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Archive for the ‘News’ Category

New Documentary on Paramaz “RED” Premiered in Istanbul

Red, a documentary, directed by Mr. Kadir Akin, about the life, views and struggles of Matteos “Paramaz” Sarkissian, a leader of the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party, who was executed in 1915 along with his 19 Hunchakian comrades at Beyazıt Square, premiered in Istanbul on October 12, 2017.

The documentary, based on the book written by Mr. Akin “Armenian Revolutionary Paramaz – Armenian Socialists and Genocide from Abdulhamid to Ittihat Terakki” examined Paramaz’s statements, ideas, and actions, along with the Armenian Question in the Ottoman Empire and the subsequent Armenians Genocide.

Among those attending the premier were; Mr. Garo Paylan member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, Mr. Alex Keushkerian, member of the Social Democrat Hunchakian Party Central Committee, representatives of Turkey’s; Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Republican People’s Party (CHP), Socialist Party of Refoundation (SYKP) and Party of Labour (EMEP), representatives of various institution, intellectuals and writers, as well as large number of Turkish citizens of Armenian descent.

After thanking the audience, Mr. Akin stated the documentary will be entered into international film festivals and be shown at special screenings throughout Turkey and the world.

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Turkish Policy of Violence Lies at the Root of Armenian Genocide Denial – Dogan Akhanli

BRUSSELS (Armradio) — Turkish regime’s policy of violence as a means of rule lies at the root of its denial of Armenian Genocide, says dissident writer Dogan Akhanli said in an interview with the EU Observer.

He is currently stuck in Madrid after Spanish police arrested him while he was on holiday on the basis of a Turkish Interpol request.

Turkey’s attempt to silence dissident writer Dogan Akhanli has backfired by giving him a bigger platform.

Akhnali was born in Turkey but fled to Germany in 1991 after being persecuted for his views on the Armenian Genocide and on Turkey’s repression of its Kurdish minority.

He also spent four months in a Turkish jail in 2010 after visiting the country.

“Turkish power cannot forgive me because I questioned the basic problems of Turkey,” he told the EU Observer.

The writer said his novels had not made him a celebrity. “I’m not a best-seller,” he said.

But he said that “Turkish persecution makes me more known year by year and makes my words bigger. It is actually a very stupid policy”.

He said Turkey’s latest attempt to deprive him of his freedom had inspired him to write a new book.

“I’m trying to write a report about my political-literary journey into the Turkish past, which is also my own past,” he told this website from Spain.

“I will take a very subjective view of my unfinished persecution, but I will also reflect on how to deal with the history of violence in German, Spanish, and Turkish society,” he said.

Akhanli said the Turkish regime had embraced violence as a means of rule. He said this lay at the root of its denial of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and of its killings of Kurdish separatists. He also said the regime’s nationalist ideology created a dangerous environment.

He recalled that Turkish generals “publicly threatened” Hrant Dink, a dissident journalist, in 2007 prior to Dink’s murder by a nationalist fanatic.

“Under the Erdogan government, the history of violence is not just a story. It is not passive. It is killing people before our very eyes,” he said, referring to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Akhanli said the EU ought to do more to promote democracy in Turkey.

“He [Erdogan] cannot continue to rule Turkey in the long term with only the support of the rural population. EU countries should side with the secular, democratic forces, not with the despot,” Akhanli said.

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Joe Berlinger’s ‘Intent To Destroy’ Acquired By Abramorama And Gathr Films

LOS ANGELES ( Abramorama and Gathr Films have acquired North American theatrical rights to the Joe Berlinger documentary Intent to Destroy, a film-within-a film that centers on the Armenian genocide of 1915 and was a critical favorite at this year’s Tribeca and Hot Docs film festivals. Abramorama will release the film theatrically on Nov. 10 in New York and Los Angeles followed by select cities nationwide. Gathr Films will then expand the release with one-night-only event screenings through its crowd-sourced theatrical distribution platform Theatrical On Demand.

