Farce in Turkey's Courts: Act Two

October 8, 2013 – The turmoil that has swept Turkey since the eruption of protests in Gezi Park and Taksim Square seems to have reached the institutions of the judiciary as well. On October 4, the Istanbul court convened to review the case of Dogan Akhanli, a German-Turkish author and human rights activist who had been framed up on charges of membership in a subversive political organization and participation in armed robbery and murder. In 2010, the same Istanbul court had handed down an acquittal, clearing him of all charges.Read further...

The 2012 International Hrant Dink Award goes to İsmail Beşikçi from Turkey and “Memorial” from Russia

The 2012 International Hrant Dink Award was presented to laureates İsmail Beşikçi from Turkey and "Memorial" from Russia, on September 15, 2012, with a ceremony organized by the Hrant Dink Foundation held at the Cemal Reşit Rey Concert Hall in Istanbul.Read further...

New Study of Turkey-Armenia Protocols Released

On March 2, 2012, a new monograph on the background to the Turkey-Armenia protocols of 2009 was released at Columbia University. The report, written by David L. Phillips, is entitled “Diplomatic History: The Turkey-Armenia Protocols,” and provides new information on the rapprochement process. It can be accessed and downloaded at further...

Turkish Intellectual Urges Armenians To Visit Anatoli

Ahmet Altan
Turkish Intellectual Urges Armenians
To Visit Anatolia

Ahmet Altan, a leading Turkish journalist, spoke to Armenians in Watertown, Massachusetts about the ongoing discussion process inside Turkey about the genocide of 1915. he urged Armenians to visit Turkey to engage in direct personal contact with citizens there.

KulturForum TürkeiDeutschland gedenkt Hrant Dink

DE Es hat Veranstaltungen in Berlin, Köln und vielen anderen deutschen Städten anläßlich des 5. Todestags von Hrant Dink gegeben, unter anderen eine Reihe vom KutlturForum TürkeiDeustchland organisiert. Das KulturForum, das den interkulturellen Dialog fördert, hat die türkische Schriftstellerin und Anwältin Fetiye Çetin am 20. Januar in Köln zu einem Vortrag eingeladen. Frau Çetin hat danach Berlin besucht und auch dort über den Prozeß gegen Dinks Mörder berichtet. Zehntausende haben gegen das Urteil protestiert.
Am 23 Januar war ich in Köln eingeladen, mein Buch Jenseits der Feuerwand vorzustellen. Dr. Alper Öktem hat die Arbeit der Hrant-Dink-Stiftung in Istanbul vorgestellt.

US Kulturforum Türkei-Deutschland Commemorates Hrant Dink
Commemorations were held in Berlin, Cologne and many other German cities in late January on the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the murder of Hrant Dink. The KulturForum TürkeiDeutschland, an organization which promotes understanding and reconciliation among Germans, Turks and Armenians, invited Turkish author and lawyer Fetiye Çetin on January 20 to speak in Cologne on the just-concluded trial against persons accused of involvement in Dink’s murder. Ms. Çetin travelled on to Berlin, where she addressed a large audience on the same topic. On January 23, I was invited by the same cultural dialogue group to present my book, Through the Wall of Fire at the Alte Feuerwache in Cologne. Dr. Alper Öktem presented the work of the Hrant Dink Foundation in Istanbul.

French Genocide Bill Provokes Uproar

By Muriel Mirak-Weissbach – The bill voted up on December 22 by the French parliament (Assemblée nationale), which would make denial of genocide (including the 1915 genocide against the Armenians in Ottoman Turkey) a crime, has provoked strong reactions from the Turkish government and sparked a debate among Turks and Armenians worldwide. Read Further
This article is published also here: further...

New Book Documents Lives of Armenians in Turkey

A new book was published at the end of the 2011, documenting the experiences of Armenians in Turkey whose ancestors had survived the 1915 genocide. Part of an oral history program of the Hrant Dink Foundation, the book, entitled “Sounds of Silence, Armenians of Turkey Speak,” is based on interviews with 40 people in Istanbul and other provinces.

