By Hambersom Aghbashian
Dr. Tarik Ziya Ekinci (born in 1925 in Diyarbakir- Turkey) is a Turkish Physician, politician and writer of Kurdish descent . He is a graduate of the Medical School- Istanbul University. He studied medicine also in Paris and is specialized in Internal Medicine. He worked at the Malaria Medical Office in Siverek, a town and district in the south-east of Turkey, in Şanlıurfa province, and was the Chief of Medical Staff in Lice, a small city in Diyarbakir. He is the president of the Red Crescent chamber in Diyarbakir, Mardin and Siirt and the Tuberculosis Control Association Board. Dr. Tarik Ziya Ekinci is a member of the Socialist Cultural Association and the founder and the manager of Free Doctors. He served as PM representing Diyarbakir. He was detained for alleged propaganda of defending the Kurdish nationality and was sentenced to three years imprisonment and spent two years in detention. He is married and has two children.
Dr. Tarik Ziya Ekinci is one of the Turkish intellectuals and politicians who, in December 2008, with 200 prominent Turkish intellectuals released an apology for the “great catastrophe of 1915”. This was a clear reference to the Armenian Genocide, a term which is 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 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.” A few days after the site went up, it had reached over 13,000 signatories. (1)
According to Today’s Zaman daily (Sept.30, 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. 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. I do hope that this signature campaign will be taken as a scream from all of us for the publication of textbooks that we would like to see.” Dr. Tarik Ziya Ekinci was one of the signees. (2)