YEREVAN (ArmRadio)—“Genocide means not only the extermination of the nation, but also its generations, culture, traditions, cities and villages, and this is what happened in Turkey,” famous Turkish publisher and activist Ragip Zarakolu told reporters in Yerevan on Wednesday. Zarakolu is in Armenia to present the launch of the Turkish edition of “Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey: Testimonies of the Survivors,” a book published by his firm.
In 2012, Zarakolu’s Van Publishing House issued the three-volume work titled “Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey: Testimonies of the Survivors,” which presents eyewitness accounts of the Genocide, valuable archival documents, maps, and photos. In 2013 the book was published in English, and now it’s available in Turkish, as well.
“I was greatly excited by the content of this book, because it includes interviews made in 1916; that is, immediately after the Genocide. This is a very valuable document against Turkish denialism,” Zarakolu said.
“This is denialism: once you lie, you have to do that constantly. This is Turkey’s policy, which I have long been fighting against,” he said.
Zarakolu and his wife have been persecuted in Turkey because of their activity. He has published a number of books on the Armenian Genocide, and this one will come to enrich the list of banned literature in Turkey. “Thanks God there is Internet, and the book will reach the reader,” the publisher said.
Zarakolu said much has changed in Turkey over the past years. “People are tired of lies, they want the truth,” he said.
Ragip Zarakolu referred to Turkish Prime Minister Regep Tayyip Erdogan’s address to the Armenian people on the eve of April 24 and Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian’s invitation to the Turkish leader to visit Yerevan on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. He also spoke about the recent article by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in which the latter notes that “unjust memory has been created around the events of 1915.”
“Davutoglu’s scales are wrong,” the publisher said. “If we look at the period from 1915 to nowadays, we’ll see that two million Armenians living in Western Armenia do not live there anymore. Had there been no genocide, there would be 8-10 million Armenians living there.”