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Turkey and Armenians

October 27, 1986

We read The Times article (Oct. 20), "70 Years After World War I Holocaust: Armenians Celebrate Heritage, Survival," with regret and disappointment.

The report concerning the Armenian Cultural Festival held at Barnsdall Park on Oct. 19, gives the floor only to the Armenian interpretation of the events of 1915, and depicts that interpretation as if it were indisputable historical reality.

No reliable evidence exists to justify the allegation that the Ottoman Empire either planned or carried out any systematic massacre of its Armenian population. In a joint statement recently published in many newspapers 69 American academicians specializing in Turkish, Ottoman and Middle Eastern studies renounced the Armenian attempts to present the events of World War I as "genocide."

During the events of 1915, Turks as well as Armenians suffered terribly. Any assessment that focuses solely on Armenian suffering, while conveniently forgetting that large numbers of Turks died at the hands of self-proclaimed Armenian revolutionary groups, is simply a distortion of history.

Moreover, these Armenian allegations serve as propaganda fodder for Armenian terrorist organizations, which operate all over the world, targeting innocent people as their victims.

The American public has a right to know the different aspects of controversial issues. I venture to hope that your esteemed paper after weighing fact against the diatribes, which serve only terrorism, will take an objective and unbiased stand on this matter.

NIHAT B. ERMAN

Consul General

Republic of Turkey

Los Angeles

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