Letter: Just Say ‘NO!’ to the Young Turks

Dear Editor,

MSNBC TV is thinking of filling their 10 p.m. spot with Cenk Uygur, currently of “The Young Turks” radio show. The Wikipedia entry for Uygur states that “After cable news network MSNBC announced that it would replace re-airings of Countdown with Keith Olbermann with a new hour-long show…a grassroots campaign aimed at persuading MSNBC to choose Uygur as the host of that new show was launched.”

Uygur, a so-called “progressive,” vehemently denies the Armenian Genocide. He once proudly wrote that he challenged a professor at Columbia University to provide a single source that documented the genocide. According to Cenk, the professor was not able to do so.

A show called “The Young Turks” hosted by Uygur must never air on MSNBC or any station. I hope every Armenian will contact MSNBC to voice their outrage. Can you imaging a program hosted by someone who proudly calls his show “The Nazis” and who denies the Holocaust?

Please call (212-664-4444), write (MSNBC, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, NY, NY 10112), or email MSNBC (letters@msnbc.com) and tell them “NO” to Cenk Uygur and “NO” to the Young Turks. Please, in memory of the 1.5 million Armenians murdered by the Young Turks, contact MSNBC to nip this thing in the bud.

Anahid Jafargian
Waldwick, N.J.

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.


  1. While it is true that Uygur has denied the Armenian Genocide while in college, he has since revisited his views. Blogging on the Huffington Post in 2007, for example, Uygur compared Iran’s denial of the Holocaust to Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide. In criticizing the argument that America should invade Iran because of Holocaust denial, Uygur wrote: “But Ahmadinejad is the leader of an important country in the Middle East. Well, so is Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey. He denies the Armenian Genocide. Should we invade Turkey?” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cenk-uygur/ahmadinejad-the-new-boog_b_65735.html

    While the choice of “Young Turks” as a name of a progressive program is distasteful, to say the least, Turkish-American Cenk Uygur is on record recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

    Simon Maghakyan
    Denver, Colorado


    • How come not one of you has looked up the definition for young Turk? It has nothing to do with Turkey it means and young progressive, just look it up. All these comments and no one knew what this meant? Jeez people learn to research before you get so offended.

    • @Kvnb561 What I myself saw this Friday afternoon [November 1] is forever engraven on my mind as the most horrible sight a man can see. I went with one of the cavasses of the English Legation, a soldier, my interpreter, and a photographer (Armenian) to the Armenian Gregorian cemetery. The municipalty had sent down a number of bodies, friends had brought more, and a horrible sight met my eyes. Along the wall on the north …. lay 321 dead bodies of the massacred Armenians. Many were fearfully mangled and mutilated. I saw one with his face completely smashed in with a blow of some heavy weapon after he was killed. I saw some with their necks almost severed by a sword cut. One I saw whose whole chest had been skinned, his forearms were cut off, while the upper arm was skinned of flesh. I asked if the dogs had done this. ‘No, the Turks did it with their knives’. A dozen bodies were half burned.” … “A crowd of a thousand people, mostly Armenians, watched me taking photographs of their dead. Many were weeping beside their dead fathers or husbands.” W. L. Sachtleben, “Letter to the Editor”, the London Times, December 14th 1895 (quoted in G. Aivazian, “Sachtleben Papers on Erzurum”, in “Armenian Karin/Erzurum”, ed R. G. Hovannisian)

    • Are they descendants and have the middle east as a priority? I am very skeptical of descendants out of the middle east due to the divide the extremists of that region has caused with races and various groups. Those holy lands have been an ongoing fued from that region as well. I have noticed the middle east rarely takes accountability for the divide they cause they act as if they are justified due to the lands and groups they formed for hiarchey. I feel like this will be a consistant issue for the future.

    • The Young Turks were originally a group of politicized Turkish military officers pivotally involved in initiating the Armenian genocide; a name fraught with historical significance. Watering it down as a revisionist tool is just plain inaccurate.

  2. Say What?

    I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw that someone with an Armenian sounding name felt the need to counter Anahid Jafargian’s letter of Feb. 28 regarding the possibility of Cenk Uygur of “The Young Turks” taking over the 10 p.m. nightly show on MSNBC (Armenian Weekly, Letters, March 7).

    “While it is true that Uygur has denied the genocide while in college,” the gentleman wrote, “he has since revisited his views.” Really? I might be conditioned by 30 years in advertising where every word, every nuance counts and every claim must be documented, but to my understanding, revisiting in no way signifies revising one’s views. As for the quote from the blog on the Huffington Post, Uygur is simply pointing out that it makes no more sense to invade Iran because Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust than it would to invade Turkey because they deny the Armenian Genocide. In this comparison, use of the word genocide does not mean that Uygur himself considers what happened as genocide. As someone who reads the Huffington Post daily, I’m familiar with the quote but do not believe it constitutes being “on record [as] recognizing the Armenian Genocide” as Maghakyan states Uygur is.

    I spent several hours surfing the web, trying to find one instance where Uygur acknowledges the genocide. I could not find one. I would love it if Maghakyan or anyone could provide proof other than the above-cited quote from the Huffington blog. I sincerely would love it, because on all other issues (with the exception of his great pride in being a Turk) I agree with Uygur’s politics and opinions.

    By the way, even if he did recognize that the genocide did occur, the fact that he calls his show “The Young Turks” means that he is not troubled by it. Think of it as a German radio host who admits the Holocaust happened, but still proudly calls his show “The Nazis.”

    I hope Armenians will not be lulled into a false sense of security by Maghakyan’s letter. I hope they will contact MSNBC as Anahid urged to make sure Cenk Uygur of “The Young Turks” does not have a nightly show on MSNBC.

