We, the undersigned, wish for a peaceful era to begin between the people of Armenia and Turkey, in which both nations respect each other and each other’s history.
Manifesto: Our Common Dream
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Together we have a dream
For a long time, in order to defend a crime, the political culture of the Republic of Turkey has prevented reaching out to the past, which also prevented the foundation of a lasting constitutional state. No one has the power to erase the horrible events of 1915 as well as its consequences. For more than a decade, many have tried to confront this past in the form of academic research, cultural events, monument restoration, and individuals’ attempts to find one’s roots, and memorial days in public spaces. Today, it is possible to make a serious, intimate and continuous study collecting memories in order to repair some of the damage, help the victims and accord them privileges. The threads of life and memory have started intersecting. Our initiative is taking a step forward, and assumes that the state of the Republic of Turkey will agree, while not blocking it.
A century later, the Armenian Diaspora is feeling resentful about being obliged to repeat a falsified debate on history. They are yearning to visit their homeland, and show it to their children. Although today’s Turkey does not prevent them, a simple promise of truth by the state authorities could help them relieve their wounded memories. Connecting with villages and cities whose names they cannot hear without being deeply moved, can only be possible by a strong invitation. Thus “the water finds its crack” as quoted by Hrant Dink.
The dream that we have together is : For Turkey to honor the memory of the deceased Armenians and to expose the thoughts and the names of those who provoked these deaths, by recognizing – through their memories, stories and places – that they are the victims of a genocide. For the history books and street names to give glory to the memory of the conscientious and righteous people who helped Armenians survive, rather than the names of those who conducted their extinction. For the state of the Republic of Turkey to return the monuments owned by the Armenian church and foundations. For the people of Turkey and Armenia to be proud to have common cultural assets.
Our dream also embraces full citizenship in Turkey’s secular republic. Non-Muslims can become civil servants, equal judgment for those who slaughtered them is set, and hate speech is outlawed. In our dream, the people of Armenia and Turkey, in their own way, welcome the Muslim Armenians willing to enjoy their double identities.
The crack referred by Hrant is also involved in our dream, as it can reach all the way to the young and independent Armenia, in which an important part of Armenian life remains. Instead of strangling her with an embargo, the Turkish government opens its borders in respect to demands coming from this area, and helps to end up the isolated Armenia. Turkey provides privileged transportation opportunity to Armenia and to one of the port cities in the Black Sea Region, Trabzon or Samsun. Mersin or Ayaş (Yumurtalik), the antic region of Cilicia, becomes the new center of multi-cultural living with its medieval cultural heritage in addition to its economic convenience.
In order to symbolize this new era, we dream of two countries spiritually sharing the Mount Ararat. Our dream makes it a big natural park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, which serves as a kind of a free zone to be utilized by both the people of Turkey and Armenia. Ararat, baring the roots of humanity, then becomes a lantern for peace.
In order to start making this dream come true, we, the undersigned, promise to help the Armenians from all around the world who are willing to gather on the 1915 road of deportation. In 2015, we will walk together to the land of our ancestors to reveal their memories and historical traces.
Samim Akgönül, Erdağ Aksel, Cengiz Aktar, Gorune Aprikian, Ariane Ascaride, Daniel Arsand, Sibel Asna, Michel Atalay, Hourig Attarian, Colette Aussedat, Serge Avedikian, Setrak Aydın, Thomas Azuelos, Marie-Aude Baronian, Varvara Basmadjian, Ali Bayramoğlu, Reynald Beaufort, Murat Belge, Hale Bolak, Rosine Boyadjian, Irina Brook, Gilles Cayatte, Hasan Cemal, Fethiye Çetin, Nora Çiçek, Arpi Çitak, Maryam Çitak, Tamar Çitak, Etienne Copeaux, Ohannes Corkarian, Ali Danis, Anahit Dasseux-Ter Mesropian, Cemil Değirmenci, Hosrof Dink, Rakel Dink, Anaïd Donabedian, Patrick Donabedian, Denis Donikian, Kirkor Dülger, Arakel Duman, Attila Durak, Garbis Duraslan, Sedef Ecer, Kirkor Elmayan, Garbis Evyapan, Georges Festa, Armand Franjulien, Bruno Freyssinet, Hervé Georgelin, Burçin Gerçek, Nuran Gezdirici, Claire Giudicenti, Nilüfer Göle, Robert Guédiguian, Defne Gürsoy, Zakar Hakalmaz, Misak Hergel, Vartkes Hergel, Ahmet Insel, Krikor Kalayciyan, Maksut Kalusdyan, Jirayr Karagöz, Hampar Karakesis, Ümit Kardaş, Aram Kartun, Ali Kazancıgil, Jacques Kebadian, Ferhat Kentel, Raymond Kevorkian, Susan Kocabay Ohanian, Hosrof Köletavitoğlu, Armen Kurkjian, Marie-Anne Le Métayer-Djivelekian, Gérard Malkassian, Michel Marian, Vahram Martirosyan, Aude Merlin, Ümit Metin, Zakarya Mildanoğlu, Eric Nazarian, Stephen Ohanian, Nuber Opan, Bige Örer, Arman Örgüneser, Garabet Orunöz, Isabelle Ouzounian, Harut Özer, Doğan Özgüden, Aravni Pamokdjian, Manoug Pamokdjian, Yetvart Paylan, Zeynep Perincek Signoret, Hélène Piralian, Yael Reinharz, Armand Sarian, Levent Şensever, Hale Soygazi, Betül Tanbay, Zeynep Tanbay, Zeynep Taşkın, Gabriel Teyinyan, Gérard Torikian, Mesut Tufan, Hakan Tüfekçi, Hidayet Tuksal, Aslin Tunç, Ufuk Uras, Serra Yılmaz, Sabuh Zaman, Berç Zoraian.
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