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Turkey reaching out to Armenia

January 28, 2007

Re "Armenia haunts the Turks again," Opinion, Jan. 23

Hugh Pope suggests that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan try a "grand gesture" toward reconciliation with the Armenian government. The Turkish government has already done so.

Nearly two years ago, Erdogan extended an invitation to his Armenian counterpart to establish a joint commission of historians and other experts to study records of the events of 1915 in the archives of Turkey, Armenia and all other relevant countries, and to share their findings with the international community. It was hoped that such an initiative would shed light on a disputed period of history and pave the way for a normalization of relations between the two countries. It is only through common dialogue that a process of reconciliation can begin.

Turkey's invitation of Armenian officials to the funeral of newspaper editor Hrant Dink, and the Armenian deputy foreign minister's participation in this solemn event, and the following statements of the high-level officials from Armenia and Turkey seem to be positive developments. Let us hope that fanaticism and short-sightedness do not block the future.

A. ENGIN ANSAY

Consul general of Turkey

Los Angeles

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