Produced by Survival Pictures (The Promise), RadicalMedia, and Third Eye Motion Picture Company in association with Bloom Project, Berlinger’s 13th feature-length documentary embeds history with the story of director Terry George’s exploration of the genocide through his film The Promise. That includes the subsequent campaign launched by genocide deniers.

“We consider it a privilege to be part of this process and will work long and hard to insure that Intent to Destroy can be seen, and the message can be heard, in all corners of the country,” said Abramorama President Richard Abramowitz.

The film shines a light on the Armenian Genocide — whose witnesses and descendants are still fighting to be officially acknowledged as such by the international community including the United States: how it was carried out during World War I as the reign of the Ottoman Empire drew to a close, and how it laid the groundwork for the genocides that followed. Berlinger interviews historians, scholars, and high-profile filmmakers in his exploration of the tangled web of responsibility that has driven a century of denial by the Turkish government and its strategic allies.

“During our robust festival run, starting with Tribeca and Hot Docs and concluding with IDFA in November, I have been truly inspired by the amount of post-screening conversation this film has generated,” said Joe Berlinger. “The Gathr platform has long intrigued me and, combined with Abramorama’s strong ability to build a traditional theatrical audience for specialty films, I can’t think of better partners to continue our goal of expanding this important dialogue in a theatrical setting prior to the film’s digital and television release.”

Berlinger has won two Emmys and has been nominated in the feature doc category for an Oscar. His work includes Brother’s Keeper, the Paradise Lost trilogy, and Metallica: Some Kind of Monster. Last summer, Netflix released Berlinger’s Tony Robbins: I am Not Your Guru, and earlier this year, his four-part docu-series Killing Richard Glossip generated one of Investigation Discovery’s highest ratings ever.

This summer saw the premiere of Berlinger’s latest project, an eight-part documentary series for Spike TV, Gone: The Forgotten Women of Ohio, about the deaths and disappearances of six young women. Later this year on SundanceTV, Berlinger’s four-part true crime docu-series Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders will re-examine the horrific slaughter of the Kansas family chronicled in Truman Capote’s landmark book and Oscar-nominated film In Cold Blood.

The deal for Intent to Destroy was negotiated by Karol Martesko-Fenster, Abramorama CCO and EVP, and Jake Craven, President of Gathr Films, and David Boyle on behalf of the filmmakers.

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Glendale Organizations Support Armenian American Museum

GLENDALE – Spokespersons for three Armenian American public affairs and advocacy organizations appeared at the Glendale City Council meeting on Tuesday, September 26, 2017 to express their support for the construction of the Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center of California at the proposed site in downtown Glendale.

Speaking on behalf of the Armenian National Committee of America – Glendale, Margarita Baghdasaryan stated, “Our City needs a facility that will enrich our community with literary, visual, and performing arts.”

The Armenian Right Council of America – Glendale spokesperson Dr. Raffi Balian remarked, “The construction of a cultural, educational, and art center will be in line with our City growth. The Museum will serve the purpose of making Glendale a better place for all.”

“The Armenian American Museum and Cultural Center will put Glendale on the map as a beacon of tolerance, where multi-culturalism is celebrated and diversity is embraced,” added the the Armenian Council of America representative Christine Aghakhanian.

The Armenian American Museum and City of Glendale officials in September initiated discussions on the ground lease of space across from the City’s Central Library for the construction of the museum. The area for the museum was suggested by the Glendale City Council and both parties initiated feasibility studies to determine the possibility of building the museum on top of a public parking structure to be constructed by the City.

The Armenian American Museum has concluded its feasibility studies and communicated to the City the area at Central Park that is needed for the Museum and Cultural Center. At the end of 2016, the City hired an urban design and architectural firm to design the subterranean parking structure and develop alternatives for public recreational uses within the area to be designated to the Central Library, the Adult Recreation Center, and proposed museum.

The Armenian American Museum plans to launch community outreach efforts in October to receive the input and feedback of Glendale residents and people interested in the Armenian American Museum.

About Armenian American Museum
The Armenian American Museum is a developing project in Glendale, CA, with a mission to promote understanding and appreciation of America’s ethnic and cultural diversity by sharing the Armenian American experience. When completed, it will serve as a cultural campus that enriches the community, educates the public on the Armenian American story, and empowers individuals to embrace cultural diversity and speak out against prejudice.

