30 May 2007

1723) "I Am Proud That I Am Hakob Vardovian's Grandchild," Former Rector Of Van University Says

Yucel Askin, the former Rector of the Van University affirmed that he is the grandchild of famous theatrical figure Hakob Vardovian (Gulli Hakob). .

After being arrested Yucel Askin for the first time spoke about his origin, stating: "My father's father is Hakob Vardovian. He in future adopted Mohammedanism and took the name Yakup. He is the founder of the Turkish theater. I am proud that I am Hakob Vardovian's grandchild, but neither me nor father had any tie with Armenians. I know myself as a Turk and a citizen of the Republic of Turkey. And as for the events taken place in 1915, in my opinion, it is a human tragedy. I am not all stooped by the fact that my grandfather is Vardovian."

To recap, Van University Rector Yucel Askin was arrested on October 14, 2005, because of some problems arisen in the contract of transfer of the money connected with getting medical equipment at the cost of 25 mln dollars for the research hospital of the medical faculty. The latter was presented the accusation "of creating a criminal group for mercenary motives." The Rector for the first time arrested in the history of the Republic of Turkey on December 28, 2005 was set free.

The Rector's arrest met counteraction of the scientific circles of Turkey who opposing parties joined, as a result of what that issue got a political shading. And after the issue when Yucel Askin's having Armenian origin started being speculated by deputy of the Justice and Development party Ramazan Toprak, Constantinople Armenian Patriarch Mesrop II Moutafian presented here a serious criticis, stating: "Honourable Toprak spoke about Armenians in such a way as if being an Armenian is a crime or means a much worse thing. Similar racist expressions were inadmissible in modern democratic countries."

Noyan Tapan
May 29 2007


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