Yusuf Halacoglu: Turk Historian Refuses to Resign





In a press briefing following his controversial comments on Kurds, Alevis and Armenians in Anatolia, historian Yusuf Halacoglu has refused to heed calls for his resignation. He argues that his comments were misunderstood.

Historian Yusuf Halacoglu, who is president of the Turkish Historical Society (TTK), has arranged a press briefing in order to defend his controversial comments on the ethnic make-up of Turkey.

Rejecting calls for his resignation, Halacoglu said, "I, Halacoglu, did not do this research because I am president of the TTK. I am a historian. I have not had a phone call from the government."

He emphasised that his comments had been misinterpreted: "I did not reject [the existence of] Kurds, I said the following: 'Some who believe themselves to be Kurds are shown as Turkmens in 16th century records. Is that saying there are no Kurds? I [also] did not say that Kurdish Alevis are Armenians. There are Armenians who pretended to be Kurdish Alevis in order to escape the forced emigration. Being is different, pretending to be is different."

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