President Abdullah Gull warned of serious consequences that might arise if people in Turkey pushed for their nation to apologize for the slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman empire in 1915. Gull had reached out to Armenia in order to establish cordial relations with the Armenian nation, but the thought of even discussing the possibility of an apology caused him to warn, “I do not think they make a positive contribution” and will only lead to “polarization” between the two nations. He insisted Turkey was a democratic nation and people had the right to discuss all issues– of course, free discussion of the Armenian genocide is not allowed in Turkish schools. In his view, of the role of higher education, “I want our universities not to become a platform for daily politics, but make attempts to increase Turkey’s power.”
The president of Turkey does not seem to grasp the role of a university is to pursue the path of intellectual research, and if that leads to uncovering a truth about the Armenian massacre that does not please politicians, the university must publish its results regardless of who is upset. It would be helpful if President Gull asked leading scholars from throughout the world to study events of 1915 and issue an objective report.
The American government has apologized for the internment during World War II of Japanese residents. The apology has been a healing action, not one that caused anger.