Timeline of Cenk Uygur’s “non-denial” of Armenian Genocide (WIP)

Hovik M.
7 min readMay 29, 2018

NOTE: This is a Work in Progress and I will be updating this post as new material becomes available.

Cenk Uygur of the Young Turks and his entourage like to remind us that he no longer denies the Armenian Genocide. For context in the wider discussion, I think it is important to highlight the timeline of events of his denial and non-denial so far.

Below is a reverse chronology of events related to Cenk’s and TYT’s treatment of the Armenian Genocide issue.


May 24 — Ana “fights back”

Ana Kasparian released a video addressing the Playboy article. There are many fallacies in Ana’s commentary, one of which I address here:

May 18 — Playboy article on Ana Kasparian

Playboy’s article by Art Tavana titled “The Complicity of Ana Kasparian” criticizes Ana for her past support of Cenk and defending the name “The Young Turks”.

Ana Kasparian attacks her critics on this issue as right wing nationalists or misogynists, without acknowledging that many of her critics on this are progressive and fans of the show.


October — Cenk supporting the Turkish Coalition of America

Cenk again supports the Turkish Coalition of America’s annual Youth Leadership Congress. TCA is an organization that virulently denies the Armenian genocide.

April 22 — Cenk Uygur Still Will Not Recognize The Armenian Genocide

This excellent piece by Lalo Dagach, dissects the issue from multiple angles, including documenting many cases of hypocrisy by Cenk and the TYT.


August 22 — Being Libertarian Presents: Cenk Uygur

Cenk in an interview with Being Libertarian says: “I wrote some ill-advised things”, again touting the line that he’s “staying out of things I don’t know about.”

June 2 — VIDEO: Germany Acknowledges The Genocide

The TYT finally produces a segment that doesn’t talk about the Armenian Genocide in passing. Unfortunately, only Ana appears and Cenk is nowhere to be seen.

April 22 — Rescinding Daily Pennsylvanian Article

Cenk finally “rescinded” his article and letter to Salon, but in a very odd way. First, instead of doing a video about it, he put a tiny statement on his blog. In the statement, he essentially said he’s not a scholar on the topic so he will no longer comment on it. Yet, apparently he’s a scholar on all other human rights topics that his show covers?


Nov 18 — Ana to her critics: “Get the fuck out of here with your dumb bullshit.”

Ana attacks critics of the show’s name:

“People are such clowns on the internet. Like ‘Did you know that the name of the show is the Young Turks?’ ‘How can an Armenian work for the Young Turks?’ It’s crazy I had no idea. Did you know Rod Stewart also had a song called The Young Turk? Do you think he was endorsing the Turks of like a century ago? Are you fucking kidding me right now? You think that an American show would name itself Young Turks because it’s paying homage to these fucking terrible people from a century ago? Get the fuck out of here with your dumb bullshit. Grab a dictionary, read, educate yourself.”

Nov 25 — Binladin Group should change it’s name

Ben Mankiewicz, a TYT commentator, mentioned that the The Binladin Group, had “some balls”, for retaining the name of the company despite the family’s connection to Osama bin Laden.

April 24 — Ana Kasparian’s video (on her own channel)

Ana Kasparian publishes a video on HER OWN Youtube channel titled: Remembering The Armenian Genocide. Mentions nothing about TYT’s official stance and mostly this seems to be meant to be interpreted as a personal view.

Ana claims that this video was published on her own channel because she was on vacation. Cenk appears to have also been on vacation that day. The official TYT channel had zero coverage of the 100 anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.


October — Cenk’s address to the TCA

The Turkish Coalition of America held a youth leadership congress. Cenk states that he’s: “really proud to be here with Turkish Coalition of America.” The TCA is an organization known for virulently denying the Armenian Genocide.

June — The “Redskin” issue

TYT weighed-in heavily on the issue of the naming of the Washington Redskins issue. Just a few quotes:

  • Cenk: “Let me give you what I think is a perfect equivalent, right. It’s an old-school derogatory term such as Chinaman. Nobody says that anymore.”
  • Cenk and Ana agree that the name “Redskins” should be banned.


