95 years after vengeance against Djemal Pasha: Armen Gevorgyan’s thoughts on Armenian Genocide and his meetings with Hasan Djemal
YEREVAN, JULY 21, ARMENPRESS. Today marks the 95th anniversary of the retribution on Djemal Pasha, one of the organizers and perpetrators of the 1915 Armenian Genocide.
Djemal Pasha was assassinated in July 21 1922, in Tbilisi by the Armenian avengers Stepan Tsaghikyan, Artashes Gevorgyan and Petros Ter-Poghosyan.
ARMENPRESS correspondent talked to Artashes Gevorgyan’s grandson, Armen Gevorgyan, by trying to find out some details from the meeting with grandson of Djemal Pasha, writer, publicist Hasan Djemal, his impressions from the talk with Hasan, as well as on other issues.
-Mr. Gevorgyan, you had meetings with Hasan Djemal in 2008 and 2014. What did you feel when you first saw him?
-At the very first meeting I noticed embarrassment and excitement on him which was more than on me. I understood that Hasan is among those Turks who clearly understand the guilt of their ancestors and want to get rid of the feeling of this inherited guilt. Hasan told me those meetings he needed more, despite the fact that he clearly understood that after returning to his country he would be forced to answer why he forced himself to visit Armenia and meet with a person who killed Djemal Pasha. However, it was Hasan’s initiative to meet and talk on the topic of the Genocide. I felt a very important thing: a communication with Hasan enabled me to understand that Turks mostly are afraid of talking about the Genocide and voicing it.
-What issues were discussed during the meetings?
-First of all, I would like to note that Hasan was trying to be honest in his words and wanted to understand to what extent the Armenian and Turkish societies are ready for dialogue. The fact that Hasan was clearly perceiving the guilt of his ancestors and regretted it, was definite. However, after several talks with him, I understood that in reality the issue of this dialogue is important. During the talks, in addition to talking about pains of the Genocide and its consequences, we were also talking about the causes of organizing and committing the Genocide. During one of the meetings he said perhaps I and he are ready, but there is still no trust between the Armenian and Turkish societies to enter in a deep dialogue.
-Do you currently continue the contacts with Hasan and do you plan to have another meeting with him?
-Yes, I continue contacts. We are in constant contact, and I, even today, plan to send a letter to him since this day both at negative and positive means is important for me and him. As for holding another meeting with him, I can state that I haven’t decided yet when it will take place, but I really have such plans, especially when Hasan frequently invites me to Turkey.
-In your opinion, what results did Hasan’s visits give and what impact did the meetings with you have on the Armenian and Turkish societies?
-I think that event was really important first of all in terms of dialogue between the nations. In this sense I think these meetings can be considered as a small part of path taking to a dialogue. In my opinion, the meetings gave certain activeness to the issue on to what extent our society is interested in the causes of the implementation of the Genocide and reaching further dialogue with the Turkish people. I want to state that after the meetings with Hasan this interest has increased among our public since after that people in street often recognize me and ask numerous questions concerning the talks with Hasan. As I later was informed from my Turkish friends, as well as from Hasan that similar incidents also happened to them.