Astvatsaturian Turcotte Discusses Azerbaijani Aggression with Sen. King

PORTLAND, Maine—Baku pogroms survivor Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte discussed her family’s narrow escape from Azerbaijani aggression and the need for expanded U.S. support for the development of the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh (NKR) with newly elected U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) during a meeting at his Augusta offices, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Eastern Region.

(L-R) Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte with Sen. Angus King and her husband, John Turcotte, at the Senator's district office in Augusta.

(L-R) Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte with Sen. Angus King and her husband, John Turcotte, at the Senator’s district office in Augusta.

Astvatsaturian Turcotte, an accomplished lawyer and author, shared a copy of her recently published family memoire, Nowhere: A Story of Exile, with the Senator and his staff. The heart-wrenching story, told through her diary entries, documents the harrowing details of organized terror against Armenians in Baku, her life as a refugee, and her struggle to find herself, all against the backdrop of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Surviving the atrocities, Astvatsaturian Turcotte immigrated to the U.S. in 1992, and became a U.S. citizen in 1997.

Last December, at a Capitol Hill event the ANCA helped organize, Astvatsaturian Turcotte spoke passionately about the anti-Armenian massacres that began in 1988 and the ongoing intolerance faced by the few Armenians left in Azerbaijan—powerful reasons to continue the fight for justice and self-determination for the people of Artsakh (Karabagh). “The reality of today and the last 24 years since 1988 is that Armenians there are no safer under Azeri rule than we were in Baku,” she explained. “The anti-Armenian rhetoric and propaganda plagues its policies. Artsakh Armenians could and should never be subjected to the Azeri government.” To watch her complete remarks on Capitol Hill, visit

“We applaud the work of Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte, who embodies the grassroots nature of our cause and has taken initiative to work on the critical issues of interest to our community,” said Michelle Hagopian, the executive director of the ANCA Eastern Region. “We look forward to similar discussions with legislators throughout the Eastern U.S. to expand U.S. support for economic and democratic development of Artsakh.”

Sen. King was first elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2012. He currently serves on the Armed Services, Budget, and Rules and Administration Committees, as well as on the Select Committee on Intelligence.

8 Comments on Astvatsaturian Turcotte Discusses Azerbaijani Aggression with Sen. King

  1. I wonder, if Sultan Aliyev of Axerbaijan will ever let Anna go to her hometown, for a visit, with a “Turcotte” last name?

  2. avatar gaytzag palandjian // March 2, 2013 at 10:21 am // Reply

    And I wonder if any Armenian in her /his right mind would ever wish to do so… liberated Artsakh,why not…

  3. I do sincerely hope that one day Anna can visit Baku, and even live there if she so chooses. Of course, a lot has to change for that to ever happen.

    No one can deny that Armenians who fled Baku suffered greatly. I myself met a former Baku Armenian, who told me this: he was at the barber shop during the height of Armenian-Azeri tensions, which he had been frequenting regularly, and the barber essentially kept holding him there until his friends came over to “take care of him.” He somehow managed to flee. Must have been a horrifying experience.

    And you would be lying if you said there were no such experiences on the other side either. After all, 600000 Azeris have fled their homes too. I am sure their expriences was no fun either.

    But it is still to incorrect to say that Azeri aggression started this. It just does not make sense. The status quo suited us. Why would be aggressive? I know, I know, all you wanted was Karabak. But just think about it. What country says: You are the agressor, because all we wanted was your internationally recognized land, plus all the adjacent areas that surrounded it. That is all! Can we be friends now?”

    Tragedies like Anna’s should not and does not change the fact that your actions triggered all these events. She, like all the other refugees, Azeri and ARmenian alike, were the collatarial damage of your “We just want your land. That is all” campaign. So dont feel somehow confirmed in your biases simply because a congressman beholden to getting reelected plays your tune.

    • Kerim your wrong..Armenians asking for freedom doesn’t constitute aggressor. The violence started WITH YOUR PEOPLE targeting innocent Armenians and raping them, torturing them, burning them, stabbing them, even entering maternity wards to find pregnant Armenian women to kill and oh, then the Azeri army shelling an unarmed city for several months. Your people are the real animals. Turks are masters against unarmed people, but are cowards when the other person is armed as well. History has shown that over and over.

      YOU side started the war and then lost badly. Blame yourselves instead of everybody else. If it was up to me you would get nothing and the liberated lands would be part of Armenian proper. That’s what a losing aggressor side gets: NOTHING..Even though no one wants another war it might be just what the Armenian side needs to liberate more lands and rid your country of it’s horrible dictator thief once and for all..

    • avatar Boyajian // March 5, 2013 at 3:57 pm //

      Kerim, the flaw in your comments lies in what constitutes “internationally recognized land” and the legitimacy of Azeri claim to Artsakh. These are points of contention and the answer is not as black and white as you like to present here. I don’t deny that the Artsakhi desire for self-determination angered the Azeris, but the responsibility for the decision to respond with violence rather than peaceful negotiations lies with Azeris. Your people made a choice that led to a war that you lost. Now you want the victors to return what you lost in that war. Really?

  4. Kerim no matter how much hard you tried for Axeris, your people Islamized attitude as Muslim Turks never changed!!Look to your leader you will get the answer..rape , murder, pogroms, axing, and destroy Armenian and Christian monuments is part of Turkic culture and this will remain for another 1000 years until a new Allah prophet arrive from Altai Mountain!!

  5. avatar gaytzag palandjian // March 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm // Reply

    What the hell are you guys talking about…get sattelitse T.V. Today I saw(I don´t care if you don´t believe what I saw) Here goes..
    The channel was -is Kentron Armenian T.v.
    They showed a short film (that was previously shown .primarily for Axeri people on THEIR T.V.)Don´t be surprised all that is shown in anyu country can immediately be copied and shown…so what did I see and hear?????
    Ermenis have kille d our people continually(backdrop HUGE PHOTO of the AXE MURDERER sAFAR OGHLU..yes Oghlu in my dictionary he does not deserve that Russian OV…Oghlu suit s him better.
    Then teacher is teacing the kids to always HATE AND KILL ARMENIANS!!!!!
    mY gOD??????
    This is worse than the Nazi hate for Jews……
    So I suggest be very carefulñl in dealing with people like that and GET GEARED UP for their unbraidled SUDDEN ATTACK ONSLAUGHT to Ermenistan…they must be boiling with RAGE….!!!!
    To teach the kids openly to hate Armenians…
    I would stop any negotiations with them through MINSK OSCE or any other.Untill they stop such hate mongering.
    Where are you Avery????
    Stop writing pro or con here as rgds Serge, Raffi(they both are Armenians we must not stop thinking about FIRST IMPORTANT ISSUE OUR BEAUTIFULL NEIGHBOURS FIRST AND FOREMOST!!!!
    it is very regretabble that some do not grasp the meaning of such teachings

  6. Thank you Baron Palandjian. I agree with you that the Azeri hate-mongering must not be ignored while we allow ourselves to be distracted by the BAREVolution. Raffi is a patriot and his motives are good, but I worry about Armenian attention being turned away from the threat across the border. Granted, the threat at home is a serious one and must be dealt with, but not at the risk of taking our eyes off Aliyev who is waging a worldwide Anti-Armenian propaganda campaign and threatening renewed aggression every other day.

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