Fethiye Cetin Visits the Prelacy

On Friday, November 14, 2014, Turkish lawyer, writer, and human rights activist Fethiye Çetin visited the Prelacy where she was greeted by members of the Catholicosate Central Executive, Prelacy Religious and Executive Councils, and Ladies Auxiliary.

Ms. Çetin is the grandchild of an ethnic Armenian who was taken from her family during the Genocide and forcibly converted to Islam. She is in Los Angeles by special invitation of the United Armenian Council for the Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide (UAC). She was accompanied to the Prelacy by colleague Ms. Beghrin Esa, UAC representative Ms. Jackie Tovmassian, and Organization of Istanbul Armenians representative Dr. Ohannes Kulak Avedikian.

The meeting took place at the Sulahian Reception Hall. On behalf of H.E. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, Prelate, Archpriest Fr. Vicken Vassilian welcomed the guests and noted that His Eminence is in Armenia participating in the Bishops’ Synod. Fr. Vicken stated that the Prelacy operates under the jurisdiction of the Catholicosate of Cilicia, which was uprooted and exiled from Sis, adding that the Church remains committed to the pursuit of our properties and our rights. He commended Ms. Çetin for her human rights work and presented her with mementos on behalf of the Prelate.

Welcoming remarks were also delivered by Central Executive member Mr. Vahe Yacoubian and Executive Council Chair Mr. Vahe Hovaguimian, who in general spoke of the Armenian Genocide centennial and the Armenian people’s pursuit of truth and justice. They commended her and her colleagues for their courageous human rights wok and wished them success in their endeavors.

Ms. Çetin conveyed thanks for the warm welcome. She spoke of the legal aspects of the Genocide and its aftermath, stating that she will not rest until there is a just resolution. Referencing the recent apology of President Erdogan, she stressed that an apology is not sufficient; that the guilty must accept blame, feel remorse, and teach the truth in Turkish textbooks, and the descendants of the victims and survivors must receive reparations for their losses.

Ladies Auxiliary Chair Mrs. Dzovig Zetlian and Executive Council member Mr. Meher Der Ohanessian respectively addressed the guest, expressing pride in her work and wishing for a fitting centennial commemoration in Taksim Square next year by scholars, dignitaries, and the people. The discussion continued, during which Ms. Çetin reported that there is some progress, albeit slow, noting that one political party has already recognized the truth of the Genocide and work is underway for more widespread recognition.

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