Even though I cannot be there with you on this very significant day–I want you to know that as an ethnic Turk I am not guilty–but I am responsible for the wounds that have been inflicted upon you–Armenia’s–for the last century and a half. I am responsible for the wounds that were first delivered upon you through an unjust deportation from your ancestral lands and through massacres in the hands of a government that should have been there to protect you. I am also responsible for the wounds caused by the Turkish state denial to this day of what happened to you back then. I am responsible because all of this occurred and still occurs in the country of which I am a citizen. Yet I want to tell you that I personally travel every year to your ancestral lands to envision what was once there and what is not now. When I am there–I realize again and again how much your departure has broken the human’spirit and warped the land and the people. I become more and more aware of the darkness that has set in since the disappearance of so many lives–minds–hopes–and dreams. It is for all these reasons that I think it is time for the Turks too to recognize that vast loss–to start to uplift that darkness and begin the process of healing. I therefore firmly believe that soon in the future you will find among you many Turks who too will recount the names of all those brilliant Armenian intellectuals of Istanbul forcefully deported on this very significant day only to be massacred–Turks who will mourn with you this vast loss of ours–Turks who will work alongside you on your ancestral lands to help recreate what was once there.
Associate Professor Fatma Muge Gocek
University of Michigan
1225 S. University Avenue
Ann Arbor–MI 48104