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050629 - Amid the debate over Turkish membership of the EU, there is one matter that has hardly been raised
Ghibrahayer- Armenian agency

HISTORIANS HAVE become the moral accountants of our time, poring over the archives to establish, as nearly as possible, the unpaid debts still owed by the present to the past. In China there have been violent demonstrations demanding Japan’s penitence for its wartime aggression. In Mississippi, an elderly white man and reputed Klansman has gone on trial accused of murdering civil rights workers more than four decades ago. The Argentine Supreme Court this week opened the way for a full inquiry into the crimes of the “dirty war” between 1976 and 1983. Even France, for so long in denial, has begun to address the unquiet ghosts of Vichy and Algeria.
The process of historical self-examination is neither simple nor easy. In the wrong hands, history becomes a weapon of recrimination and revenge, intercepted by bigots who would use old battles to stoke new ones. Yet historical introspection is crucial to democracy. The fledgeling South African democracy bravely sought to cauterise a traumatic past through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The Bloody Sunday inquiry may have been expensive and lengthy — seven years, £155 million and 1,700 witness statements — but it was a necessary step towards freeing Northern Ireland from the locked grip of competing histories. Postwar Germany has confronted its demons in a conscious and continuing act of national catharsis.
The alternative is self-delusion. Treat the past as self-serving myth and it forms a canker of moral equivocation.
Amid the debate over Turkish membership of the EU, there is one matter that has hardly been raised, and that is Turkey’s bitter and blinkered refusal to make peace with its past.
In Turkish history, no event is more divisive and explosive than the “Armenian question”, the long-disputed massacre of hundreds of thousands of Armenians during the First World War. Armenia claims that, as the Ottoman Empire crumbled in 1915, Turkish soldiers and Kurdish tribesmen were unleashed in a deliberate act of genocide that killed 1.5 million Armenians.
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This corner is reserved for local artist Tatiana Ferahian's comic strips which are amalgamations of Armenian-Cypriot social commentaries, painted with her usual wry and ironic humour, to stimulate and encourage awareness and interest toward our community's everyday happenings.

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