History has been both a factor to either divide or to unite people, and for a hundred years contrasting views as to what happened to Armenians early in the 20th century has made impossible relations between Armenians and Turks. A group of historians and social scientists from both nations are meeting to discuss the possibility if they can agree on a common explanation whether or not Armenians were subject to a genocide early in the twentieth century. Ironically, the rapprochement between the peoples began when the Turkish president witnessed a football match with an Armenian leader. The academics were brought together by the German Institute for International Cooperation and their task is examining historical materials in the search to uncover an explanation of events which resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Armenians.
Turkish law makes it illegal to use words such as “genocide” when referring to the deaths of Armenians so the task of this group is terribly important. The academics are finally coming together aside from political pressure and functioning as historians and social scientists who are trying to uncover the truth. The outcome of their efforts will be published in Armenian, Turkish, and English versions.
Ergil Neyzi Adanir said it clearly, “we are two peoples who have lived together for centuries,” and he raised valid questions of why has their historic relationship ended in hatred and bitter anger and how can academics undo the divisions that were created in the past.