ISTANBUL - The apology campaign initiated by a group of Turkish intellectuals has inspired Armenians to launch a similar initiative to apologize to the Turks for murders committed by the Asala organization in the 1980s.
Dr. Armen Gavakian from the Macquarie University in Sydney, who is also co-chair of the Turkish-Armenian Dialogue Group, is behind the initiative. The statement will be opened for signatures next week, Gavakian told daily Radikal. "Through this campaign we will show that we support our Turkish friends’ campaign with all our heart," he said. The petition will read: "I apologize to the Ottomans and Turks for murders committed in the name of the Armenian people and I empathize with the feelings and pain of the Ottomans and Turks."
Gavakian said Turks’ "I apologize" campaign inspired him to launch a similar effort. "This was a great initiative that was proof of nobility since it is hard to face one’s past, whether as an individual or a nation É I hope the Armenians can show the same courage as the Turks and face the skeletons in their own closet," he said.
"My conscience does not accept the insensitivity and the denial of the ’Great Catastrophe’ that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected to in 1915. I reject this injustice and for my share, I empathize with the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers and sisters. I apologize to them," said the Turkish campaign’s petition signed by more than 30,000 people so far.