Ankara, December 19, 2014/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Manolis Kostidis
Impressive is considered the decision of the Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu to appoint as his chief-advisor the Armenian in origin journalist-columnist Etyen Mahçupyan (photo).
The proposal was made by Davutoglu personally to Mahcupyan, who accepted it and his appointment has already been finalised.
The Armenian in origin journalist-columnist has contributed to the democratisation and demilitarisation efforts of Turkey. He also participated in the committee of “wise men” for the Kurdish problem. At the same time, he is considered to participate in Turkey’s attempts to approach Armenia.
Mahcupyan until 1997 had an academic career and then worked a columnist in the newspaper Zaman between 2000 and 2007. Zaman is controlled by the Islamic Hizmet movement of Fethullah Gülen. After the assassination of the editor of the Armenian newspaper Agos, Hrant Dink, Mahcupyan resigned from Zaman and took over as editor in chief of Agos, where he remained until 2010. Since then he has been employed as a columnist in the newspaper Akşam.
In August of 2014, Recep Tayip Erdogan in an interview on the television network NTV, had offended Armenians with his statements: “Someone said for me that I am Georgian. Then someone else stated something even more heinous – sorry to say – that I am an Armenian”.
The newspaper Agos had accused Erdogan racist behaviour and its front page title was “God forgive him!”
But then Erdogan on April 23, 2014 expressed the condolences of Turkey to the “grandchildren of the Armenians, who were killed in 1915”.
With this statement, it was the first time that a Turkish prime minister (Erdogan was still PM at the time) spoke so openly of this tragedy, which occurred between 1915 and 1917, during the last years of the Ottoman Empire, and is recognized as a genocide by many countries. Turkey does not recognise the Armenian genocide.
“It is a human duty to understand and sympathise with the will of the Armenians to commemorate the sufferings of those days”, said the statement.
“We want the Armenians who lost their lives in the conditions of the early 20th century to rest in peace and we express our condolences to their grandchildren”, said in another part of the message.