The current trial of a Turkish student who murdered an Armenian activist, and Turkish anger toward the US Congress which will most probably pass a resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide, has renewed interest in the situation of Armenians in Turkey. A crusading newspaper was able to uncover a secret document from September 8, 1982 in which leaders of the military coup which overthrew the Turkish government ordered police to keep tabs on Armenians. The Turkish military regarded Armenians as “separatists” who somehow posed a threat to military rule. Police were encouraged to visit neighborhoods, gather names and information about every single Armenian in a two or region, and draw upon information from neighbors. At least 1,500,000 people had tabs kept on them and 500,000 were arrested at one time or another.
A Turkish modern tragedy is inability to come to grips with the atrocious genocide perpetrated upon Armenians in the early 1900s. The Turkish solution is to pretend nothing happened and anyone who dares utter a single truth about it faces beating, jail or death. Perhaps, Turkish leaders should discuss past evils with German leaders since Germany has done a remarkable job of confronting past evil and bringing it to the consciousness of modern youth.