The governing board of the Armenian American Museum consists of representatives from the following ten Armenian American institutions and organizations: Armenian Catholic Eparchy, Armenian Cultural Foundation, Armenian Evangelical Union of North America, Armenian General Benevolent Union – Western District, Armenian Missionary Association of America, Armenian Relief Society – Western USA, Nor Or Charitable Foundation, Nor Serount Cultural Association, Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America, and Western Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church.

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The Promise Director Terry George and Co-producer Eric Esrailian Visit Tsitsernakaberd

YEREVAN — On Saturday, two days after the celebration of the 26th anniversary of Armenia’s independence, The Promise director Terry George and co-producer Eric Esrailian paid a symbolic and emotional visit to Tsitsernakaberd, the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex. Esrailian and George, who arrived in Yerevan on Thursday afternoon to attend a series of events devoted to The Promise, were accompanied by Armenia’s Minister of Culture Armen Amiryan and AGBU Central Board members.

The visit to Tsitsernakaberd has been a true highlight for George. Never intimidated to speak up against genocides, he depicted their horrors in his historical dramas Hotel Rwanda and The Promise. “This visit sums up everything that I worked for over the last four years and brings into focus what really cinema and the power of cinema can be about, to try to commemorate the loss of lives and the horrible crime that was committed. So, this is the most emotional moment of the whole production of The Promise itself, the most important moment of the project,” said George.

George and Esrailian paid tribute to the Armenian genocide victims with a moment of silence as they laid flowers at the eternal flame. They also planted a tree in the Memory Alley to honor the memory of the late Kirk Kerkorian, the legendary man who tirelessly worked to bring The Promise to big screens, and toured in the genocide museum.

“This tree symbolizes the ever-growing reach of the Armenian story. Kirk Kerkorian planted the seed, and Terry, Mike Medavoy, and I have been honored to work with our incredible cast and crew to share this story with the world. We must never let the world forget our past, and we must move forward together support others in need. Under Kirk Kerkorian’s direction, we followed through on his wishes for the film. Today, we honor his life and the lives of those lost over a hundred years ago,” said Esrailian, co-producer of The Promise.

On Friday, they spoke to the local journalists and attended “We Promise” musical tribute—inspired by The Promise and based on its original score—which premiered at the Opera Theater in Yerevan. Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian, Prime Minister Karen Karapetian, His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, AGBU President Berge Setrakian along with foreign ambassadors and dignitaries attended the spectacular.

“Armenians across the globe watched their significant past unfold on screen for the first time in a wide-release Hollywood production. It is difficult to express our global gratitude for the efforts of the late Kirk Kerkorian and to those who worked as allies in telling this story, specifically our guests Terry, Eric and their co-producers. They confronted countless challenges over the years and succeeded despite all odds. We are honored to dedicate a few events, including the musical tribute at the Yerevan Opera Theater to the film,” said Berge Setrakian.

The Promise is a major historical drama depicting the Armenian Genocide through a touching love story. After its mainstream release in the United States and Canada in April, The Promise continues to open in theaters across the world. Produced by Kerkorian’s Survival Pictures and directed by renowned, Academy Award-winning director Terry George, The Promise features an all-star international cast, including Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale, Charlotte Le Bon, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Angela Sarafyan. The movie’s original score was created by Oscar-winning composer Gabriel Yared with the title song “The Promise” written and performed by the late Chris Cornell. All proceeds from the film have been designated to various charities with an emphasis on human rights causes.

For more information about The Promise, please visit

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Fresno State Panel Discussion on “Armenians and Turks: Challenges and New Paths Forward towards Reconciliation”

FRESNO — “Armenians and Turks: Challenges and New Paths Forward towards Reconciliation” will be the topic of a panel discussion at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, October 3, 2017, in the University Business Center, Alice Peters Auditorium, Room 191 on the Fresno State campus. The event is part of the Fall Lecture Series of the Armenian Studies Program.