    In the meantime, I find it very discouraging that at a time when the news gets worse and worse for Armenians—with more Democrats joining the genocide denial ranks and the Turks winning the PR battle—that a fellow Armenian would actually take the time to sit down and write a letter countering a call to action by a fellow Armenian to keep a program called “The Young Turks” off the air. To what end? This is why the Armenians will never get anywhere in their quest for justice.

    Arpi Harutunian
    Glen Rock, N.J.

    • You are an idiot. The English phrase ‘young turk’ means a progressive rebelling against authority. Learn to look up the multiple definition’s of a phrase before you ASSUME that you know something. Smdh

  3. I listen to Cenk’s show everyday. His entertainment co-host is an Armenian – Ana Kasparian. You are barking up the wrong tree here. Cenk used to be an asshole conservative with all kinds of wrong-headed beliefs – a fact he constantly revisits on his show. But I’ve heard him acknowledge the Armenian genocide several times on his show. He’s probably write you back if you emailed him with a question about the subject.

    Now, to your point about the name of the show. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the colloquial expression of “young turk”. It’s in the dictionary. This is the definition:

    1. A young progressive or insurgent member of an institution, movement, or political party.

    2. A young person who rebels against authority or societal expectations.

    3. A rebel-rouser or young upstart

    So, the name of the show has a double meaning. Cenk is far from a Turkish nationalist, though he often cites his own background in passing. If you listen to his show, you would see how far off-base you are.

    And one more thing. The term “Turk” and “Nazi” are simply not analogous. A proper comparison would be the Nazis and the Nationalist Movement Party of Turkey, or a “Turk” and a “German”. You’re making quite a leap to say the term “Turk” is as bad as “Nazi”.

    Cenk is a decent guy with a deep sense of social justice. He’s protested loudly against the use of torture by the Bush administration, for example. Your characterization of Cenk is simply not accurate. And remember, not all Turks are evil because their ancestors perpetrated horrible crimes. This is the same for the Germans and Americans, who committed genocide against the Native Americans. Please, have some perspective.


  4. Dear Morgan, You assume quite a lot. Why would you assume I might perhaps be “unfamiliar with the colloquial expression of ‘young turk’.” One does not spend 10 years at world-class universities and escape such knowledge. So take your condescending didactic tone someplace else.

    What I am unfamiliar with is an understanding of Armenians’ need to be so f***ing fair. The question is, do you want a show called The Young Turks in American living rooms every single night of the year? Maybe you do.

    I’ve often said that what makes this situation so painful is that in every other way, my politics are completely aligned with Uygur’s.

    Moallemian? Are you Armenian?


  5. I agree with Morgan on this one. Cenk is a decent guy and I am sure if you emailed him with your problem regarding his past views on the Armenian genocide he would clear everything up. As for the name “The Young Turks” I dont believe that this name is in any way provocative or controversial. Its a great show with a great host and I am fully behind them getting the 10 p.m. slot.

  6. You do know that it was the Young Turks who killed 1,500,000 Armenians. You don’t find that provocative or controversial?

    • Yes, I do! Ukraine is run by Neo-Nazis, the Azov Battalion, and the neo-fascist Maidan regime.

      If you speak out against them, you go on their hit list.

  7. No I dont find that provocative or controversial because as Morgan Moallemian said earlier he interprets the name to mean a rebel rouser or young up-start. He did not go out to name his show after a murderous group just to piss off the Armenians. You need to cool down a bit.

  8. This is an interesting post and I can understand the angry feelings toward the show’s name. I am an occasional co-host and producer on the show, and I am Armenian. So with that said, let me fill you in on what the show is all about.

    TYT (I like calling it that rather than The Young Turks) is a political commentary and pop culture show. While the host is Turkish, we have an extremely diverse staff. Cenk Uygur (the host) never denied the Genocide. When he was in college, he argued that although the genocide did occur, he didn’t believe it was considered a “genocide.”

    But just the other day, he and I discussed the genocide on the show, he and literally admit that the genocide DID happen, and that the Turks SHOULD acknowledge it. I think the most important thing for Armenians right now is to establish better relations with their neighbors. But in order for that to happen, the Turks need to apologize and the Armenians need to accept it and move on.

    Anyway, our show has nothing to do with Turkish anything. I hope you can be as open minded as I have been and accept that.

    Also, that post by Ugur90 is not written by the Cenk Uygur who hosts the show.

    • Lol and She admits cenk denies the genocide and wants turkey to admit to a massacre.

      Now, to your point about the name of the show. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the colloquial expression of “hitler youth”. It’s in the dictionary. This is the definition:

      1. A young progressive or insurgent member of an institution, movement, or political party.

      2. A young person who rebels against authority or societal expectations.

      3. A rebel-rouser or young upstart

    • “But just the other day, he and I discussed the genocide on the show, he and literally admit that the genocide DID happen, and that the Turks SHOULD acknowledge it.”

      Hey Ana, do you have a link to this video or a transcript of this? I would love to see it. Thanks.

  9. Dear Ms. Kasparian:

    Even if a Turkish Prime Minister acknowledges the genocide, the next PM can easily withdraw that acknowledgment.

    And I have news for you: Armenians have land and reparations claims. So, we are not going to, as you suggest, “move on,” even if Turkey does issue an acknowledgment.

    Ms. Kasparian, I’d like to see you publicly suggest that Jews should have “moved on” after 1946 (when Germany acknowledged the Holocaust) and not sought and received the countless billions in reparations they have received and continue to receive. My point is, you will tell Armenians to “move on,” but you would never criticize Jews in the same way.

    Maybe, Ms. Kasparian, you and your Young Turks should be the ones who do the “moving on.”

    • I’m in support of your comments… but, trust me the Young Turks are no friend of the Jews!

