Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Garo Paylan Addresses Overflow Crowd In Belmont

Marc A. Mamigonian, (left) Director of Academic Affairs
at NAASR, greets Garo Paylan,  Member of the Parliament, 
Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Republic of Turkey.  

Photo by Marash Girl
Yesterday evening, rather than watch the Vice Presidential debate on television,  an unprecedented overflow crowd attended a discussion of recent developments in Turkey and the Armenian Community in Turkey given by Garo Paylan, an Armenian citizen of Turkey, Member of the Parliament, Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), Republic of Turkey.  

The lecture was sponsored by The National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR)/Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Lecture Series on Contemporary Armenian Issues who advertised the program as follows.

Garo Paylan is a founding member of the People's Democratic Party and is a deputy representing the 3rd district in Istanbul. Mr. Paylan is also a member of Turkey's Armenian community and has long been an activist on human rights, Kurdish and Armenian issues. Prior to joining the parliament, Mr. Paylan served on the central committee of HDP and also served in the management of Armenian schools in Istanbul. He has long promoted bilingual education and minority rights in Turkey and has been actively engaged in raising awareness on discrimination towards minorities, the rights of the Armenian community in Turkey, Turkish-Armenian reconciliation, and especially on the Hrant Dink murder case. Mr. Paylan is from a family originally from Malatya and is one of the three Armenian deputies in the Turkish parliament. In this presentation, his first in the Boston area, Mr. Paylan will discuss recent developments in Turkey and the region, the challenges faced by Turkey's Armenian community, Turkish-Armenian relations, and the Kurdish issue.

Marash Girl attended the lecture and recorded it on her iPhone; at some point, she will attempt to transcribe that lecture for all of her readers to view on a future blog.  
What stands out in her memory?  When asked by an audience member whether not he feared for his life, speaking out as he did, he replied, 
                                    "To stay silent is not safe!"


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