In memory of Ali Ertem


Ashot N. Hayruni

On December 2, 2021, Ali Ertem, a Turkish human rights advocate, publicist,
political figure and a sincere friend of the Armenian people, after a battle with
deadly illness, passed away. On September 26, 1998, in the German city of Mainz
Frankfurt, Ertem established “The Association of People Opposed to Genocide”, a
civic organization, which under his leadership included leading Turkish and
Kurdish intellectuals and played an active and multifaceted role throughout the
international community, most notably bringing public attention to the problem of
recognizing and condemning the Republic of Turkey for its role in the Armenian,
as well as other genocides. This activity, which was accompanied by a persistent
and resolute struggle against Turkish denial, has borne fruit over the years through
numerous and varied events and initiatives: conferences and public debates with
renowned scholars, photo exhibitions, various commemorative events,
presentations of new scientific works on genocide, public protests against denial,
petitions, appeals to governments and parliaments of Turkey and other countries, at
the same time, showing an active position on new political developments and
comprehensive support for initiatives by other organizations and individuals to
recognize and condemn the genocide.

Ali Ertem’s untimely death caused a great loss to the fighting humanism, of
which he was the classic representative. His death orphaned many ideas and
programs, which he did not manage to implement. There is no doubt, however, that
Ali Ertem’s work will live on; the seeds he sowed will always bear fruit. “The
Association of People Opposed to Genocide”, which he founded and led, is full of
determination to continue its great mission after the death of its leader.

The article also presents the statement issued by “The Association of People
Opposed to Genocide” on the occasion of the death of Ali Ertem, as well as the text
of his report to the international conference entitled “Azeri-Turkish Aggression and
Artsakh’s Struggle for Independence” organized by YSU on November 8, 2020.