  10. We Armenians need to stop making such a stink about this non-issue. What’s next…objection to the use of the word “Turk,” or even “Ottoman” (Just Say ‘NO’ to Ottoman footstools, write to your nearest furniture store!)?

  11. Dear Mr. Feegee and Mr. haroutunian,

    I am a fan of TYT and do agree with Ms. Kasparian that has nothing to do with Turkish nationalism or denial or the Armenian holocaust.
    The unfortunate misunderstanding is due to the show’s name. I’m sure that in retrospect a different name would have been chosen, and if selected to fill the 10PM slot on MSNBC I doubt the show would continue with the same name.
    Cenk Uygur and Anna Casparian are great. There is no other show currently being broadcast that offers such an intelligent, common sense take on current events, politics and popular cultutre.
    I am sorry that the show’s name causes pain to some and also regret if Mr. Uygur has had hurtful views in the past. From listening to the show over the past three years, Mr. Uygur has shown nothing but respects to all cultures, and Ms. Kasparian always talks with pride about her Armenian heritage.
    Let’s give the show the chance that it deserves on its own merrits and hope that they rename the show.

  12. Ana,

    Will MSNBC allow you guys to say the things you said about Lenny Kravtiz? =).  Only then, will I support the show.

  13. @Feegee
    Please stop pretending as if you represent all armenians. Ana is an armenian and partially so am I (the other part is jewish, yeh that’s right double genocide). I support fully Ana’s view here and perhaps I am even more forgiving. This genocide happened 100 years ago and Armenia has way bigger problems at the moment, for example the terrible relations to practically all their neighbors. Making amends with the turks would be very valuable. I am sure they will acknowledge the crimes of some of their ancestors in due time. Until then the armenian people need to stop harboring this disgusting thinly veiled racism I see in some of the comments above and reconsider their priorities.

  14. I don’t care what other connotations Young Turks has (progressive revolutionaries or whatever), as long as it was the Young Turks who planned and executed the genocide, using the term, even for it’s positive connotation, is the same as using the term Nazi or Storm Trooper. Jenk is progressive. I agree with him on 99.9% of what he says. They still need to change the name of the show.

  15. Just wondering if greywoods feels the same way about his Jewish part: [they] need to stop harboring this disgusting thinly veiled racism…and reconsider their priorities. Just asking.

  16. Eric,
    I have never noticed jews acting this way. Jews do not hate on germans in this way as far as I know.
    While I admit The Young Turks is a slightly unfortunate name, do remember it has other meanings. “Nazi” has only one meaning.

    • That is because the got:
      1. Acknowledgment
      2. World sympathy
      3. Financial Reparations
      4. A Whole New Country!!!
      What Armenia has gotten:
      1. A little more clipped still every year since
      2. YouTube videos of Turkish soldiers RECENTLY destroying ancient Armenian grave sights and hucking them into the river while Armenians stand helpless recording across the ‘Border’ that is and has been OUR Land for thousands of years up Until the Massacre. Maybe you didn’t get that- M-A-S-S-A-C-R-E
      3. Kim Kardashian, who has done Exactly nothing for her fellow Armenians…
      Any more questions?

    • Actually, colloquially, Nazi has come to mean a highly inflexible or authoritarian person such as in “Grammar Nazi” – used to denote a person who cares too much about minor mistakes in casual writing. It is used comically but I still think there would be pushback to it’s use as a name of a show on national television. Similarly, as said before, various Nazi political and military nomenclature has been used in colloquial ways but would not be acceptable for official use as a show name for obvious reasons.

  17. You’re kidding right. First of all, the Jews have had justice (as much as there can be justice for such a thing), recognition, and reparations. They have used the Holocaust as a free pass to do whatever they want to the Palestinians… and you dare criticize the Armenians? Pretty amazing. I wonder if you really are half Armenian.

  18. I do not support what the jews are doing in Isreal. Nevertheless, what they are doing is abuseing the PALESTINIANS not the germans, so your analogy fails completly. Yes the jews got “justice”. But that is irrelevant as you asked me, if I tell the jews the same thing I tell the armenians. And the jews do not act the same way towards the germans as the armenians do towards turks. An  across the broad hatred of turks IS COMMON AMONG MANY ARMENIANS. This is called racism. This is unacceptable. None of the people who took part in the genocide exist anymore. What is going on NOW is not comparable to what was going on in 1950. And the fact that you wonder if I am half armenian just because I’m not acting like and blind idiotic nationalist consumed by hatred….well that just shows your opinion of the armenian people.

  19. I say we campaign for this turk to get the job at msnbc..the issue of recognition of the genocide needs more media coverage. what better than a turk being at the forefront of recognition? even if he denies the genocide, it would spark debate…and plus the truth always finds a way to the top , no matter how much they try to cover it up.                       

  20. Dear Ana Kasparian,

    You need to grow up and see how your name will be characterized in front of many Armenians. To be even remotely affiliated with this group (TYT) is dangerous! Remember, the Young Turk Party was instrumental in the destruction of the Armenian population in our ancient lands, and to somehow be on shows with them means you condone their actions now and from a long-time’s past.

    You may be a small pea with some sense and reason, but you can not go against a whole movement that is after humanity’s downfall…

    “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!” –Sir Walter Scott


    A Conscerned Armenian Compatriot

  21. I am glad that this is being discussed and awareness is being stirred among the people, but I want to contribute the following information- THERE IS A SHOW ON THE “Business India” SEGMENT OF CNBC-World CALLED “Young Turks”. The show is about Hindu business people and entrepreneurs. The producers clearly modeled the show’s title on the fact that the Turkish C.U.P. party, commonly known as Yong Turks, were bold reformers compared to the backward Ottoman Sultans and therefore an inspirational model to be borrowed from. Petition should be organized to convey the natural outrage that nations like Greeks, Armenians, Kurds, Assyrians and Christian Arabs persecuted to the point of annihilation feel to the mere mention of the phrase “Young Turks”.

