Hayko Bagdat's Presentation at St. Mary
n January 25 parishioners and guests gathered at St. Mary to honor the memory of Hrant Dink with a guest speaker, an Istanbul-Armenian journalist, and writer Hayko Baghdat. In his presentation, Hayko Baghdat shared his thoughts about the direction that the modern Turkish government is moving towards in their denialist policies regarding the Armenian Genocide. He also spoke about the deteriorating human rights situation in today's Turkey and the current state of the Armenian community in Turkey.
He shared how his life was dramatically changed in January of 2007, during the funeral of Hrant Dink, when the Armenian community decided that two Armenian young men along with a clergyman had to escort the funeral hearse in which Hrant Dink's body was being carried. "The two young men came up against 200,000 people who came to the funeral to express their love and support, and these two men, sitting in the car, when everything was done, were no longer able to continue their lives the same way. One of them was Garo Palian, and the other was me " said Baghdat.
Because of his journalistic activities, Hayko Baghdat was forced to leave Turkey and move to Germany after numerous threats. Today, the 43-year-old journalist continues his fight for justice and the rights of national minorities in Turkey.