Boston, MA — Some of the most dynamic examples of Armenian resistance in the last decade have arisen in Istanbul. Images of demonstrators marching with “We are all Hrant Dink” signs, protesters standing down bulldozers at Camp Armen, Turkish parliamentarian Garo Paylan speaking Truth to Power – these will all be topics of discussion in Boston this month when Sayat Tekir speaks on Armenian advocacy and activism in Istanbul.
Mr. Tekir is the spokesman for the Nor Zartonk Armenian activist movement of Istanbul, and will be speaking on Thursday, November 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the First Armenian Church of Belmont (380 Concord Ave., Belmont, MA). Mr. Tekir has been invited by a group of Boston-area organizations to discuss the Nor Zartonk movement, the alliance of progressive parties in today’s Turkey, and the rise of the HDP party that has helped break the stranglehold on power that President Erdogan’s AKP party has had on Turkey for the last decade.
“The Nor Zartonk movement is a great inspiration for all of us in the diaspora,” says Aram Kaligian, Chairman of the ANC of Eastern Massachusetts. “At a time of absolute chaos in the Middle East, economic stagnation in Europe, and political stalemate and cynicism here in the US, it brings new hope to see the actions of such a courageous group of activists in the face of such an authoritarian, and oftentimes brutal, Turkish government.”
The Nor Zartonk movement will be honored with the Activism Award at the ANCA Eastern Region 9th Annual Banquet in Detroit on November 14. Mr. Tekir will be in Detroit to accept the award on behalf of the Nor Zartonk movement. He also will be speaking in Los Angeles and New York City earlier in the week.
The event is co-sponsored by a coalition of Boston area organizations including the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Eastern Massachusetts, the Armenian Missionary Association of America (AMAA), the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR), the Friends of Hrant Dink, Bostonbul, the Boston chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF), and the ANC of Central Massachusetts.
Mr. Tekir’s presentation will be in Armenian, with English translation provided by Armenian Weekly editor Nanore Barsoumian. The event is free and open to the public.