  22. Dearest Arpi,
    Wow this is a heated and confusing topic for me.  Just look at my last name, I am Armenian, but look at my last name:  Özkalfayan.  If you took the “YAN” away, it would be completely Turkish!  My birth mother came to the US in the early 1970s from Istanbul.  At the age of 3,  I was adopted into an American family with no connection to anyone or anything Armenian.  In fact, it was not until I got my hands on my adoption records in my early 20s that I knew my family was from Turkey, and not Armenia, which was what I had been told by my adoptive family.  In my teens I tried to connect with other Armenian youth through a church in Bergen county.  One day I read a poem I had written about being Armenian, and everything I had learned about the genocide of 1915, at 16 in front of 100s of strangers.  For the first time in my LIFE, I was surrounded by my kind, and blown away with how people embraced me that day.  I spent many years researching, reading, writing, absolutely anything I could get my hands on about Armenians, culture, and history, especially the genocide of 1915.  What I did not even know about myself at the time, is that I am, well, “Bolsahay”.
    Interactions between my peers was interesting and very confusing for me to observe.  There was very CLEARLY, a division between them.  Example, one afternoon I was at a pool party thrown by a young lady in my youth group.  Two or three Armenian girls were having a conversation amongst themselves, in Turkish, and getting major attitude from a handful of the other girls, while the rest really didn’t seem to care (lol).  I guess my question is, would you consider these young people any less “Armenian” because their families are from Turkey, and speak Turkish in addition to Armenian?  That was absolutely the impression I got that day.  Then there was the other group of Armenian girls joking about how they went into Turkish chat rooms on AOL and cursed everyone out, calling all of them murderers.  Then there was ME.  Where did I fit into the equasion?  My name at the time was not Armenian because it had been changed when I was adopted, I did not speak Armenian, and ultimately it was too much, I felt rejected from all angles.  But the Armenians from Turkey where just as proud of being ARMENIAN, speaking ARMENIAN as they were of being from Turkey, and speaking Turkish, and YES, pride in Turkey as their homeland, often with NO hatred for Turkey, Turkish people, or the language.  Does that make them any less Armenian?
    But can you imagine the day I opened the mail to discover that my mother was NOT born in Armenia, but ISTANBUL?  I was so confused.  I was always aware of her last name, Özkalfayan, which is now mine since I reclaimed it, but had no idea until I reasearched it, that it is a very, very Turkish sounding name.
    At 28, my experiences and interactions, with not only Armenians, but, yes, TURKISH people, and people from all OVER the Middle East has been so interesting, and thought provoking, people have shared their stories, and personal feelings.  The consensous amongst SOME Armenians who ARE NOT from ARMENIA, but from all over the Middle East, who speak Arabic, Farsi, etc. really DO feel shunned at times by people who claim Armenia as their homeland, or that having a YAN as opposed to an IAN makes them less Armenian.
    Fundamentalism all around is just, scary.  At 16 listening to well-educated, decent people say hateful things about Turkey and Turkish people, about how they are all “murderers”, even if they are merely decendants of the “Young Turks” with a few generations removed.  Too much.  As proud as I was, and STILL AM of my ARMENIAN roots, as much as I loath the attrocities, the GENOCIDE, of MY kind in 1915, I cannot be consumed with HATE.  The anger is justified, but the HATE will not change anything, it will not answer questions.  Why live a life filled with HATE and ANGER?  WHY NOT aim for PEACE, and COMMON GROUND?   Yes, we HEAR YOU, Turkey and Armenia have some work to do, it is time to open up archives and really sit down in PEACE and discuss the genocide.  Nobody is asking you to FORGET!
    CHILL.  A talk show called “THE YOUNG TURKS” is not a threat to Armenians.
    Leave Cenk alone, he cracks me up with his political satire, AND I give Ana Kasparian MAJOR kudos as well, because I feel by the two of you coming together, an Armenian AND a Turkish person, that perhaps this can be a foreshadowing of what is to come in regards to Turkish-Armenian relations, hopefully PEACE, and a sense of humor.
    Now excuse me while I go make myself Turkish coffee…ooppps…..I mean’t Armenian.
    Juliette Öz-kalfa-YAN

  23. I didn’t give you those cups so you could make Turkish coffee. Not funny. Cenk needs to stop denying the genocide before I leave him alone.

  24. Ok…my apologies, its just Turkish coffee and Armenian coffee are made the same way, if you put a cup of each in front of me, would I know the difference?  Of course when I make my coffee, its Armenian!  Again my bad!!! How do we know for sure that Cenk denies the genocide?  Something tells me he does not deny it.  Ana Kasparian obviously doesn’t.  I think we should straight up ask him for a definitive answer, and, yes, I am curious about why the show is called “The Young Turks”, though I don’t feel it was aimed at Armenians, but why not ask him?
    <3 Juliette

    • Because to Armenians, unlike the turks, even the coffee grounds Mean something. Looks the same on the outside but one side carries with it some meaning. This and tarot cards were the way to know your future in Armenia

  25. Also, there are plenty of Turkish people I have met over the years who whole heartedly believe there was a genocide against the Armenians and that Turkey SHOULD admit it.  I think there is a new generation, Turkish and Armenian, who want there to be peace, not to forget what happened, or make light of it, but talk about it.  Ana Kasparian makes a good point when she said that Armenia needs to have better relations with its neighbors, specifically Turkey and Azerbaijan.

