Monday, January 30, 2012

Turkish Newspaper Taraf Headlines Events of 1915 as Genocide

Front page of Turkish newspaper Taraf during the last week of January 2012.

Ahmet Altan, Editor of Taraf, speaking at the Armenian Library and Museum of America
On Saturday night, Ahmet Altan, Editor in Chief of the Turkish newspaper Taraf, (published in Istanbul), spoke to an overflowing crowd of Turks and Armenians at the Armenian Library and Museum of America in Watertown, Massachusetts.  His message?  Speak to the heart, not to the mind.  His newspaper, Taraf, in reponse to the new French law outlawing genocide denial, published his message in flaming red letters :  The events of 1915 were a genocide.  Expanding on that message, he cautioned not to argue about numbers.  "If even one person was killed because s/he was an Armenian, it was genocide."  He went on.  "Turks do not know the history; they have not been taught the history.  You must speak to their hearts, not to their minds.  Tell them your stories.  Tell me your stories.  I will publish your stories in my newspaper and they will know the truth."


  1. Mr. Altan is absolutely correct that Turks do not know the history. When I taught in Bornova, Turkey in 1960-61, I was not surprised that high school students did not connect my first name to the river on their eastern border. Also adults my age could not understand why, as an American, I was able to speak some Turkish. As for older Turks, they were actually afraid for me and cautioned me not to travel far within the country. They also thought that the United States government was foolish in even selecting me to teach in Turkey in the Fulbright Exchange Program.

    Another great blog as well as program by ALMA.

  2. By calling the murder of one Armenian, genocide, Ahmet Altan drains meaning from the word. Clever.