January 21, 2017 in Montreal
January 22, 2017 in Toronto

Hrant Dink was the most prominent advocate of mutual respect between Turkey’s majority population and its minorities. He was assassinated in 2007 outside the Istanbul offices of Agos, the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper that he edited.

The keynote speaker will be Mr. Cem Özdemir, a German parliamentarian of Turkish descent. He was the driving force behind the German parliament’s Armenian Genocide resolution on June 2nd, 2016. Mr. Özdemir champions the cause of overcoming historical obstacles to eliminate the “us vs. them” mentality.

In an interview leading up to the June 2nd decision, Cem Özdemir was asked if this resolution was coming at the wrong time. His response was: “Well it’s always at the wrong time. Since 101 years it’s the wrong time to talk about our responsibility and our guilt…So I think it’s time as friends of Turkey to tell Turkey, this is the wrong path.”

Özdemir’s decision to present the bill in 2016 was influenced by the work of German scholar, Wolfgang Gust.

The Zoryan Institute partnered with Gust to collect, restore, translate and publish thousands of historical documents from the German Foreign Office Archive that revealed the extent of the Ottoman policy and planning of the 1915 Genocide.