Turkish writer Ayse Kulin’s statement on CNN Turk denying the Armenian Genocide and saying, “We did not butcher the Armenians without a reason,” has met with objections from different circles in Turkey and Armenian communities all over the world.
Some members of that community, as well as some prominent Turkish intellectuals, have launched a campaign on Change.org calling for boycotting the writer and not buying her books. The announcement in Turkish and English reads as follow:
“Very close to the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, it is regrettable that such an irreverent style came from the mouth of a writer, Ayşe Kulin. In an interview with the media, in a very relaxed way, Kulin, by saying ”We did not butcher the Armenians without a reason,” underscored that they had the right to butcher a nation. We do not expect an apology from her or something in those words, we strongly condemn Ayse Kulin and reject her books and invite all people with common sense also not to read her books.”
ISTANBUL (CivilNet)—Appearing on Enver Aysever’s “Contradictory Questions” program on CNN Turk, well-known Turkish writer Ayse Kulin denied the Armenian Genocide took place and said “we did not butcher the Armenians without a reason.” Below is the transcript of that conversation in English.
AYSE KULIN: As a Turk, I feel responsibility and pain for not finding the perpetrators of Hrant Dink’s murder.
ENVER AYSEVER: But you are not the one who is governing the State.
AK: True, but that is my feeling.
EA: Do you share that pain?
AK: Yes, I share the pain. I live in this country, I always vote, yet I am not able to solve anything. Despite being an intellectual in Turkey, I cannot help to solve any problems. I am not able to express my feelings. I didn’t exist during the massacres of the Armenians, not even my mother [was alive]. That is why I do not feel responsibility, but that is one of the shameful events of my country, Turkey.
EA: You mean that you don’t feel responsibility for the deportation of Armenians?
AK: No, I don’t feel any responsibility and I don’t believe that it was a genocide, although it was a very bad event.
EA: You don’t think that what happened was genocide?
AK: No, I do not believe that it was genocide.
EA: But Armenians…
AK: Armenians may think it was.
EA: Armenians insist that it was a genocide. They might get angry.
AK: They might. I like Armenians very much, but those were deportations during the war. It is difficult to call what happened during the war genocide. They didn’t do anything to them like the Jews. We did not butcher the Armenians without a reason.
EA: You said “we” again, but they were the Ottomans.
AK: We too are Ottomans.
EA: Do you feel that way?
AK: Of course, we are the heirs of the Ottomans.
EA: Do you feel yourself an Ottoman or their heir?
AK: No, I am a daughter of the new Turkish Republic, but my generation is different. I grew up in my Ottoman grandfather’s arms.