Turkish journalist who has recognized Armenian Genocide is announced "information hero" -
In the 2014 list of “information 100 heroes” of the organization “Reporters without Borders” two Turkish journalists are included T24 independent internet newspaper analyst Hasan Cemal and "Radikal" newspaper reporter Ismail Saymaz. They are included in the list for “the brave publications in the Turkish press”.
Among the journalists included in the list of 65 countries executing severe pressure on mass media, like Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Eritrea, Bahrain, Vietnam, Hasan Cemal is considered to be one of the intellectuals, who have recognized the Armenian Genocide and have had a great role in the elimination of the taboos on the Armenian issue in the Turkish society.
As reports “Armenpress”, referring to the Turkish news website gazeteciler.com, on the way of including Hasan Cemal in the list of “information heroes”, a tangible role is attributed to his bold interviews with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) armed wing leaders, as well as to his book "1915: The Armenian Genocide", which has greatly contributed to the change of the hardened public opinion on the Armenian Genocide.
Hasan Cemal is the grandson of one of the ringleader organizers of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire, Minister of the Navy Djemal Pasha. Djemal Pasha was assassinated in July 1922, in Tbilisi by the Armenian avengers Stepan Tsaghikyan, Artashes Gevorgyan and Petros Ter-Poghosyan.
“If this is journalism, then down with your journalism!” Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not mince his words when he accused the daily Milliyet of jeopardising the peace process with Kurdish rebels in March last year when it published the minutes of the negotiations. His blast was aimed partly at the noted columnist Hasan Cemal, who defended his newspaper and said he believed each must do his job. He was forced to resign shortly afterwards. Yet, if anyone believes in peace and reconciliation, it is him. But he is also used to breaking taboos. At the height of the fighting between Ankara and the PKK, he was among the handful of journalists who went to interview the rebels in their stronghold in the Kandil mountains.
In 2012, he published a book whose title alone would have landed him in prison a few years earlier: “1915: Armenian Genocide”. It quickly became a best seller and its success was was a sign that Turkish society was changing.
The 70-year-old journalist, who now works for the news website T24, is still the regular target of hate campaigns and smears by the far right.