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Support for Peace and Reconciliation for Armenia and Turkey

Support for Peace and Reconciliation for Armenia and Turkey
Former US Diplomat Robert Marro Support Peace and Reconciliation for Armenia and Turkey


Dear Friends and Community Members,

One hundred years ago, in April 1915, the world was engulfed in a World War that took nearly 40 million lives (well over half were civilians), not only in Europe, but in the Middle East, Asia and even Africa.  Turkey and Armenia were not spared the horrors. Clearly this was a human tragedy and we mourn for all lives lost.

That War destroyed many historical empires:  Austria-Hungary, Germany and Russia, but also the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), which for centuries had been the most diverse and openly tolerant in the world, with dozens of ethnic, religious and national groups living there.  Many saw a chance to break free of Ottoman rule, and many on both sides died in the conflicts that followed.  That bitter struggle has affected Armenians and Turks until today, 100 years later. 

Today, many in Armenia and Turkey, and in Turkish and Armenian Diasporas worldwide, want to heal those wounds, and to bring reconciliation and peace.  So should we. 

No one should ever forget the suffering or pain it caused, but reconciliation can bring peace - just as it did in South Africa.  And America's own recent 50th anniversary of the hostility and tragedies of the 1965 Civil Rights March in Selma, Alabama, shows we can heal those wounds.

Turkey has been a good model of Muslim democracy and economic development, and a strong proponent of human rights.  When the three UNC students were murdered in a vicious hate crime, Turkey's President was among the first to offer condolences and to call for justice for those victims.  He has also taken some first steps in reaching out to the Armenian community, but needs to do more to ensure this process is a success.

We can help Turkey and Armenia move beyond this tragic past.  Please visit www.USA4peace.com  to electronically contact the White House and Congress, asking them to support a full investigation of  what happened in Turkey and Armenia, so we can know all the facts - and more important, what the path to peace requires us in 2015 and beyond.

You can send the letter template as is (see below), or refine and personalize it.  But please do this now, and tell our Government officials - before the anniversary date of April 24 - that we must restore good relations between two countries that are each such strong friends of America.  We can honor and value the suffering of all their peoples, by helping them find a way to move beyond this terrible tragedy.  

Let us all raise our voices for peace.   Click this link NOW:  www.USA4peace.com

Robert J. Marro

Letter template:

" As April 24 approaches, I share the pain suffered by Armenians a century ago and look forward to hearing the White House statement later this week on behalf of all Americans in expressing sympathy for the loss of both Armenian and other lives in 1915.

I want to especially commend the April 24 White House statement last year praising “the growing number of courageous Armenians and Turks who have already taken the path” to reconcile what happened in 1915, and encouraging “more to do so, with the backing of their governments.”

Over 37 million civilians and soldiers were killed in World War I. That was a tragedy that no one can forget. The U.S. Government therefore should use its friendship and alliances with both Turkey and Armenia to press both countries and their people to establish a truth and reconciliation process, similar to how South Africa healed itself after millions suffered under Apartheid.

The recent 50th anniversary of the 1965 Civil Rights March in Selma Alabama shows this reconciliation can heal such wounds.  It is time to seek a similar way forward for Armenia and Turkey.  We need to know exactly what happened then – and more important what the path to peace might require us to do 100 years later.

I therefore urge you to build on last year’s White House statement to account for the broader human tragedy of World War I. America must ensure our strategic relations in the region are not damaged by a rush to judgment in erroneously labeling 1915 events.  A successful reconciliation in this may be an effective model in resolving the similarly contentious and tragic issues affecting so many countries worldwide.

Let’s do everything we can to bring our friends, Armenia and Turkey together."

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