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Fears of Turkey's 'Invisible' Armenians

Sarah Rainsford

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BBC News, Istanbul

The head of the Armenian Orthodox church is in the middle of a controversial visit to Istanbul. Karekin II has in the past angered Turks by accusing them of committing genocide against Armenians at the time of World War I. Turkey denies the charges of genocide.

I thought it was a perfectly simple question.

I had gone backstage to interview the conductor of an ethnic Armenian church choir after a rousing performance at Istanbul University.

As the choristers packed up their manuscripts, we chatted for a while about the music and the conductor was all smiles.

Then I asked his opinion on the conference his choir was singing at - the snappily labelled "Symposium on New Approaches to Turkish-Armenian relations".

I wondered if he thought the event could help mend fences. Within seconds, he was edging away from me, apparently deeply uncomfortable.

"I don't want to talk about politics," he pleaded, "we just came for the music!"

It was a telling insight.

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

Posted: 27-Jun-06



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