The Civilitas Foundation will convene a debate between party representatives running for the Yerevan municipal council in order to promote a genuine political race and to fully cover the elections. The debate will take place on April 30th, 2pm at Moscow Cinema.
Municipal elections in Armenia are normally given less attention by the public and mass media than parliamentary or presidential elections, even though it is local decisions that directly affect citizens’ everyday lives. Because all mayors of Yerevan have been members of the ruling party at the time and have governed on the basis of being accountable to that party, not to voters, most citizens are only vaguely aware of the scope and capacity of the municipal body’s powers.
On April 24, Civilitas has joined with the Moscow Theater (Abovyan St. 14) to offer a six hour marathon of films produced over the last 20 years on the very important topic of genocide awareness and recognition. Admission is free. Films are screened in their original language.
The Schedule of the Screenings:
15:00 Barking Island
15:20 Uncle Garabet
15:45 An Armenian Journey
16:45 Whispering memories
17:35 Talking pictures
18:35 Ravished Armenia
21:15 Armin Wegner. The Armenian Genocide Photographer
Last month, I travelled to Yerevan, Armenia to meet with people from the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute (AGMI). They’re working to raise greater awareness of a horrific genocide that saw the murder of 1.5 million people during the final years of the Ottoman Empire around 1915. Ongoing denial of this historic atrocity, waged in the name of racial and religious homogeneity, makes it a contemporary human-rights concern.
When the CMHR opens next year, information about this atrocity will be included in its galleries. We are also working to establish formal ties of cooperation with the Museum in Yerevan that could help both institutions in our efforts to use awareness and dialogue as a way to promote enhanced human rights for Armenians and all of humanity.
On my trip, I was accompanied and assisted by members of the Toronto-based Zoryan Institute of Canada, a group that supports scholarship and public awareness relating to issues of universal human rights, genocide, and diaspora-homeland relations.
Below is an abbreviated transcript of the press conference.
On the occasion of the Turkish publication of Civilitas analyst Tatul Hakobyan’s historical retrospective, GREEN AND BLACK, NEITHER WAR NOR PEACE, A history of the Karabakh conflict, the Civilitas Foundation held a public forum on Tuesday, January 22, in Yerevan.
Together with Tatul Hakobyan, Civilitas had invited Turkish publisher, head of the Belge Publishing House, to talk about the perception of the Karabakh issue in Turkey. Hakobyan’s book is the first book to be published in Turkey, in Turkish, about the Karabakh conflict – its roots, the human toll and the parallel military and political processes.
Zarakolu was quick to point out that Turkish society is generally unaware and uninformed about Armenia and Armenians generally. He said that is even more true of the Karabakh issue, which is something that is part of the nationalist discourse, which is clearly advocating Azerbaijan’s side. Zarakolu also blamed successive Turkish governments for so blatantly taking Baku’s side in the conflict, and thus contributing to the stalemate.
Tatul Hakobyan described the century-long connection between Turkey and Azerbaijan, whose first republic in 1918-1920 was supported by Turkey’s Kemalist forces. He said that solidarity would continue and Turkey would continue to use Azerbaijan as a reason to delay normalization of Armenia-Turkey relations. He also said that underlying all Turkish statements since Armenia’s independence are Turkish expectations that Armenia will step away from international efforts at genocide recognition, and also recognize the present Turkey-Armenia borders.
The Civilitas Foundation will continue to pursue public discussions on the Armenia-Turkey relationship.