Writers from the ‘Other’ Turkey Speak Out in Frankfurt

If France was the Guest of Honor this year at the celebrated Frankfurt Book Fair, then Turkey — that is, the official Turkey — might well earn the title of the Guest of Dishonor. Taking part in the innumerable interviews with authors, round table discussions and special exhibits were leading Turkish personalities from the book world, who presented their recent works and engaged capacity audiences in heated debates about the current, sad state of affairs for intellectuals in their country. These were the voices of the “other” Turkey.Read Further...

Decade after Dink: Cem Ozdemir to Headline Program Honoring Late Journalist

It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was assassinated in cold blood in Istanbul, outside the offices of Agos, the bilingual weekly newspaper he co-founded and for which he served as editor-in-chief.Read Further...

Genocide Centenary: Where Does Germany Stand?

As the New Year opened, several German cities hosted events commemorating the centenary of the genocide, many of them scheduled to coincide with the eighth anniversary on January 19 of the assassination of Hrant Dink. Those in Berlin and Frankfurt attracted large crowds of Germans and Armenians, as well as Turks, Kurds and many other minorities.
At a memorial convened in Cologne on January 25, one central issue discussed was the need for official recognition of the genocide, not only on the part of the authorities in Turkey but also in Germany.Read Further...

Turks Join Armenians in Germany to Honor Genocide Victims

It is not usually the case that the guest speaker at a commemoration event for the victims of the 1915 genocide against the Armenians is Turkish, at least not in Germany. But in Hamburg, it is becoming somewhat of a tradition, since Toros Sarian first broke the ice two years ago. Sarian, who issues a multilingual online publication ArmenienInfo.net (HayastanInfo.net), is co-founder of the Initiative for Remembrance of the 1915 Genocide, which organized a gathering in the St. Petri church on April 21st. In recent years, he has invited not only Germans of Turkish origin to speak, but has consciously engaged representatives of other communities. Thus, this year, flanking keynote speaker Cem Özdemir, National Chairman of the Green Party whose family comes from Turkey, was Ali Ertam Toprak, Chairman of the Alevi Community in Germany and Secretary of the Alevi Communities in Europe, and a spokeswoman for the Turkish-Kurdish Initiative for Democratic Rights and Freedom.Read Further...

To Be, or Not To Be, a Turk
Reflections on the Inner-Turkish Debate on 1915/1916

Why does Turkey have such difficulty in dealing with its historical past? Why can the Turkish authorities not acknowledge that in 1915 the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire was the victim of genocide? If the German post-war political elite was capable of facing up to the Holocaust and establishing relations with the Jewish people, in Israel and elsewhere, why cannot the Turkish leadership do as much? The question was raised during a seminar in Potsdam, Germany on November 5, on “The Inner Turkish Discussion of 1915/1916.”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...