Armenian American author Anna Astvatsaturian-Turcotte’s book about Armenians’ pogroms in Baku was held under the title “I Remember and Remind”

On September 8, the book Nowhere, a Story of Exile by Armenian American author Anna Astvatsaturian-Turcotte was presented under the initiative of the RA Ministry of Diaspora.

In 1989, Anna’s family left Baku, settled in Armenia as refugees and moved to the United States of America in 1992.

The book Nowhere, a Story of Exile is based on 14-year old Anna’s diary in which she describes the massacres perpetrated against the Armenians of Baku. The memoir written 20 years following the massacres describes the tragedy that the Armenians of Azerbaijan experienced and that was not talked about often in the West.

Congratulating the author on the book release, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan reflected on certain features of the book. “First, Anna describes the most intricate period between the Soviet era and Armenia’s independence. Secondly, in its essence, the book presents the notes of a 14-year old Armenian eyewitness of the Baku pogroms. Thirdly, let’s not forget that the Azerbaijanis’ crimes against the Armenians and the massacres and deportations of more than 400,000 Armenians aren’t mentioned very much in the context of geopolitical developments. Finally, Anna’s family is one of the typical examples of the Armenians who were deported and settled abroad,” the RA Minister of Diaspora mentioned.

Minister Hranush Hakobyan regretted to state that in 1989, 1990 and 1991, Armenia was in such a difficult state that it wasn’t able to receive and provide accommodations for the Armenians having escaped the Azerbaijanis’ massacres.

“However, after settling in the USA, Anna managed to become a candidate of legal sciences at the Maine School of Law and currently works at the International Criminal Court of The Hague. She has found her worthy place in a country like the USA. In 2013, she and her husband made a great contribution to the recognition of independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic in the State of Maine,” the RA Minister of Diaspora underlined.

The Minister mentioned the need of speaking out about the pogroms often and added: “In that sense, it is important to translate the book into Armenian and Russian.”

Head of the Foreign Relations Service of the Public Relations and Information Center of the RA President’s apparatus Angela Elibegova viewed the book as a weapon in the current information war between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The book’s editor Jirair Bezhekyan attached importance to the fact that the main purpose of the book based on Anna’s memoirs is to introduce the history of the Armenian people to her children.

Corresponding member of the RA National Academy of Sciences, founder and host of the “Our Language, Our Speech” (Mer Lezun, Mer Khosqe) television show Artem Sargsyan commended the RA Ministry of Diaspora for organizing the presentation of this book and mentioned: “This book must be translated into Turkish, and young Azerbaijanis must know about the crimes committed by their ancestors.”

Anna Astvatsaturian-Turcotte expressed gratitude to the RA Ministry of Diaspora for organizing the presentation of her memoir, after which she talked about how she and her family were deported from Baku and how they settled in the United States. “Nearly 80 years before the Baku pogroms, better yet, in 1913, my grandfather escaped Khndzoresk due to the Turks’ massacres, settled in Baku and made his contribution to the city’s development along with 100,000 other Armenians. In fact, the Azerbaijanis repeated the crime of their elder brothers in the late 20th century,” Anna mentioned.

Anna Astvatsaturian-Turcotte also mentioned: “I have felt the atrocities of the Azerbaijani Turks physically and spiritually. My family’s story is a small episode of the lives of our people. The only difference is that I took my grandmother’s advice and wrote it down on paper when I was 14 years old. I’m pleased with the fact that my book serves as a textbook at several schools and universities in the United States. I’m also happy to see an independent Armenia and Artsakh and that I can walk freely on the streets of Yerevan and Stepanakert. This means that my story is not the story of a victim, but the story of an Armenian who has triumphed.”

The event ended with performances of national and patriotic songs by Gusan Haykazun.

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