Members of the Defense Committee for Taner Akçam :
Among the first personalities present on the Committee :
Dr. Tessa Hofmann, Freie Universität Berlin
Robert Bret, French Senator C.P.
Dogan Özgüden - Fondation Info-Türk
Horiya Mekrelouf - MRAP Marseilles (France)
Serge Avedikian, French Actor and Film Director
Michel Atalay- Green Political Party (Les Verts en France)
Dr.Wilhelm Baum, Historiker und Verleger, Klagenfurt
Frédéric Couderc, Novelist and journalist - romancier et journaliste
Nathalie Villard , Reporter, France
C.E. Arkantz – French Writer, Columnist
To see the list
This letter has already been sent or will be sent to the following :
The President of France, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, the President of the European Council, the President of the European Parliament, the President of the European Commission, all the Senators and Representatives of France, all the European MPs.
We would appreciate it if those of you who have received this letter would forward it to their friends, relations and colleagues.
We would also appreciate knowing to whom this information has been sent, and whether there are other public figures who would like to become members of the Defense Committee.
In order to avoid that a multitude of requests be sent to the same public figures or associations, please inform us before sending your requests for support, so that we can let you know whether or not these persons have already been contacted.
To contact us, please write to : comitedesoutien.taner.akcam (at) gmail.com
Below please find a Model Letter which could be used to contact the media or various authorities :
Date (... 2007)
Shortly before the Turkish nation went to the polls for early elections organized by the ruling «Party of Justice and Development» (AKP), an independent candidate was assassinated while threats were and are still being made against the lives of others.
In this context of violence, the Defense Committee for Taner Akçam wishes to inform you concerning the life and well being of Professor Akçam and his family.
Historian and sociologist Professor Taner Akçam is an Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota in the United States. He has been the target of an intimidation campaign and of death threats both in the USA and in Turkey in retaliation for his articles and essays in which he affirmed that the massacre of Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 was, in fact, a genocide.
Taner Akçam was close to Hrant Dink, a Turkish citizen of Armenian origin who was a journalist, intellectual, and champion of democracy in Turkey. Hrant Dink was murdered on January 19th in Istanbul. We weren't able to protect him. We need to be more successful in protecting Professor Akçam's life.
Thus, we request that all the European and national authorities pressure the Turkish government to take whatever measures are necessary to stop the hate campaigns which are being run by the daily newspaper «Hürriyet» and by various internet sites. We want the Turkish government to be informed that we hold it responsible for the safety and well being of Professor Akçam and his family. The most unsettling fact is that there was an identical hate campaign in the same daily newspaper («Hürriyet», which has a large distribution in Europe) and it eventually led to the murder of Hrant Dink.
We would like Europe, and especially France, to obtain a repeal of Article 301 in the Turkish Penal Code, under which law more than 60 intellectuals have already been brought to justice for «insult against Turkishness». This law, which creates «national traitors», has already killed people, and it will no doubt continue to kill more.
Any negotiations for the adhesion of Turkey to the European Union must be preceded by a true respect for Human Rights and must allow others, rather than simply the Turkish Government, to express themselves concerning the historical facts related to the Armenian Genocide.
Defense Committee for Taner Akçam / Comité de soutien à Taner Akçam
Hürriyet (See the article in «Hürriyet»)