  26. Guess what?  The original Young Turks weren’t even really Turkish at all…Ottomans yes, ethnic Turks no. 

  27. Interesting Karek,
    Also note worthy that today in Turkey, Turkish people are such a MIX, a melting pot of Caucasian, Near Eastern, etc., that ethnically they are not any different then people in surrounding countries.  Someone did research, they tested a few hundred adult males, and found that their was NO “Asian” component at all in the DNA, I guess from many generations of intermarriage with native people of Anatolia, and Europe.  There is, to date, no marker for Turkish DNA.   According to Wikipedia:
    “…intermarriages with people in the former Ottoman territories of Southeastern Europe, the Middle East and North Africa ensured a largely heterogeneous gene pool that makes up the fabric of the present-day Turkish nation. The Turks of today, in short, are the descendants of the Turkish-speaking Muslims in the former Ottoman Empire.”

  28. I don’t like ultranationalist policies no matter whose they are.  I don’t care which country we are talking about.  Racism is one thing (like for example the attitude toward minorities in Turkey, especially Armenians).  But if the Germans continued to deny that the Nazi government had done anything to the Jewish population of Europe, continued TODAY to claim that Jews were lying about genocide, if German people on the whole continued to embrace an ultrantionalistic ideology that mandated that they continue to deny and supported laws that prohibited public discussion of the Holocaust:  would it be racism to have a problem with these people?  No, it would not.  You’d be telling the truth.  The majority of Turks embrace and continue to support the ultranationalism of Ataturk and its manifestation, for example, in persecution of those Turks who do speak openly about the Armenian genocide.  It’s not racist to condemn that.

  29. Turkey and its foreign puppets…
    Do you really think having your armenian in the team make your radio show above suspicion?
    These people should be sued for using the word “Young Turks” and pay compensations to every armenian family whose ancestors died at the hand of the Young Turks.
    What are the armenian-american lawyers doing?

  30. These turkish vampires and their western ghouls are proposing a reconciliation soup with armenian bones.

  31. I have no opinion on the content of the show, but I have a huge problem with the show’s title.  I realize that “young Turk” can mean more than the C.U.P., but I cannot ignore the fact that it was the so-called Young Turks who committed the Armenian genocide.    Having an Armenian on the show is nice, but it doesn’t do anything about the name.

  32. Some of you are fools!
    If only the Armenians weren’t so naive during the Armenian Genocide and not held the ideology that the Turks would not dare murder them. Or that they were somehow friends. Nothing was further from the truth. They not only murdered the Armenians in mass BUT THE TURKS TODAY SPEND MILLIONS ON IT”S DENIAL! So the genocide in its own way continues.
    As for Cenk, I can care less that this “Young Turk” has had a change of heart and actually admits the reality of the Armenian Genocide. (How charming.) Everyone would be equally naive to think that he is somehow good for the Armenians. There is no way that a Turk with a show called “The young Turks” should be on any national TV show. You are all fools to not condemn this!
    To greywoods: Forgive the Armenians for having a distaste for the people that destroyed their lives, ancient culture,  homeland and today, not only deny it but have no remorse what so ever.

  33. To those who do not watch the show, or those who have a single definition for the term “young turks”: you need to educate yourselves before you go on looking foolish. The term means more than just the specific group of progressives and can mean any progressive who seeks power within an institution. The term has been used to describe Senators within the US, and all sorts of people. The young turks pushed for and accomplished a lot of huge reforms in the O.E. that continue to shape the region today. And it was not all of the young turks, by any insane stretch of the imagination, that perpetrated the killings. It would be like saying that you cannot call yourself a democrat because most slave owners were southern democrats. It is absurd. Also, WATCH THE SHOW! THESE ARE SOME OF THE MOST CULTURALLY TOLERANT PPL OUT THERE!!

  34. One of Rod Stewart’s most popular songs is called “Young Turks”!   I doubt he had any intention of offending Armenians with the name of the song.  I wonder if droves of Armenians boycotted his concerts because of it.

  35. Wow, people getting all upset about something that happened 100 yrs. ago.  No wonder people can’t get along. Shouldn’t you be grateful that you survived and the Armenian people and Turkish people are still around?  Some people just feel the need to incite more hate and continue with crap that should already be done with, but no someone still wants to hold a grudge for something they happen a century ago.  It’s pathetic.

  36. hello,
    I am a Turkish Citizen and to most turks “Young Turks” only connote the jakobin pan turkists whom they consider heroes. Maybe Cenk is trying to reclaim the term, like the gays did the word queer, but clearly its not working.
    I would also like to state here that there are big steps being taken towards normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey. Maybe someday we can get the incompetent Turkish government to acknowledge the genocide (as a citizen I am ashamed of the way my governments dealing with the issue)… and maybe some nationalist armenians will take back their land claims to eastern anatolia. Who knows eh ?

  37. Mark raises a good point. The  Young Turks were initially a large ‘confederation’ (for lack of a better term) of liberals and progressives who opposed the Sultan. Within them was the Committee for Union and Progress which gradually became the most powerful faction within them. It is the Ittihadists who committed the Genocide and created the ideology of rabid nationalism that Ataturk later built on. In fact, it was the CUP that stored weapons caches throughout Anatolia to form the backbone of a resistance movement should the Empire be occupied. It was on precisely this that Ataturk was able to base his national movement.

