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Turkey's Role

March 18, 1985

The Turkish government must do far more in order to put its house in order than Dick Leonard suggests in his article (Opinion, March 3), "A New Leader Tries for New Life in Turkey."

Human rights violations frequently occurring in the now infamous Turkish jails are only the most recent manifestations of state-supported terror by 20th Century Turkish authorities. If Turkey really wants to clear its conscience and have crippling economic sanctions lifted by the European Economic Community, then the first step lies in accepting responsibility for the annihilation of more than 1.5 million innocent Armenian men, women, and children who were violently uprooted from their ancient historic homeland and brutally massacred by Turkish authorities during World War I.

In order to demonstrate any true commitment to democracy and any real departure from martial law, Turkish Prime Minister Turgut Ozal must follow West Germany's example in accepting responsibility for the Jewish Holocaust by rightfully acknowledging Turkey's guilt in masterminding the first genocide in the 20th Century.

ARMEN G. CHALIAN

Montebello

Chalian is president of the Montebello chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation.

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