BELMONT, Mass.—Some of the most dynamic examples of Armenian resistance in the last decade have arisen in Istanbul. Most recently, protestors standing down bulldozers at Camp Armen, and Turkish parliamentarian Garo Paylan speaking truth to power—these will be topics of discussion in Boston this month when Sayat Tekir speaks on Armenian advocacy and activism in Istanbul.
Tekir is a spokesman for the Nor Zartonk Armenian activist movement of Istanbul, and will give a talk on Thurs., Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. at the First Armenian Church of Belmont, 380 Concord Ave., Belmont.
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 has had on Turkey for the last decade.
“The Nor Zartonk movement is a great inspiration for all of us in the diaspora,” said Aram Kaligian, chairman of the Armenian National Committee 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 U.S., 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 Activist Award at the Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA-ER) Annual Banquet in Detroit on Nov. 14. Tekir will be in Detroit to accept the award on behalf of the Nor Zartonk movement. He will also speak 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 of Eastern Massachusetts, the Armenian Missionary Association of America, the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research, the Friends of Hrant Dink, Bostonbul, the Boston chapter of the Armenian Youth Federation, and the ANC of Central Massachusetts.
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.