May 13 — Cenk refuses to address theGenocide on Reddit AMA

In a 2013 Reddit AMA, the top question was related to the Armenian Genocide. Cenk failed to answer the question.

Top question in 2013 Reddit AMA.

April — Cenk: “Armenians brought the fight to me”

Claims that he “didn’t start” start the fight with Armenians, but the fight was brought to him. Cenk and Ana stress multiple times that they don’t want to get “too into it”.


April 14— Turkish American National Convention: Young Turks Day

The “Young Turks Day” was an event celebrating the genocidal political party (not Cenk’s show).

From the announcement:

“… we stand together with the Federation of Turkish American Associations and President Ali Çınar, the Young Turks and president Tugurt Tigman to remember the Turkish diplomats that were massacred by the Armenian terrorists and to stand for justice for the victims of the Nagorno–Karabakh massacres. We are here to stand against Armenian lies.”

April 12 — Cenk supports ATAA, TCA again

During the annual “Turkish American National Convention”, Cenk led a program called “on how to take advantage of your Turkish culture in your advocacy effort”.

Feb 13 — Cenk fails to address his past genocide denial

In a California State Democratic Party convention in 2012, confronted by protesters on his past genocide denial, Cenk failed to address the issue then. Only 4 years later, would he rescind his previous denial articles, but failed to bring true justice to the issue by merely claiming that he doesn’t know enough about the issue.


Oct 13 — Cenk calls the effort to recognize Armenian genocide as “old battle”

Ana Kasparian advocates that Turkey and Armenia should make peace, even if Turkey doesn’t acknowledge the Genocide.


April — Ana starts working at the TYT

She began as a fill-in at the show and soon began working there full time.


October — Dictionary definition on the website

Cenk added the definition of “Young Turks” on the website in October. This definition is based on the 4th edition of the American Heritage Dictionary, which was released in 2000. The previous edition, which was the current edition in use when he registered his domain names, didn’t appear to contain the definition.

March — Genocide denial article is removed

It appears that Cenk removed the article denying the Genocide (which referenced his salon.com article) sometime between Feb and Mar 2003. The last snapshot of the article on archive.com is from Feb. 2003.


October — Article on theyoungturks.com

Cenk uploads an article on the TYT website denying the Armenian Genocide, referencing his salon.com letter. This article would stay up on the website until March 2003.


June 16 — The letter to Salon

Cenk’s letter to Salon is published, including the following: “… every non-Armenian scholar in the field believes it is an open question whether this event was a genocide.” I guess “every non-Armenian scholar” doesn’t include members of the Association of Genocide Scholars.

This is the other letter that he rescinded in his 2016 non-apology.


December 31 — Cenk purchases domain theyoungturks.com

Cenk purchased youngturk.com in May 17, 1998 and theyoungturks.com on Dec. 31, 1998.


Nov 22 — The Daily Pennsylvanian article

As a student at UPenn, Cenk wrote an editorial called “Historical Fact or Falsehood?”. The article was full of material straight from the playbook of denialist propaganda, ending with Cenk stating: “once you really examine the history of the time it becomes apparent that the allegations of an Armenian Genocide are unfounded.”

25 years later, Cenk would later rescind this article (and the Salon op-ed in 1999) claiming he’s not an expert on the matter.

April 24 — Trying to cut off funds from the UPenn Armenian Club

Cenk challenged the Armenian Club budget request during the Student Activities Council hearing.

Some quotes:

  • “I’m sick of them defaming the Turkish people… They do it with their flyers, they do it with their advertisements [in The Daily Pennsylvanian.] I’m frustrated by the claims they put against the Turkish people. It’s simply not true.”
  • “What are they spending [their budget] on? … Everything they do is political.”

For reference, the Armenian Club advertisement is shown below: