Turkey’s help­ing hand

Re “Go ahead, of­fend Turkey,” Opin­ion, April 16, and “Call the geno­cide a geno­cide,” Ed­i­to­rial, April 14

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

With the 100th an­niver­sary of a tragic chap­ter of World War I, The Times has un­for­tu­nately cho­sen to fuel mis­un­der­stand­ing rather than pro­mote rec­on­cil­i­a­tion.

Turkey, for its part, con­tin­ues to of­fer a hand in rec­on­cil­i­a­tion to all Ar­me­ni­ans, as ev­i­denced by state­ments from Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan con­vey­ing con­do­lences and sym­pa­thy, while call­ing for us all to re­mem­ber the suf­fer­ing of the time in a de­cent man­ner.

Mean­while, Turkey’s ef­forts con­tinue to be met with the same vit­riol that led to the as­sas­si­na­tion of sev­eral Turk­ish diplo­mats by Ar­me­nian ter­ror­ists. I fre­quently hear ac­counts from Turk­ish Amer­i­cans in Cal­i­for­nia of dis­crim­i­na­tion at school or when at­tempt­ing to com­plete sim­ple tasks like ac­quir­ing a driver’s li­cense or open­ing a bank ac­count, for what their fore­fa­thers are sup­posed to have par­tic­i­pated in a cen­tury ago.

Fur­ther­more, how are we to talk about free­dom of speech if one side’s voice is con­stantly be­ing si­lenced?

On April 24, Turk­ish Amer­i­cans walked for peace and rec­on­cil­i­a­tion with Ar­me­ni­ans in Wash­ing­ton. Un­for­tu­nately, Turk­ish Amer­i­cans in Los An­ge­les were de­nied that right.

On­go­ing ef­forts to tar­nish the mem­ory of our mu­tual suf­fer­ing thwart a for­ward-look­ing agenda that would help bring both peo­ples to­gether.

Gülru Gezer

Los An­ge­les The writer is the con­sul gen­eral of Turkey in Los An­ge­les.

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