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Turkey’s liberals

In late-1960s Istanbul, I grew up with many of the men and women who are now fighting ultranationalism in Turkey

By Maureen Freely   April 2007

Since its birth in 1923, the republic of Turkey has been engaged in a war of words with the Armenian diaspora, with the latter insisting that what Anatolia’s Armenians suffered in 1915 was genocide. The Turkish state has put a lot of effort into denying that claim, both at home and abroad. Its allies have traditionally agreed not to “make an issue of it.” For 82 years, the Turkish intelligentsia did the same. But in February 2005, the novelist Orhan Pamuk broke the taboo. The hate campaign to which he was then subjected was widely reported, both in Turkey and…

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