ISTANBUL (Armenpress) — Author of the book, 1915: Armenian Genocide, journalist and writer, Hasan Cemal, was fired this week from the Milliyet newspaper, where he had worked since 1998.
According to Turkish press reports, Cemal was fired after the newspaper refused to publish the veteran journalist’s latest column. Cemal’s last piece was published on March 2, voicing support for the paper’s decision to publish the meeting minutes from a second parliamentarian visit to the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK,) Abdullah Öcalan.
Cemal wrote his last column after Prime Minister Reçep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the newspaper, saying the principle of press freedom does not give the media the right to “act against the national interest of a country.” Erdogan directed his criticism towards Cemal, saying, “down with your journalism, if this is the journalism you will conduct.”
Cemal, who had criticized Erdogan in the column, was removed, but the editor who published the article and the other journalists involved were not fired.
Cemal, the grandson of Young Turk Party leader Cemal Pasha, will present his new book 1915: Armenian Genocide on April 15 at St. Thomas Armenian Church in Tenafly, NJ.
The book, which has become a bestseller in Turkey, presents factual information about the Armenian Genocide and speaks about Cemal’s personal transformation — from someone who once denied the Armenian Genocide to someone who not only recognizes it, but is willing to risk publishing a book on his findings.
Cemal visited the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan five years ago and wrote in his book, “To deny the Genocide would mean to be an accomplice in this crime against humanity.”