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Uras ran a successful campaign as a "common candidate of the Left," standing on the independent candidate's ticket, and backed by several left-wing, environmentalist, and pro-peace groups in the 2007 general election. After the Democratic Society Party was dissolved in December 2009, and two of its MPs were banned from politics for five years, Uras joined forces with remaining Kurdish MPs, thus giving them the twenty seats necessary to retain their position as a parliamentary party. Uras has written many books in Turkish of a political nature. He is married to ballet dancer and choreographer Zeynep Tanbay. In September 2007, for the first time in history, a member of the Turkish Parliament (Turkish MP Mehmet Ufuk Uras) recognized the Armenian Genocide, and spoke of restitution of the despoiled property, according to independent French-Armenian journalist Jean Eckian, writing for PanArmenian.net. In an interview with journalist Raffí Hermon Araks, Ufuk Uras asserted: "We committed a terrible massacre against Armenians, and Turkey must recognize it. It's not
Turkish Intellectuals Who Have Recognized the Reality of the Armenian Genocide ~ 132 ~ important how we name this calamity: genocide, ethnic purification, etc. The most important thing is that a terrible massacre was committed and it is undeniable." He added, "We must face up to the history, bandage the wounds, develop relations with Armenia, defend our Armenian compatriots, and restore what was the property of their ancestors. I come from the area of Durig, close to Sepastia, where I heard the truth from my parents," he said. (1)According to Bianet.org(September 2008), as a deputy for the Freedom and Solidarity Party, Ufuk Uras stated: "The steps taken because of the soccer match between Turkey and Armenia should be a beginning of a new era," and he listed a series of demands to improve the conditions of the Armenian citizens of Turkey. Getting ready to go to Erivan for the game, Uras urged for the opening of the border and the development of economic relations between the two countries. "Our Armenian citizens should feel themselves as the equal citizens of this country; they should not face any discrimination in social life, especially in public life." He added, "History should be discussed freely; all restrictions should be removed. An atmosphere of discussion, without any prejudices, should be encouraged."(2)1-2--relations-with-armenia
Turkish Intellectuals Who Have Recognized the Reality of the Armenian Genocide ~ 133 ~ Zarakolu, Ragıp Ragıp Zarakolu is a Turkish human rights activist and publisher, who has long faced legal harassment for publishing books on minority and human rights in Turkey. He was born in 1948 (on Büyükada Island, close to Istanbul), and grew up with members of the Greek and Armenian minorities in Turkey. In 1968, he began writing for Ant(Pledge) and Yeni Ufuklarmagazines. He was sentenced to imprisonment in 1972 for his article in Anton the Vietnam War, and was eventually released in 1974.