Turkish Publisher Arrested

Ragip Zarakolu, a well-known publisher and defender of freedom of speech was arrested on October 28 in Istanbul along with 43 other people on charges of membership in the Union of Kurdish Communities (KCK). Professor Büsra Ersanli, from the Faculty of Political Science and International Relations at Istanbul’s Marmara university, was also arrested. Zarakolu, director of the Publishing House Belge, received the 2008 International Publishers Association Freedom to Publish Prize. He is a founding members of the Turkish Human Rights Organization. He was scheduled to speak at a conference in Potsdam, Germany on November 5, on the theme, “The Internal Discussion in Turkey on 1915/1916,” i.e. the genocide against the Armenians. The arrests come on the heels of a historic decision handed down by the European Court of Human Rights on October 25, ruling that the Turkish government prosecution of historian Taner Akcam for his views on the Armenian genocide violated his freedom of expression.
Intellectuals and human rights activists immediately launched a campaign to free Mr. Zarakolu and Prof. Ersanli, among others arrests for political reasons.

Turkish Intellectual Threatened With Life Sentence

The case of Dogan Akhanlı, a German citizen and human rights activist of Turkish descent, came up again in a hearing at the Istanbul 11th High Criminal Court on June 15. Akhanli was framed up on charges of armed robbery, jailed for four months, and released late last year. The Prosecutor Celal Kara called for a life sentence arguing that the armed robbery (for which there was no proof of Akhanlı’s participation) constituted an “attempt to overthrow the constitutional order of the Turkish republic by forces.”

Turkish Intellectual Commemorates Armenian Genocide

On April 24, the guest speaker at the annual commemoration ceremony for the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide in the historic Paulskirche, in Frankfurt, Germany, was Turkish intellectual and author Dogan Akhanli. It was the first time that the Armenian community had invited someone of Turkish descent to hold the main address. Akhanli had been jailed in Turkey under the military regime, and later emigrated to Germany in 1992, where he lives. Over the years he has engaged in historical research on the Armenian genocide, the Nazi holocaust against the Jews, and other cases of ethnic and religious oppression. He has used the fruits of his research to educate the public, through forums, conferences, seminars, in Cologne, where he lives, and in the capital Berlin.

He is the author of several novels in Turkish, translated into Germans, one of which takes up the theme of the Armenian genocide, a topic forbidden by Turkish law. In August 2010, he returned to Turkey to visit his dying father, but was arrested at the airport and thrown into prison for four months. He was put on trial on hoked-up charges of participaton in an armed robbery and murder dating back decades. Although the testimony of witnesses had been procured under duress, and the same witnesses later withdrew their testimony, a farcical trial did take place. Thanks to a campaign in his defense, organized by civil rights activists and Turkish and German intellectuals, he managed to leave Turkey and return to Germany early this year. Articles reporting on Akhanli's case can be found under Publications on this website.
Read further...

Armenian Appointed to Political Post in Turkey

For the first time, the Turkish government has named an Armenian scholar to a government position, in the Secretariat for European Union Affairs.

Armenians from Istanbul Seek Parliamentary Posts

In the upcoming June elections in Turkey, seven Armenians have announced they will run for office.

Will Turkish Official Attend Genocide Commemoration?

The Turkish government has announced it will take part in events observing the Armenian genocide, traditonally organized on April 24, the anniversary of the mass arrests of Armenian intellectuals and leaders in 1915.

Dogan Akhanli im Rathaus empfangen

Der Kölner Oberbürgermeister Jürgen Roters lud unseren Freund Dogan Akhanli gestern zu einem Empfang ins Rathaus. Den Dank des OB an die Vertreter der Solidaritätskampagne, die zur Freilassung Akhanlis beigetragen haben, möchten wir hiermit an alle Unterstützer weitergeben! Das Video dazu unter:
Der Prozess gegen Dogan Akhanli wird am 9. März in Istanbul fortgesetzt. Akhanli wird wegen seines einjährigen Einreiseverbots in die Türkei nicht an seinem Prozess teilnehmen können.
Am 20. April veranstaltet das Literaturhaus Köln in Kooperation mit dem KulturForum eine Lesung & Musik mit Dogan Akhanli.

