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October 18, 2007

Inside The Archives

Inside The Archives

Yesterday, the Turkish parliament voted to send troops into northern Iraq - a move that escalates already tense relations between Turkey and the U.S. Now Congress is backpedaling from its declaration that the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey constituted a genocide.

Yektan Turkyilmaz, a Turkish citizen of Kurdish descent who now lives in the U.S., has been following the genocide debate with particular interest. Yektan speaks Armenian, and he has focused his scholarship on the Armenian conflict. He's had unprecedented access: in 2005, he became the first Turkish national to do research in the National Archives of Armenia.

However, the thrill of discovery turned sour for Yektan. He was arrested by the Armenian security service and accused of espionage. After two months in jail, a chorus of international outrage, and a show trial, Yektan was finally freed. He talks with Dick Gordon about the personal and professional fallout, and his mixed feelings over the current Armenian genocide debate. 

Music

Makam Ferahfeza: Kapris (Caprice) and Makam Ussak: Fihrist Taksimi from the album Munir Nurettin Beken

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