Baskın Oran / Yerevan, October 2, Armenpress.
The Turkish intellectuals, who contradict the official standpoint of Turkey in the issue of the Armenian Genocide, become target of threats and persecutions. Prominent Turkish activist Baskın Oran is among those intellectuals. Baskın Oran has become the target of persecutions of the Turkish nationalists because of his thoughts. “Armenpress” News Agency had a conversation with the Turkish intellectual regarding the Armenian Genocide issue and other interesting topics as well.
A couple of days ago the Supreme Court decided to annul the decision made by the Ankara 2nd Penal Court of First Instance, which canceled the hearings on Bilal Şekeroglu’s case, who offended You and the Armenians. What are Your expectations from the hearings?
The Penal Court of the First Instance will resume the hearings and will make a decision about a minor punishment and the suspect will not spent even a single day in jail, as the Supreme Court decided that it was just a “common threat”. Notwithstanding we may consider this a signal about positive changes in this issue. Offences and threats are now considered to be crimes. This is a significant achievement.
Can the “democratization package” issued by Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan improve the state of the national minorities in Turkey?
Sure, there may be some positive phenomena, as, for instance, was the decision to return Mor Gabriel temple to the Assyrians. Notwithstanding if the national minorities formed 2,5 percent of Turkey’s population in 1927, but currently they form only 1 per 1000 in the country’s population. And this will not change. Only those who remained in Turkey will feel easier.
Can there be any changes in Turkey’s denialism policy advancing the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide?
In time. Only in time. Notwithstanding it changes faster.
Can the awakening of civil conscious in Turkey push on the state to recognize the Armenian Genocide?
Undoubtedly, civil awakening in Turkey will compel them to recognize atrocities against the Armenians. From one hand the very term “genocide” makes it more difficult to admit and to recognize the massacre by the states. It’s the same as to tell the Turks; “Your grandfathers were Nazis.” The genocide is associated with the Nazis in Turkey. It will be much easer to admit and recognize if it is called a massacre. The stubborn position of the Armenians and Diaspora in particular is a kind of revenge for the disgraceful denialism of the state and it’s not difficult to understand it. (THE FULL VERSION OF THE INTERVIEW IS AVAILABLE IN ARMENIAN).