By: Hambersom Aghbashian
The story of a 7 year old Armenian boy from his own narrative how he survived the genocide. (Author Baskan Oran).
Baskin Oran (Born 1945 in Izmir, Turkey), had graduated from the Faculty of Political Science ( Ankara University) in 1968 and became an Assistant at the same Faculty. He received his PhD degree in 1974. He was discharged by the Military Gov. In Nov. 1982, then returned to his post in 1990 on a court ruling. He became a Full Prof. of Int. Relations in 1997 and retired in 2006 from the Faculty of PS where he still lectures. He is fluent in French and English besides Turkish. He is the author “Minority and Cultural Rights Report” (2004, Globalization and Minorities, Minorities in Turkey etc.. Baskin Oran was the head of the Int. Rel. chair, PSF (1998-2006); Nat. Liaison Officer to ECRI, CoE* (1999-2009); Commentator, SBS Radio, Australia (1999-2006); Columnist, Agos (since Feb. 2000) and Radikal Iki (since April 2007); Member of PM’s Consultative Committee. on Human Rights (since 2001).(1)
According to “http://www.genocide1915.org”, The massacres in Ottoman Turkey are only second to the Holocaust, the most researched case of genocide. Research on the 1915 genocide is carried out in several countries and in different disciplines. Baskin Oran (political scientist) is one of the most prominent experts in the field who define the events as genocide beside historians Yehuda Bauer,Yair Auron, Henry Huttenbach, Eric Weitz, political scientists Robert Melson, Roger Smith, Colin Tatz; sociologists Helen Fein, Eric Markusen, psychologist and genocide scholar Israel Charny; Raphael Lemkin (lawyer-the father of today’s Genocide Convention), Taner Akcam (historian), Fatma Muge Gocek (Sociologist) and many others.(2)
Harut Sassounian, Publisher, The California Courier wrote on Dec.18, 2008, During the past week, two public appeals were issued on the Armenian Genocide, one by Turkish intellectuals and the other by prominent individuals in Armenia.The Turkish appeal was initiated by scholars Ahmet Insel, Baskin Oran, Cengiz Aktar, and journalist Ali Bayramoglu. Risking death threats by Turkish extremists and possible legal action, they issued a personal apology for “the Great Catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected to in 1915.” On Dec.15, they set up an internet site titled “We Apologize” (www.ozurdiliyoruz.com) which quickly attracted the signatures of more than 3,000 Turks.(3)
armeniapedia.org reporter wrote ” In the July 17, 2005 issue of Marmara, an Armenian daily from Istanbul, I read that Baskin Oran has published a new book with a CD that depicts the memories of an Armenian orphan from his own recordings. It tells the story of this 7 year old Armenian boy** from his own narrative how he survived the genocide”. (4)
In his article “Our Ingenious Projects for 2015″, (Radikal, January 2014), Baskin Oran criticized Yusuf Halaçoğlu*** saying , ” Halaçoglu’s credibility abroad is also important . He is in constant contact with prominent scholars. For example he promised Ara Sarafyan, the Director of Gomidas Institute in London, to work on a joint research on Armenians of Harput. Similarly, he also agreed with Prof. David Gaunt to examine the skeletons found in a cave in Nusaybin’s Kuru Village. However when it came to implementation he told Sarafyan; “There are no records in the archives on this matter.” (Radikal, 10.03.2007).And when Gaunt arrived from Sweden, there were no more skeletons in the cave. Halaçoglu’s explanation was; “It is winter time. It rained, there was rainfall and mud. After all, they were Romans.” (TRT-Haber, 24.04.2007).(5)
According to Asbarez .com (Sept. 30, 2014), Baskin Oran is one of the Turkish Intellectuals who have released a statement condemning in 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. 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.” (6)
* ECRI, European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) is the Council of Europe’s independent human rights monitoring body specialized in combating racism, discrimination, xenophobia, anti-Semitism and intolerance. (CoE) is The Council of Europe ,
**Manuel Kirkasharian (Adana-Turkey) forced on a death march in 1915, and finally survived and arrived in Mosul (Iraq) where he stayed in an Armenian orphanage sponsored by late Sarkis Chakmakchian , an Armenian philanthropist from Mosul. (H.A.)
***Yusuf Halaçoğlu (born 10 May 1949 in Kozan, Adana) is a Turkish historian and politician. He is a former president of the Turkish Historical Society. Halaçoğlu is a well-known denier of the Armenian Genocide. His views closely parallel the official Turkish state thesis that the massacres and death marches did not constitute genocide.