DETROIT, MI — The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) honored renowned lawyer, writer, and human rights activist Fethiye Çetin with its highest honor, ANCA Freedom Award, at the 9th Annual ANCA Eastern Region Banquet on Saturday, November 14. As part of her United States trip to accept the prestigious award, Ms. Çetin had meetings and public talks in New Jersey and Michigan.
On November 12, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Ramapo College and the Armenian National Committee of New Jersey (ANC of NJ) hosted her in Mahwah, NJ at a talk titled “Hidden’ No More: Challenges Facing Islamized Armenians in Turkey.” Her words were translated by Nurhan Becidyan, a member of the board of the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR).
Ms. Çetin also addressed the youth on November 14 as part of the ANCA-ER Advocacy Workshop hosted by the St. Sarkis Church in Dearborn, MI. The aim of the workshop was to educate, motivate, and activate the community and provide with the necessary knowledge and tools to undertake a more effective grassroots advocacy.
In her remarks Ms. Çetin described Turkey as a country where individuals do not feel free, where every demand for freedom is repressed with blood and violence, a country where violence has become commonplace and is legitimized, and a country where the lives of journalists are made unbearable. She described the Armenian Genocide as the root cause of the brutal and authoritarian face of contemporary Turkey.
“The Republic of Turkey, which bases its foundation on the atrocity and violence of the genocide, sustains itself by producing fear and threats and by creating expendable and disposable lives. Yesterday the expendable lives were those of the Armenians. Today, Kurds, women, LGBT people and members of the opposition meet the same fate,” she said.
Fethiye Çetin is a Turkish-Armenian lawyer, writer, and human rights activist. She has authored stories about the impact of her ancestral roots, including My Grandmother, a memoir highly regarded within higher education in Turkey. Çetin’s grandmother, Seher, was an Armenian Christian taken during the genocide and adopted by a Turkish military official. The impact of her grandmother’s roots has inspired Çetin’s memoir and her overall work as lawyer and human rights activist.
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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 addresses the community in Michigan