Letter from Prison
Armenian National Committee of America
November 3, 2016
Dear Mr. Hamparian
Thank you for your very kind message, which, our friend SaitÇetinoğlu passed on to me. I appreciate your heart-warming compliments, which, though largely underserved, will certainly encourage me to try to live up to their promise.
Until recently, many people in this country dared to dream of a more democratic, liberal and tolerant future. I am proud to note that a number of Armenian intellectuals, Hrant Dink chief among them, were active and unusually effective in articulating and promoting that noble goal.
Turkey’s recent decline into violence and autocracy has left many of us terribly disappointed. My incarceration was perhaps one of the early warning signs of the disaster to come. Now the wholesale arrest of writers and opinion leaders, the devastation of the judiciary, the obliteration of Kurdish politics, and the collapse of constitutional rule point out to a grim future for a county which we all hoped would eventually outgrow its tragic past.
I do hope and expect that our friends in America, notably the Armenian National Committee, will continue to be sensitive to the plight of Turkey, a country which, like it or not, constitutes a large part of our common heritage. It is matter of upholding civilized society. But it is also an Armenian issue, because Armenians, perhaps more than any other nation in the world, can only survive, and maybe even thrive, under conditions of liberty, tolerance and civility.
I send you my friendly greetings from my modest cell in the Menemen High Security Correctional Facility, near İzmir, Turkey.