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individualized middle classes replacing monolithic ethnic blocks

Reader comment on item: Turkey's Last Free Election
in response to reader comment: Turkey and its crimes against humanity

Submitted by Mehmet (Turkey), Jun 29, 2011 at 02:33

You seem to perceive the world as consisting of ethnic monoliths, and equate states with people. The collapsing Ottoman state was ruled by a junta of three in 1915. You treat 75 million people a century later as if they personally comitted crimes. Of course, the society should face dark faces of its history and come to terms with it. But, don't forget that states politically socialize their citizens especially in school systems. All states pursue their survival and national interest. Genocide is a legal term that may cause damage to state interests, so they will resist it. As society matures, a more empathic perception of the issue will become possible.

Current Turkish politics is not monolithic, but rather highly polarized. The religious democrats captured the upperhand from secularist Kemalists. People in the military and civilian bureaucracy who would be mentally closest to the regime of 1915 are now being arrested and tried. The so called deep state is being discarded.

The secularism issue defies easy categorization. People are afraid of death, and most entertain hopes of afterlife and immortality. Most people who support separation of state and religion also entertain hopes for survival of consciousness beyond death at a different dimension.

Instead of the Byzantine Empire, let's revive the larger Roman Empire bringing together North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. But this time, let's construct it through EU-style regional integration from below, instead of empire-building from above. In this larger zone of free economic, social, and cultural exchange, Armenians and other ethic groups can peacefully embark on their own renaissance. Turkey should generously and sincerely support an Armenian renaissance in Turkey, Armenia, and beyond.

We can no longer change what already happened. But we can try to change what will happen in the future. Turks and Armenians need to become friends and help each other now, without waiting for the everlasting historical and legal debates.

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