02 March 2015

3532) Arsinée Khanjian: I Have Begun To Understand What It Means To Be An Armenian In Turkey

Lora Sari

We spoke about Turks, Armenians, Turkey and the Diaspora with Arsinée Khanjian, the Canadian actress who is one of the three jury members of the international ‘Love & Change’ competition of the 14th !f International Film Festival.

This year, the jury for the international ‘Love & Change’ competition of the 14th !f International Film Festival is comprised of three members, the Canadian actress Arsinée Khanjian, activist Pinar Selek and producer Marie Oleson. We meet Khanjian on the morning she arrives in Istanbul and have very little time to talk because she must watch the films taking part in the competition. Pinar Selek, too, somewhere far away, is watching the same films at the same time.

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3531) Lena Chamamyan: I Am Returning To Where My Story Began, I Am Returning Home

Maral Dink

The Syrian singer Lena Chamamyan is one of the most popular names in music in the Middle East today. Chamamyan brought her first album out in 2006, and she mostly sings in Arabic and Armenian, blending traditional folk music with jazz. Beside pain and death, her voice and lyrics convey life and hope.

Chamamyan’s family is from Maras, on her father’s side, and from Mardin and Diyarbak?r on her mother’s side. She settled in Paris when war broke out in Syria. “I used to be part of the Armenian Diaspora, now I am part of the Syrian Diaspora,” she comments. Her each sentence contains a sense of displacement, and yearning for her homeland. The most significant change in her life since her interview published in Agos two years ago, is that she is now considering settling in Istanbul… Chamamyan is planning to give concerts in Istanbul and Diyarbakir this year, and so is returning to where her story began, to her homeland.

To be in Turkey in 2015 and to give a concert, what does that mean to you?

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3530) Armenian Genocide, Still A Political Hot Potato, Is About To Land At The Eurovision Song Contest

Do not be fooled by the song and dance; the Eurovision Song Contest really is about international politics.

This year’s edition of Europe’s top kitsch-fest, which will be held in Vienna May 19-23, had already promised plenty of intrigue, with Ukraine withdrawing from the contest, Russia organizing a competing event (while still going for a Eurovision win), and the decidedly non-European nation of Australia planning to make its contest debut. . . .

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3529) Taner Akcam Interview: 1915-2015: Rectifying a Historic Injustice

Recognizing the Armenian Genocide is not about creating the institutions of democracy or ensuring freedom of speech in Turkey — it is about ensuring justice for the Armenians. Dr. Taner Akcam of Clark University spoke to CivilNet about the importance of nuances and the significance of addressing and confronting history for Turkish civil society. Below is the transcript of that interview.

Maria Titizian: Welcome to CivilNet. My guest is Dr. Taner Akçam of Clark University. Dr. Akçam, we are now in the 100th year of the Armenian Genocide of 1915. You published an article in Taraf that spoke about how Turkey should recognize the atrocities of the past, of the Armenian Genocide, how it must confront it, and what it must do to eradicate the consequences of the genocide. You drew some parallels with how Germany confronted its past and how the United States, the Americans, confronted their past with the Native Americans. Could you elaborate for us, if you will, very briefly, those parallels you were trying to illustrate.

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3528) Time for Saroyan Library in Bitlis, Turkey

Vartan Estukyan

A new library in Bitlis will be named after William Saroyan. Journalist Ahmet Tulgar, who came up with the idea, reports that he met with Bitlis Co-Mayor Hüseyin Olan and discussed the idea for a library.

A new library to be opened in Bitlis will be named after William Saroyan. In December, upon the proposal of Ara Sarafian, historian and the Director of the Gomidas Institute in London, a vote was held at the Bitlis Municipality, for the name of Sapkor Street, where the author lived for many years with his family, to be changed as Saroyan Street. . . .

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31 January 2015

3527) Perincek: Giordano Bruno Was Witch-Hunted & Burnt After Criticizing Established Opinions

Videos and Transcripts - ECHR Hearing of Perinçek v. Switzerland Case, 28 Jan 2015

-Video of the entire ECHR hearing on Perinçek vs Switzerland, with the brilliant speech by Dr. Stefan Talmon, who is an Oxford scholar representing Turkey as a third party
-Dr Dogu Perincek's Speech, English/Turkish (Video & Text)
-Mr Mehmet Cengiz, Lawyer On Behalf Of Mr Perincek - English/Turkish (Text)
-Mr L Pech, Lawyer On Behalf Of Mr Perincek -Oral Submission in French (Text)
-Mr Gevorg Kostanyan’s Speech (Video)
-Mrs A Clooney & Mr G Robertson’s speech (Video)
-Mr Geoffrey Robertson’s speech
. . .

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