Last weekend I had some time to read some books about Armenia, its Diaspora, genocide claims and so on. And interviews and articles by Halil Berktay and Fethiye Cetin. And started to read My Grandmother by the latter. Both persons have refreshing ideas about the Armenian and Turkish history. Totally different than the empty rhetoric which dominates mainstream Turkish newspapers.
But today, my good friend Mustafa Akyol, wrote an excellent column which you can read below:
An open letter to the Armenian Diaspora
Thursday, October 18, 2007
An open letter to the Armenian Diaspora (Mustafa AKYOL )
If we will start listening to your narrative, that will not be because we are pushed into a corner by the politics of a powerful lobby, but because our hearts are touched by the memoirs of a terrible tragedy.
A few days ago a new friend of mine who happens to be an American Armenian played some beautiful songs for me that come from the deepest roots of her ethnic tradition. While I enjoyed the numinous rhythms of that magnetic Armenian music, I realized how similar they were to the tunes of the Turkish classical music that I have grown up hearing. “Despite all the political warfare,” I said to myself, “alas, look how similar we are.” I actually have a similar feeling when I drive along the magnificent mosques and palaces of Istanbul, some of which were built by Armenian architects – men in fez who devoutly worshipped Christ and proudly served the Sultan.
Well, we were the children of the same empire, weren't we? We actually lived side by side as good neighbors for centuries until the modern virus called “nationalism” descended upon us. And then hell broke loose.
Continue reading here.