Turkish-Armenian journalist set to face off against Ankara mayor

Turkish-Armenian journalist set to face off against Ankara mayor

Turkish-Armenian journalist set to face off against Ankara mayor

DHA photo

Turkish-Armenian journalist Hayko Bağdat says Ankara Mayor Melih Gökçek, who took Bağdat to court for using “Armenian” and “disgusting” to describe Gökçek, is in fact “Armenian,” according to Gökçek’s definition. 

Bağdat, who faces two years in jail for calling Gökçek “disgusting,” was at a courthouse in Istanbul on Sept. 28 after a local court in Ankara ordered his defense to be taken and sent to the court dealing with the case opened by Gokçek. Bağdat, however, refused to present his defense in Istanbul and said he would be present at the next hearing in Ankara in order to appropriately present his defense.

“Ankara Metropolitan Mayor Melih Gökçek filed a complaint and opened a court case [because] I called him ‘Armenian.’ Let me tell why I called Melih Gökçek ‘Armenian.’ Whenever he grabs the microphone and takes the keyboard in his hands, he charges his political rivals, the electorate of his political rivals… journalists and everybody with whom he is angry of being Armenian. He constantly explains they are traitors because they are Armenians, they have Armenian roots and all elements that have made trouble for this country somehow have a relationship with ‘Armenianess,’” Bağdat said. 

“I have waited so that there would be a better environment for explaining to Gökçek why he is Armenian and why he is involved in a disgusting action,” he said, elaborating on his decision to present his defense in the courthouse in Ankara instead of Istanbul where he said he was offered a very inconvenient place for presenting his defense. 

“At the Dec. 7 hearing in Ankara, with a defense similar to what I said, I will explain why Melih Gökçek is ‘Armenian.’ In my opinion, yes, he is ‘Armenian.’ I mean, in quotes, I still believe that he is ‘Armenian,’ according to his meaning of the word,” he said.

Gökçek sued Bağdat on the grounds the writer insulted him on Twitter by saying, “They have given Ankara to an Armenian, what a shame.”