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    Dear all,
    It is a quite long message but I suggest you take your time and read.
    I thought it may be interesting for you to hear the other side: a young TURK who is living in Istanbul, who is liberal and have deep interest in history. Very naturally, you have been raised with notions of brutal Turks who murdered innocent Armenians. And very naturally, you demand that it must be recognized as a “genocide” in international law; Turkish government must accept and compensate. Here is what a regular Turkish person would know and tell: In Germany, the Jewish people never formed a nationalist party (Tashnak) and formed armed militia forces to seek their independence from Germany. They were not supported by an invading Russian army and an American President (Wilson) who proposed that the ethnic communities in Germany should be liberated at the regions where they are the majority. The Jews in Germany, did not terrorize, murder, rape and steal from local German children and women at their unprotected villages (because the men were all fighting at the fronts elsewhere) so that they will flee and Jews would have majority. Armed Jewish gangs did not exploit the vast opportunity that German army has been defeated and is not present in their region any more. Jewish armed forces did not invade a major German city (i.e. Van) and claim independency. What really happened in Eastern Anatolia or Western Armenia – as you would like to call – is far from being similar to the Jewish Holocaust. On the other hand I am never reluctant to admit the following facts either: when the support behind Armenian independency movement faded, and when this time armed Armenian forces had to flee back to Yerevan; awful atrocities against local and again -unprotected- Armenian children – women were committed. I know them. And I do feel sorry. (By the way, very interestingly, you all seem to miss a simple fact: those atrocities were committed by local MUSLIM gangs-militia. Not necessarily Turkish. In fact majority of local Muslims (and still it is the case) is Kurdish. I find it quite absurd when diaspora Armenians and Kurdish seperatists seem to love each other hate Turkey together. ) The counter-actions against Armenian gangs were fierce. Very fierce indeed. Hundreds of thousands (you would say here millions, I am sure) Armenian people were exiled. They suffered a lot. They were attacked on their way to Syria, Lebanon. They have been murdered, their goods were stolen. Demography of the region changed dramatically. Local Muslims (Turks and Kurds) confiscated their houses, gardens, farms. These are true. You would like to talk about OE officials public/confidential communications to prove that it is a genocide organized by the government. I am from that region. I know that our ancestors, who were not government/army officers, who were seeking for revenge, who were taking advantage of the situation, who were what we call eshkiya (outlaws) did whatever they could. Murder, steal, rape. But it was not like: soldiers gathering the Armenians, putting them into concentration camps, committing mass-murders in an organized and dedicated way. So forgive me, but I must say that you have to wake up: your ancestors (I mean the militia) were not innocent angels neither. I am -and you must be, too – sorry for all innocent lives who suffered at both sides because of the brutal, evil gangs from the both sides. Every human life is sacred and precious. So it is really not pleasant to compare the casualties. But I know that the scale of loss in Armenian side is much much larger. This is true, too. So as a Turkish citizen, I would never accept, or let my government accept that we made a genocide. I also dislike that many Turkish people are choosing to deny everything at once. No, terrible things did happen to Armenians, innocent Armenians, which is a shame. I also hate that Armenian nationalists speak as if their ancestors were innocent angels wandering in the plains of Eastern Anatolia and Turks came to murder them. This is ridiculous. Civil War? yes, this is the case. Mass Murders? yes, this is the case. But frankly I am telling, without invading our country, without making all Turks surrender, no one can make us accept genocide and pay compensation or give land. This can be done only through war. Currently the most beneficial way is to establish normal relations with Turkey and Armenia with the current borders. Unlike you, we are not necessarily filled with hatred against Armenians. On the contrary, many Armenian citizens come to Turkey to work (illegally) and they stay at Turkish homes, baby-sitting. So once again forgive me but you have to wake up: you live in US, happily, rich… your people suffer in Armenia. Having normal relations with Turkey would help Armenia to grow. You may not like this fact, but Turkey is still the leading country in this region. The country that can make Armenia get rid of its bonds with Russia and develop economically. 
    Kind Regards,               

  39. I just found that I was mentioned in this article and was really surprised. Im the one who has the ugur90 username on the Young Turks site. I’m not outright denying the Genocide. Here are my views

    First I would like to distinguish the difference between believing and thinking. Believing is something you do more with your heart and less with your brain. It isn’t based on facts but what you hear from other people and your instincts. Thinking on the other hand is done by analyzing facts. You gather evidence and make the right conclusion about X and Y.
    I believe that the Armenian Genocide did not occur. I believe that there were killings and ugly things on both sides. But I do not think this. I have not analyzed the facts and have not drawn a logical conclusion. That is my view on the Genocide.
    Do I hate Armenians or Armenia? Absolutely not. As a progressive Turk I’m tired of hearing the same old bigotry in my country. Ever since the Ottoman days us Turks have a fear that other nations intend to take our land and break us up. We have the belief that we are surrounded by enemies (Greece, Iraq, Armenia, Iran, Bulgaria). Even though this is mostly a view of the old generation there are still tensions that exists from history and I believe this is unacceptable. Time and time again I refer to World War 2. This conflict is much more recent than what happened between Turkey and Armenia. America nuked Japan and Germans slaughtered Jews. But everyone has passed on and become friends and allies. I hate this idea of old rivalries and suspicions keeping Turkey and Armenia from having a friendly and diplomatic relation. If I talk to my friends in Turkey half of them probably have negative things to say about Armenia and I’m sure its the same for us in Armenia. Have any of these people met a Turk or Armenian. I went to an international school and knew Armenians. They weren’t bent on killing me or anything.
    Even though I disagree with most of the things the current Turkish gov’t does but I really support their recent attempts to further diplomatic relations with Armenia. They have also brought up the idea of opening borders to Armenia again. Of course there is the problem of Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani hold territories in Karabahk region. I think small steps and compromises on both sides should slowly bring peace and diplomacy. During World War1 we were the Ottoman Empire. Yes the Ottoman Empire has brought us proud moments in our history but we are an empire no more. We are exactly the opposite, a modern secular democracy. Whatever the people in charge did back then wasn’t what Turkey stands for. I hope that Armenia and Turkey can have normal relations as quick as possible. Turkey is a regional power and a mediator between nations in that area and I believe that better relations with Armenia can expand Turkey’s sphere of influence to help and expand diplomacy with nations in that area(such as the Georgia v Russia thing)
    The problem I have about the Genocide is that politicians trying to declare if it happened or not. I think the way it should be determined is by getting historians, lawyers, social scientists, etc.. to go into the region, observe archives, and do research to reach a conclusion. If that process is done I don’t care if its declared as a Genocide or not. As long as the right process is done. As long its not decided by the politicans or government of any nation. Thats why I don’t support the US coming up with bills for it. I don’t really understand it.
    As you can see I’m really an open minded person. I like to think things logically and keep history out of things and be nice and friendly to everyone. I know lives and families were affected by what happened, that is unchangable, but forgiving and forging new friendships are even more important.

