By Hambersom Aghbashian
Halil Ergün (born Halil İbrahim on September 8, 1946 in Iznik, Bursa Province, Turkey), is a Turkish stage, movie and television series actor. He studied political science at Ankara University, and began his theater career in Bursa. Ergün debuted in cinema with director Yilmaz Güney in 1974. He played in many important movies, including Maden, Kuma, Hamam and Kalbin Zamanı. He has performed in more than 80 roles in theater and cinema. In 2006, he starred in the popular television series Yaprak Dökümü as Ali Rıza Bey. Ergün was honored with “Best Actor” award in the theater and cinema, from “Golden Orange Film Festival”* and “Adana Golden Boll Film Festival”** in 1995 for “Böcek” and again in 1996 for “Mum Kokulu Kadınlar”. He received an honorary lifelong achievement award in 2007 from Golden Orange Film Festival.
Esra Özyürek (associate professor of anthropology at UC San Diego) wrote on January 5, 2009 in Los Angeles Times : “Two hundred Turkish intellectuals last month launched an Internet signature campaign for an apology to Armenians for the 1915 massacres. “My conscience does not accept the insensitivity showed to and the denial of the Great Catastrophe that the Armenians were subjected to in 1915,” the brief statement reads. “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. Within a month, more than 26,000 people signed on, a significant number in a country where the fate of the Armenians at the end of the Ottoman Empire has been largely unmentionable for decades. Organizers of the “I apologize” campaign notably shied away from the word genocide, opting instead for “the Great Catastrophe,” a phrase initially used by Armenians.” Halil Ergün was one of the signees. (1)
On 20 February 2009, “Le Monde Magazine” wrote under the head line “Turkish-Armenians, Time To Talk”, a long article about Armenian affairs in Turkey and the assassination of Hrant Dink and its consequences. There was mentioned, “In a morning of winter in Istanbul, a mourning crowd came out to collect and drop bundles of flowers on the sidewalk just in front of the newspaper Agos. At the exact spot where, two years ago, Hrant Dink had collapsed, face against the ground. At the window of the newspaper, the Turkish player Halil Ergün makes a heartfelt tribute to . . his friend and “brother, son orphan of a people.” Faces torn by grief, family and loved ones of murdered Armenian journalist in January 2007 to the jockey ranks first by shaking elbows. Hundreds of anonymous eyes reddened follow, brandishing the famous black panels on which are written: “For Hrant, for Justice”, or “We are all Armenians”.(2)
Today Zaman wrote on Sept. 26, 2014, “A group of academics, journalists, artists and intellectuals have released a statement condemning the harshest terms what they define as expressions that include “open hatred and hostility” towards Armenians in Turkish schoolbooks, which were recently exposed by the newspapers Agos and Taraf. 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.” The statement said: “The revolutions history and history textbooks should be collected immediately, with an apology issued to everyone and particularly to Armenian students. This is where the path to Turkish-Armenian peace lies, at this time when we are approaching 2015.” Halil Ergün also signed the statement.(3)
- The Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival is a film festival, held annually since 1963 in Antalya, it is the most important film festival in Turkey
** The International Adana Golden Boll Film Festival is a film festival of Adana, that was held 17 times since 1969 and took place every year since 2005.