The panel discussion will be moderated by Dr. Jay Pope, Associate Professor of Psychology at Fresno Pacific University. For centuries, a coherent literature on forgiveness was virtually non-existent and was generally limited to individual perspectives of theologians and pastors writing about forgiveness as a doctrinal subject within religious faith. In the last 30 years, however, forgiveness has emerged as a powerful psychological construct, addressed by many branches of the social sciences both theoretically and practically. In his presentation, Dr. Jay Pope briefly traces the history of forgiveness and its religious and psychological implications, especially as it pertains to the Armenian experience with Turkey.

Joining Dr. Pope on the panel will be Kathleen Chavoor-Bergen, M.A. (School therapist in the Fresno Unified School District) who will speak on “Behavioral and Unconscious Experience and Expressions of Multigenerational Collective Trauma”; Noelle (Daoudian) Nightingale, M.A. (Mediator and President of Nightingale Dispute Consultants) on “Bringing about Recognition and Reconciliation”; Ali Kalkandelen, M.A., one of the initiators of the Armenian Turkish Peace Initiative (ATPI); and Zekai Tanyar, B. Sci., one of the founders of the Alliance (later Association) of Protestant Churches in Turkey in 1989 and current ATPI coordinator for Turkey.

The panel discussion is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in Lots P6 and P5 near the University Business Center, Fresno State. Please use permit code 273808 at a campus kiosk to receive a free parking permit.

For more information about the lecture please contact the Armenian Studies Program at 278-2669, visit our website at or follow us on Facebook @ArmenianStudiesFresnoState or on Twitter @armstudiesfs.

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Armenian Museum of America Presents the Exhibition Scars of Silence

WATERTOWN, MA — The Armenian Museum of America has announced a new special exhibition titled Scars of Silence that will open this fall in the Adele and Haig Der Manuelian galleries on the 3rd floor of the Museum.

The exhibition, curated by Jennifer Liston Munson, includes excerpts from a film by Nubar and Abby Alexanian and photographs by Nubar Alexanian. Scars of Silence chronicles Armenian-American father and daughter as they embark on a journey to their ancestral homeland as a powerful act of reparative resistance.

The work reveals the legacy of the Armenian Genocide (1915–1923), bringing to the surface the profound consequences of Turkish denial—psychological and political—that have contributed to the subconscious suppression of loss for three generations and offers a timely and provocative personal account of what it means to be Armenian today.

The exhibition runs from September 28, 2017 to January 27, 2018 at 65 Main Street, Watertown, MA 02472

Scars of Silence (formerly Journey to Armenia) from Walker Creek Media, LLC on Vimeo.

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Schiff, Colleagues Send Letter to California Textbook Publishers Urging Inclusion and Expansion of Armenian Genocide Education

LOS ANGELES – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) announced that, along with seven of his California delegation colleagues, he wrote to major publishers of social studies and history textbooks in California to urge them to include additional information and context about the Armenian Genocide. In 2014, Governor Brown signed AB 1915, requiring the Armenian Genocide to be incorporated into high school social studies and history curriculums. The letter asks textbook publishers to include additional information about the Armenian Genocide in forthcoming textbook editions, noting that it “help students learn about the Genocide both as an independent historical event, but also situated in the broader context of modern genocides, ethnic cleansing, and systemic human rights abuses.”

“The Armenian Genocide is a seminal event, and belongs in any course of study that considers human rights and genocide in history and in the modern context,” Rep. Schiff said. “California has taken the lead in encouraging the study of the Armenian Genocide in social studies and history classes, but putting that principle into practice will require textbook publishers to develop new texts that properly address the Genocide, and contextualize it with other 20th century genocides, as well as informing students about the unprecedented humanitarian response to the Genocide by the United States.”

In addition to Rep. Schiff, the letter was signed by Rep. Jackie Speier, Rep. Anna Eshoo, Rep. Judy Chu, Rep. Grace Napolitano, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Rep. Brad Sherman, and Rep. Alan Lowenthal.