  40. Ugur, the problem with forgiving and forging new friendships is denial.  The rejection of past crimes makes forgiveness impossible. Armenians would love to forgive if they were acknowledged by the Turks for the crimes committed to them. The new generation of Armenians want to move on but they have their predecessors reminding them of heinous crimes and demanding justice. So, if the new generation of Turks want the new generation of Armenians to move on, please research the past, acknowledge the crimes, apologize (profusely for the older generation), write the accounts in Turkish textbooks in order to educate other Turks, and both can start toward healing. This healing is just as important for the Turks as it is for the Armenians, politically and emotionally. In order to move on, the Turks must acquire knowledge of the past and then confess their guilt for past crimes. Denial works against the process of reconciliation.


  41. Hye, this issue of Young Turks – gives more publicity to the world of the Turkish Genocide of the Christian Armenian nation – 1915-1923.
    Yet, the leadership of Turkey into today – still in their Ottoman mode and proud of that –
    pursues the Armenians and continues the Turkish Genocide 1890s – 2010. 

  42. This has come up about Cenk and his show a lot.  Whatever his defenders have to say, if he really was not a genocide denier and wanted to nip the whole thing in the bud, it would not be difficult to make a public statement and go on record to that effect.  He has not done so.
    Some of the latest of him not speaking up on this here –

  43. I think having a popular show with the name  “The Young Turks” only serves to normalize and make acceptable the historical Young Turks and create positive associations in the minds of the American Public, which is highly offensive to Armenians who consider the term equivalent to “Nazi”.
    @greywoods Just because Armenians want justice and are outraged at the name of the show doesn’t make them racists. Are you an Armenian?
    It’s a typical American mentality to “get over things” and to “forget about it” because America has many genocides of its own (Native Americans, Iraq, etc.) and what would happen if we actually called those genocides…
    This show would be truly radical if the host was Armenian (the minority who is oppressed) and the co-host (was a Turk) and the show wasn’t called “The Young Turks”. Just look at the power dynamics. Who is working for who? Who is getting paid for who? To forget about what?

  44. Although the younger generation of Turks aren’t the ones who committed the genocide they nevertheless profit from the legacy of the genocide- for instance they have our lands and we (the diaspora) will forever be second class citizens no matter where we go in the world.
    It’s like how the white population of America continues to benefit from the legacy of slavery through white privilege.
    For those of you who want the Armenians to get over it: That’s so convenient, people commit a crime and then tell the victims to get over it and if they don’t they are being prejudiced and hateful…hummm…
    If you look at most of the comments by Armenians on this site you will see that most of them are very open-minded, loving people, who do want to make peace and move on but not without an apology, recognition and reparations and not without Turkey changing its current oppressive policies against minorities within Turkey including but not limited to Armenians. If you aren’t Armenians please don’t patronize us by telling us what we should do and how we should feel.

  45. Anyone who asks me “what are you”, the answer is ALWAYS, Armenian.  I don’t know that much about my own family history because I was adopted at a young age, they were from Istanbul.  I will never have any way of knowing if there are indeed Genocide survivors in my biological family, but wait a moment, in a way, yes, they absolutely, 100%, were.  The proof is in my very “Turkified” last name, that I know I share in common with other diasporan Armenians.  The outrage is that at some time, my family was forced to either change or assume, a TURKISH name.  How will I ever know what my ARMENIAN name really was?  To me this is soul murder.  I am in know way contrasting this to or minimizing what happened to the nearly 2 million people who were slaughtered at the hands of, whatever you want to call them.  I do feel it in my own way, it cuts really deep. – Juliette

  46. Hye, Cenk Uygar, whilst in college has ‘revisited’ the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation – notice that he had not ‘revised’ his feelings for the Genocide of the Armenians by the Turks… Hence, it comes to me that he has been well paid by the Turks (Turk mode of ‘operations’) and this Young Turks title shall become a source for the Turks to continue their abuse and demeaning of their victims of their Genocides (1890s until today, 2010, in denials/unrepentant and now perpetrating a Genocide again the Kurds, whom they labeled as ‘terrorists’ but who seek freedom from the tyranny of the Turk).  Actually, more of the Turkish actions – that of their desperate PLOYS against the Armenians and too, their ongoing ‘in your face’ PLOYS.  The latest, the Turks ‘repairs’ to our Armenian religious site at Aghtamar… the need of the Turk to show the world that they have taken on the resurrection of the Armenian church…  but yet, Turks allow only one (1) Armenian religious service there – midSeptember of each year – one is already scheduled BY THE TURKS for 2010.  Too, our holy edifice shall not bear the Armenian cross atop – say the Turks.   Turks ‘resurrected’ our Armenian church to benefit the Turks – to make a big show to the world that our church can be visited by tourists – to visit a Turkey.. Another such ‘in your face Turk act’ is the planned Turkish religious site which Turks plan to build near the NYC September 11th ruins… add that as another ‘in your face’ action of the Turks…  This action is opposed by the families of those who died.  Cenk may start out as a nice, but I can not trust his motives – a Turk is a Turk is a Turk, still enmeshed in their Ottoman mentality – still ‘abusing’ the Armenian fledgling nation in ways and means that still seek to eliminate Armenians, thus eliminate the Turks need for reparations due and owing to Armenians.  Turks leaderships do not deny they are seeking to regain their Ottoman empire – again.   Manooshag

  47. Juliette you cover so much in one short post:  adoption, forced turkification of a family name, being cut-off from one’s heritage, identity crisis…
    Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt comment.

