Turkish Prime Minister Rcep Tayyip Erdogan was among the first Turkish leaders to speak out against efforts to expel ethnic identities from the country. It was the first time a high official accepted that there have been unlawful and undemocratic practices against minorities in the past. His speech most probably related to events in September, 1955 when many Greek shops and houses were pillaged by crowds after false reports that someone had burnt Kemal Ataturk’s house. Greek houses were burnt and thousands of Greeks fled the country.
Some day the people of Turkey will grasp what Americans have finally learned to admit. In the past terrible things are done to those who are defenseless. It requires courage to admit that one’s ancestors committed terrible crimes. In the 1980s, the US Congress apologized for the interment of Japanese Americans during WWII. The capacity to be truthful is necessary if a nation is to have a soul based on respect for human dignity.