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Turks Confront WWI Massacre of Armenians

Louis Meixler

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - When a leading Turkish novelist said earlier this year that 1 million Armenians were murdered in his country during World War I, he broke a deep taboo.

Three lawsuits were filed against Orhan Pamuk, accusing him of damaging the state. "He shouldn't be allowed to breathe," roared one nationalist group. In Istanbul, a school collected his books from students to return to him. On a news Web site, the vote ran 4-1 against him.

Turkey's mass expulsion of Armenians during World War I - which Armenians say was part of a genocide that claimed 1.5 million lives - is a dark chapter rarely discussed in Turkey or taught in its schools.

But slowly the veil is being lifted. One reason is that Turkey is more open and democratic today, another is its ambition of joining the European Union; French President Jacques Chirac has said Turkey must first acknowledge the killings.

Read the entire article on the My Way website (new window will open).

Posted: 19-Apr-05



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