Call made to include Armenian journalists killed in 1915 in slain journalists list

April 20, 2011, Wednesday/ 17:53:00/ YONCA POYRAZ DOĞAN

A group of journalists have made a call to include Armenian journalists killed in 1915 in a list of slain journalists in Turkey by various journalists' associations on Tuesday; however, the Contemporary Journalists Association (ÇGD) recently did add the names of nine journalists of Armenian origin killed in 1915 to their list.

“This is the first time that a journalists' association has announced that Armenian journalists were killed in 1915,” said Rober Koptaş, editor-in-chief of the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, in reference to the ÇGD initiative, at a press conference yesterday.

Ahmet Abakay, head of the ÇGD, said at the same conference that the association will hold a ceremony on April 24, the commemoration day of Armenian killings of 1915 in Ottoman lands.

“It's been a shame that there needs to be a serious effort to update our lists. The delay is due to our ignorance. Somebody drew up a list and we used it,” Abakay said. 

In its list, the ÇGD has added the names of Krikor Zohrab, Yervant Sımakeşhanlıyan, Adom Yarcanyan, Hovhannes Harutyunyan, Rupen Sevag, Rupen Zartayan, Armen Doryan, Levon Larents and Taniel Varujan.

Koptaş remarked that journalist Bülent Tellan was given an “honorable mention” last year by the Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) for his work “Censorship with Blood,” in which he provided details of Armenian journalists killed in 1915, but the TGC still did not mention those names in its list.

Koptaş, who was joined by Tellan, Ali Bayramoğlu and Ragıp Zarakolu at the press conference, added that there are also other journalists, including some Kurdish journalists who were killed, who have not been commemorated by including their names on the slain journalists list.

The original list included the names of more than 70 journalists killed in Turkey before and after the foundation of the Turkish Republic, including well-known figures such as Abdi İpekçi, Çetin Emeç and Uğur Mumcu; but it only had one Armenian name, Hrant Dink, a Turkish journalist of Armenian descent and editor-in-chief of Agos weekly, who was assassinated in İstanbul in 2007.

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