Ein Schwurgericht in Istanbul bekräftigte Anfang Februar den Freispruch für die Soziologin Pinar Selek und widersprach damit dem Obersten Berufungsgericht in Ankara, das eine Verurteilung der Angeklagten wegen siebenfachen Mordes verlangt hatte. Die Staatsanwaltschaft legte jedoch Einspruch gegen den zum dritten Mal bekräftigten Freispruch für Selek ein. Damit geht der Fall erneut zum Obersten Berufungsgerichtshof in Ankara. Über dreißig Menschen aus Deutschland waren als Prozessbeobachter nach Istanbul gereist, darunter Günter Wallraff, Christa Schuenke (PEN-Deutschland) und Vertreter des KulturForum. Auch Yasar Kemal und Rakel Dink waren vor Ort.

Vier Jahre nach der Ermordung des armenisch-türkischen Journalisten Hrant Dink leiten die türkischen Behörden Ermittlungen gegen mehr als zwei Dutzend hohe Beamte ein, darunter der ehemalige Gouverneur und der Polizeipräsident Istanbuls. Die Entscheidung fiel Anfang Februar vor einem Istanbuler Gericht.

Armenian National Library Honors Turkish Author

Ragib Zarakolu, a writer and human rights activist, received the “Hakob Maghapart” medal in Yerevan, for his campaign for recognition of the genocide against the Armenians in 1915.

Exchanging Personal Biographies in Turkish-Armenian Dialogue

A January book exhibition in Yerevan featured a volume entitled Speaking to One Another, a collection of interviews with Armenians and Turks about the 1915 genocide. further...

The Debate Among Turks on 1915 Has Begun/Die Debatte Unter Türken über 1915 ist im Gang

Excerpts from a film on the genocide show several well-known Turkish intellectuals and political figures discussing the past. In German/Turkish with English subtitles.
Ausschnitte aus einem Film über den Völkermord zeigen bekannte türkische Intellektuellen und Politiker, in einer Außeinandersetzung mit der Vergangenheit. In Deutsch/Türkisch mit englischen Untertiteln.-
Read further...

Armenian Church to hold Services in Turkey

The Surp Giragos Armenian Church, restored in a joint effort of diaspora Armenians and the Diyarbakir Metropolitan Municipality, will be open to hold the Divine Liturgy.
Read further...

Book Exhibition Promotes Dialogue between Armenia and Turkey

The exhibit focusses on the book Speaking to One Another, a compilation of personal accounts of the 1915 genocide. Read the article... Read further...

Commemorations of Hrant Dink on the 4th Anniversary of his Assassination

Commemorations of Hrant Dink on the 4th Anniversary of his Assassination
First article            |   Second articleRead further...

Investigation of Hrant Dink’s Murder is Expanded

Members of the family of Hrant Dink murdered in 2007, have welcomed the expansion of investigations into his death. Read the article Read further...

Hrant Dink Commemorations on 4th Anniversary in Ankara and Paris

On January 19, the fourth anniversary of the murder of AGOS editor Hrant Dink, over a thousand Turks and Kurds from progressive organizations joined in Ankara to commemorate the event and to demand that the perpetrators be brought to justice.Read further...

Dogan Akhanli in Cologne

In the context of a week-long series of events in Germany in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Hrant Dink (Photo), a meeting was held in Cologne on January 16, organized by the Hrant Dink Forum – Köln , addressed also by Dogan Akhanli. A Turkish-born German citizen and novelist, Dogan was imprisoned ... by Turkish authorities on hoked-up charges...Read further...

Imprisonment of Human Rights Activist Puts Turkish Establishment on the Dock

When Turkish authorities seized Dogan Akhanli on August 10 on his arrival from Frankfurt at the Istanbul airport and threw him into prison, they may have thought they could proceed unhindered, with the law on their side.
But they miscalculated utterly. As soon as the news circulated, human rights activists, intellectuals, and political figures denounced his arrest and demanded his immediate release.
Read further...

The Historical Reconciliation of Armenians and Turks

Germany, the same nation allied in World War I with the Young Turk regime which sought to exterminate the Armenian population, is emerging today as the stage on which the two formerly adversary communities are extending their hands in dialogue aimed at understanding and reconciliation.Read further...