Turkish Thinkers Sorry for Armenian 'Catastrophe'

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 15, 2008 5:47 PM CST
Armenians carry a banner during a rally in Times Square marking the 90th anniversary of the mass killings of Armenians in what was then the Ottoman Empire in 1915 April 24, 2005 in New York City.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A group of about 200 Turkish intellectuals today issued an apology on the Internet for the World War I-era massacres of Armenians in Turkey, the AP reports. The group of prominent academics, journalists, writers and artists avoided using the contentious term "genocide" in the apology, using the less explosive "Great Catastrophe" instead.

"My conscience does not accept that (we) remain insensitive toward and deny the Great Catastrophe that the Ottoman Armenians were subjected in 1915," read the apology. "I reject this injustice, share in the feelings and pain of my Armenian brothers, and apologize to them." The apology is a sign that many in Turkey are ready to break a long-held taboo against acknowledging Turkish culpability for the deaths.