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Garo Paylan Vows to Continue Fight for Achieving Recognition of Armenian Genocide

YEREVAN (Armenpress) — Only democratic Turkey can recognize the Armenian Genocide, Garo Paylan – Istanbul-Armenian lawmaker of the Turkish parliament, said during his speech at the 6th Armenia-Diaspora Pan-Armenian Forum in Yerevan on September 19.

“We have a wound which is still incurable, and we know that this wound will be healed only in this country – in Turkey, Anatolia. Only democratic Turkey can recognize the Armenian Genocide, only democratic Turkey can open the Armenian-Turkish border. If Turkey doesn’t become democratic, we can wait for decades. Do we have a right to transfer this issue to our future generation? No, we have no right. We know well, and for four generations we are fighting for the injustice faced by our grandfathers and fathers to have a fair solution”, he said.

Garo Paylan said a great crime took place in the Ottoman Empire 102 years ago, and now that crime also continues since when a crime remains unpunished new ones are following it. “I believe we will achieve justice one day when the Armenian Genocide is recognized and I will continue fighting for that”, Garo Paylan said.

Paylan said he together with his party members has fought for decades for establishing democracy in Turkey. “In reality, the fight for democracy is very difficult. And over the past two years we saw that nationalism wins easier. Erdogan also saw this, and unfortunately, he moved on this path”, he said.

Paylan stated that the new Constitution of Turkey, which switched the country to presidential system, in fact serves for implementation of the goals of one person. “I have said in the Turkish parliament that a great mistake took place. I was opposed. 104 years ago the same happened in the Ottoman Empire. Talaat and Enver Pashas brought new Constitution after the revolution, and those people who were against it had two options – to stay silent or fight. The Armenian Genocide started and within a decade 4 nations – Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians and Jews, were massacred. And now in the circumstances of Turkey’s new Constitution we can face the same catastrophe. Even today, unfortunately, we are facing it”, he said.

The lawmaker said the Republic of Turkey was found without facing the Armenian Genocide. According to Paylan, the state, which has not paid for its crimes 100 years later, will continue committing a crime.

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Turkey Fails to Bar Scholars from Armenian Genocide Conference

BERLIN ( — Turkish authorities have attempted to prevent scholars based in Turkey from participating in a conference in Berlin titled “Past in the Present: European Approaches to the Armenian Genocide.”

The Workshop on Armenian-Turkish Scholarship (WATS) is a series of international academic workshops, founded at the University of Chicago and the University of Michigan in 2000 as the “first forum where Turkish, Armenian, and other scholars could create a community of Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian, and other scholars to conduct an informed debate” relating issues surrounding the fate of

Despite the efforts of Turkish nationalists who deny the established facts of history, the latest workshop, the tenth in the series, took place on 15-18 September at the European Academy Berlin, co-organized by the University of Michigan, USC Dornsife Institute of Armenian Studies, and Lepsiushaus Potsdam, under the auspices of Dr. Martina Mu¨nch, Minister for Science, Research, and Culture of the State of Brandenburg.

The conference has come under sustained attack by Turkish ultra-nationalist political circles in Turkey and Germany. Long-time deniers of the Armenian Genocide in the international arena declared that the conference will “serve imperialism and the interests of Kurdistan” and framed the Kurdish issue as forming “the second Israel,” clearly an anti-Semitic slur.

“We consider that a democratic society requires a free exchange of ideas, and such pressure on academics in Turkey has already had a chilling effect on university scholars, who have in the last decades help to build up a high level of academic professionalism and achievement,” said the Workshop for Armenian-Turkish Scholarship and the Lepsiushaus Potsdam in a statement.

“We demand as well that the Turkish state desist from interfering in intellectual exchange and expression outside of Turkey. There is no substitution for independent research and the presentation of research findings in academic settings and in scholarly meetings. These exchanges are fundamental to academic freedom. Such interference infringes on the democratic order in Turkey and in hosting countries.”

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'Genocide Monument'

Using the unrecognized Genocides of the past as a reason to keep vigilance on all current ones around the world. The iPhone app is now available free on the Apple App Store. The Android and Blackberry versions of 'Genocide Monument' are currently being funded for production.