  48. Besides being denier of the Armenian genocide, this guy never presents the facts for the both sides when he is discussing political issue. This guy has far left wing ideas which wont help the United States. People (with his “crew”) like Cenk are trying to destroy principles that majority of people have in the United States , they deny everything that challenges their prejudices, and again they never present and argue on both sides of any issue. So please say NO the “Young Turks” on MSNBC.

  49. What I don’t understand is what is Armenian girl doing with the Young Turks (Yerit Turker) radio show, she is smart and intelligent, but absolutely disappointing.

  50. I agree the host is one sided but so are people on the right. The fact is the right is the reason the country is in the tank. I’ve noticed MSNBC sometimes doesn’t give the full story but FOX outright fabricates stories. So I prefer CNN which is more centrist. Since he’s co-host is Armenian i assumed their was no issue.

  51. Could you even imagine a show called ‘the Nazis’????It’s the same thing here. He should at least change the name of his ‘radio show’

  52. Cenk was conservative back then he had much different views when he was younger!!! And you cant blame all Turks for something that happened a long time ago!! It’s like jews blaming all modern Germans for the holocaust or americans still being angry at me and my fellow canadians for burning down the white house in the war of 1812!!! I get that your mad but don’t take it out on cenk!! Ana has the same views as him and they are good friends!!! I’m neither a turk or an Armenian I’m a Canadian defended from Scottish and Irish eruopeans! Thank you and good bye

    • Until the turks acknowledge it, provide reparations, and Stop the Continued Systematic Persecution of Armenians and Armenian History (Especially on our Own land that they are occupying) To This Day-
      The Genocide and attempted Total Extermination of our entire race, the theft of almost our Entire country, and the loss of the Millions and Millions of Armenian Lives, Businesses, and Families.
      Adolf Hitler once said “Who remembers the Armenians?”
      Answer: I Do!!!

  53. To the one who wants to boycott TYT I say that it is nonsensical and ineffective. A “Young Turk” is simply someone who is energetic, bold often to foolishness and certainly contrarian and has nothing to do with Turkey or its people. I wish the writer would simply stop with being uselessly reactionary and ‘knee jerk’. I say a better use of energy lies with positive action towards healthy thinking, acting and helping to make our world even the tiniest bit better.

  54. BOYCOTT “The Young Turks” until the show changes its name to something else; the current name IS offensive to a race of people. To do so allows for the real information and message that the show and its supporters claim to be to come across absent it being wrapped up and misconstrued as being related to the historical reference to ‘the Young Turks’. Clear communication is key to better discourse and understanding in society.

  55. The ignorance is thick here… so there are lots of people pretending to have some superior knowledge because they are pointing out a dictionary definition of “young turks” as just meaning ‘young and progressive’…
    Can people be so stupid as to NOT recognize that regardless of the definition, the term derives ORIGIN from TURKEY! Regardless of the modern use and modern definition. I mean, how can you miss this implication from ANY scholarly approach? If the term were the “Young Inuits” and meant ‘young and progressive’, sure THEN you could say it has nothing to do with Turkey and more to do with Alaska natives but IT DOESN’T. how dense can people be about LATENT etymology?

  56. The new movie that is coming out is called “The Promise “. It deals with the Armenian Genocide. Heard the Kardashians have helped fund it.

  57. Came across this topic when cleaning up old bookmarks so forgive the late late late response. Before being accused of any anti-Armenian sentiments, I’m originally from Dersim and my grandmother is of Armenian origin.

    First of all, I think it’s historically inaccurate to state that “The Young Turks” alone were the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide, as if to insinuate that there wouldn’t be a genocide if it weren’t for this political faction.
    The well documented history of rising nationalism and subsequent clashes within the Ottoman Empire suggested that a major conflict was inevitable, which would result in A. Armenian occupation of Eastern Anatolia (or Western Armenia if you prefer) B. Ethnic cleansing of Armenians from these lands whether the decision came from the “progressive” political actors or the “conservative” monarchy. Ottoman military leaders were mostly advised by German strategists to cleanse the area of any possible resistance by any means necessary and Germany provided the necessary firepower and equipment to carry out the genocide. This shows that the Armenian Genocide, in one form or another was inevitable barring military victory by Russians or Armenians against the Turks.
    Max Scheubner-Richter, the German vice-consul writes: “The first item on this agenda concerns the liquidation of the Armenians. Ittihad will dangle before the Allies a specter of an alleged revolution prepared by the Armenian Dashnak party. Moreover, local incidents of social unrest and acts of Armenian self defense will deliberately be provoked and inflated and will be used as pretexts to effect the deportations. Once en route, however, the convoys will be attacked and exterminated by Kurdish and Turkish brigands, and in part by gendarmes, who will be instigated for that purpose by Ittihad.”
    source: Deborah Dwork and Robert Jan van Pelt, The Holocaust: A History (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2002),p. 38.

    This is exactly what happened, word for word. So yes, the Young Turks were in charge of the Ottoman forces during the Genocide but any other Turkish authority wouldn’t have done anything different so long as the Turkish-German alliance, in which Turks depended on Germans for logistic and strategic support, remained. In this sense, the young turks are more famous as rebellious revolutionaries who were responsible for trying to install a version of quasi-democratic/enlightenment values in the Ottoman Empire, probably one of the last vestiges of the old world at the turn of the 20th Century. I completely understand the horrid feelings the name evokes in those who are familiar with the details of the Armenian genocide but for most, it’s clear that the name isn’t meant to promote the genocidal actions of frantic modernist political movements of the time but to promote progressive, anti-authoritarian (somewhat ironic I concede) ideas.

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