Turkey has been experiencing significant political developments for the last 12 years and the Armenian community is also a part of this process. Currently, about 60,000 Armenians live in Turkey, and this transformation affects not only them, but also the Armenians with Anatolian origins living in Armenia and the Armenian diaspora worldwide. Consequently, the notion of being an Armenian is also undergoing a transformation during this political process. People in Turkey are in a convenient phase of reviewing what has been led by recent political developments.
They get to know not only other people, but also themselves again - and they are aware of the fact that a braver and more impartial interpretation of history is obligatory to do that. While they are stepping out of official history and searching for their own roots by using various free sources they also encounter "the others." For instance the religious groups who wonder about the stories of the religious leaders executed in Independence Courts during early Republican Era in 1925 and try to re-acquire the reputation of their losses, discover that Armenians went under even more tragic incidents in 1915 and that they also occupy a place in the big picture.
For the West, it was not easy to understand the state of terror targeting minorities, religious groups like Alevis and Kurds both during the 1915 genocide and Republican history, or it simply did not interest them. Turkey, founded on a much smaller territory than the Ottoman Empire - the strongest representative of the East - was expressing the peak of a great victory through the Western model it chose. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's political choice meant Western civilization putting its flag on the peak of the East, and this metaphor was quite true. Through Turkey's existence, it was officially proved that the West won the civilization war in a physical sense.
Of course the fascist conjuncture prevailing in the world until 1945 and Turkey's participation in NATO during the Cold War period played a role in exculpating the violent acts of the Turkish state. This is the realpolitik side of the issue. An ally that had the second greatest army of any NATO country had a considerable strategic importance that could not be criticized due to the shortcomings of its democracy. It was not needed and Turkey was being ruled as the West wished.
Thus, Kemalist nationalist elites first dissolved ethnic minorities and suppressed the religious ones then killed the Kurds and Alevis and economically condemned large masses to poverty. A small elite group - called White Turks in a sociological context - dominated the media, academia, politics, economy, and public sphere in the country. While Armenians could not even be assigned to the lowest positions in this social hierarchy, state institutions were off-limits to religious people and Kurds. Alevis, meanwhile, were stuck in between state massacres and Sunni fear.
So, this elite and unconscionable state model has been revised and reformed with a gradual and peaceful public revolution for the last 12 years thanks to the support of the social groups I mentioned above. In 2002, when the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) became the ruling party for the first time, this elite status quo was angry but self-confident. The presidency, judiciary, chambers, media, NGOs and more importantly, the army, were backing them. They were giving the AK Party a very short lifetime and a coup resembling the Feb. 28, 1997 post-modern coup was expected at any moment. Attempts to overthrow the government had started. The army, pro-coup juntas within the army, the media and judiciary took immediate action to achieve it.
But they could not succeed. Reforms were gradually implemented and pro-coup elites found themselves in a more democratic country. So, the non-political struggle methods had to become more democratized and nuanced. The most functional method developed today is bringing down the reform process through the traumas of minorities like Kurds and Alevis. The elite intellectuals obsessed in overthrowing Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are concerned about how to manipulate the delicate issues such as the 1915 incidents to undermine the government. They also receive much support from international circles since they perform their activities under a Western guise. They might even manipulate diaspora populations in this sense.
It seems that with the 100th anniversary of 1915 the pain of Armenians will be manipulated in a sovereignty fight. If the diaspora community is searching for an influential and legitimate addressee for this pain to be acknowledged and respected, it should be the sociological actors of this reform rather than those attempting to end the reform period in which Armenians feel equal and secure for the first time in Turkey's Republican history. The formerly dominating groups are about to become a thing of the past and have lost their character of being an addressee.