Translated from Turkish by Translators for Justice
A group of Turkish Citizens of Armenian descent released a statement that condemns the rector of the Islamic University of Rotterdam, Prof. Ahmet Akgündüz, who expressed his hate against those who joined the Gezi resistance, saying: “The people that started the Gezi Protests are atheists, PKK supporters, drunks, communists and Armenians.”
The statement is as follows:
We, the undersigned, support this text written by Turkish Citizens of Armenian descent in order to condemn Prof. Akgündüz’s statements. We ask that others who wish to add their names to the campaign email firstname.lastname@example.org
We CONDEMN Professor Ahmet Akgündüz
The present-day perspective, based on modernity and rationality, rejects discrimination or hatred based on race, religion, language, sex, gender, or ethnicity. Thus, society’s spokespeople, the guardians of modernity and liberalism, must make a stand against racism, discrimination and irrational hatred. Our opinion leaders, artists, writers, academics and scientists must avoid using hate speech and fomenting racist tensions. Instead, we should strive to build tolerance and sympathy, founding relationships based on equality instead of discrimination, togetherness instead of exclusion, indulgence instead of disdain.
In this context, Professor Ahmet Akgündüz’s derogatory statements are a slur towards people of Armenian descent, stating that the Gezi protests were made by “Armenians, atheists, and drunks” (19.10.2013 Radikal). We assert that his statements are the voice of medieval darkness and reproach his words as racism unfitting to a scientist and university executer. We demand that he retract his statements or face further condemnation.
Dr. med. Sarkis Adam
Raffi Hermon Araks
İbrahim Emre Şekerdağ
Suheyl H. Şengul