DETROIT, Mich.—The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) will be honoring renowned lawyer, writer, and human rights activist Fethiye Çetin with its highest honor, the prestigious ANCA Freedom Award, at the 9th Annual ANCA Eastern Region Banquet on Sat., Nov. 14.
“We are honored to present Fethiye Çetin with the Freedom Award for her human rights activism and the fight for justice as Hrant Dink’s attorney,” said ANCA-ER Banquet Committee Co-Chair Ani Boghikian-Kasparian. “In my mind, Hrant Dink’s legacy is that Armenians must work with Turks to grapple with human rights in present-day Turkey. We must engage with and educate to bring about change from within Turkish society, and Ms. Çetin is a leading voice in this effort. Recognition of the atrocities committed against the Armenian people a century ago will happen organically as a result and in a much more powerful way.”
The ANCA-ER Freedom Award is presented to individuals who have made tremendous contributions toward recognition of the genocide and who have pursued other issues of importance to the Armenian American community. Earlier recipients have included renowned lawyer Robert Morgenthau and the Morgenthau Family, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John M. Evans, Pulitzer Prize winning author and current U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Samantha Power, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, the late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, former U.S. Senator Robert Dole, former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole, and Baroness Caroline Cox.
Fethiye Çetin was born in 1950 in Maden (near Kharpert). She is a lawyer, writer, and human rights activist in Turkey. As a lawyer, Çetin has been representing the family of the murdered Agos newspaper editor Hrant Dink. After discovering her Armenian roots in 2008, she published a book titled My Grandmother: A Memoir, which touches upon important topics such as the history of genocide denial, nationalism, and fears of political consequences in Turkey. It is a personal narrative of her discovering her grandmother’s Armenian identity and confronting her own. With her book, she raised awareness of millions of Islamized or hidden Armenians living throughout Turkey, of whom many have come forward. In 2014 she published The Grandchildren, co-edited with Ayse Gul Altinay, as a follow-up to My Grandmother, which is a collection of testimonies by grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the hidden Armenians.
Banquet committee co-chairs Dr. Hovig Kouyoumdjian and Ani Boghikian-Kasparian as well as committee members are working diligently to ensure the success of this annual fundraising event. “Every year the ANCA-ER Banquet is a great occasion to showcase the activities and support throughout the Eastern Region. This year we are particularly thrilled to host the first banquet in the Midwest region and are looking forward to a spectacular turnout to honor Fethiye Çetin for her many contributions,” said Kouyoumdjian, who is also a member of the ANCA-ER Board of Directors.
The banquet, sponsored by the ANCA Eastern Region Endowment Fund, will begin with an elegant cocktail reception and silent auction at 5 p.m., followed by dinner and awards ceremony at 6 p.m. Tickets for the banquet are $150 but are available for $125 if purchased before Oct. 1. Banquet attendees are encouraged to buy their tickets early to take advantage of the special rate. To purchase tickets, please, visit the secure payment portal: ww.ancaef.org/banquet .
The event will take place in the heart of Detroit at the prestigious Westin Book Cadillac Hotel located at the corner of State Street and Detroit’s Washington Boulevard, once dubbed the Fifth Avenue of the Midwest. For details on hotel reservations, call 1-800-241-3333, and reference “ANCA” to get the reduced rate of $149/night for the rooms. Additional information about the banquet is available at: https://er.anca.org/banquet/ .
The ANCA Eastern Region Endowment Fund is a 501(c)(3) charitable and educational organization that supports the ANCA Eastern Region in outreach to Armenian-American communities.
Photo: Fethiye Çetin