğlu was one of the Turkish intellectuals who signed the statement. (3)