Fethiye Chetin who Discovered her Armenian roots

  • by Western Armenia, May 20, 2024 in Society

Fethiye Chetin, a lawyer, writer, human rights defender, in Constonopole who is also the lawyer of Hrant Dink's family, believes that one day the turkish society will recognize the genocide committed against Armenians, will accept the truth.

She is convinced that it is necessary to continue talking about it regularly, to bring up human stories, as he did years ago, when he discovered the fact that his grandmother was Armenian when he was a student.

Years ago, when Fethiye was asked what changed in her life when she learned her grandmother's story and discovered her Armenian roots. Chetin noted that his grandmother told him his story, orphan Fethiye was a student.

"Before that, we didn't have much information about the tragic events of 1915. When I learned my grandmother's story, I was amazed, in shock.

At that time, the first thing I wanted to do was run out into the street and shout, "You lied, the state lied to us." I felt a lot of pain and anger inside me, but I made my fight harder. I thought that with our struggle we would change the mindset of the Turkish government, but it didn't happen like that.

It was the 80s, the revolution took place, the times were mixed and the period of presenting my grandmother's story in the form of a book took longer. I'm glad about it though, because years later I started to write my story in a more mature way, which affected a lot of people. Then I saw that many families also have similar stories, they just either didn't talk or spoke very quietly. The book had a great impact and spread. It was sold out fast. 

5 days before the murder of Hrant Dink, he called me and said that my grandmother's history book was well received in Armenia as well and offered to go together to Yerevan. I was very excited, at that moment I was going to Paris, I promised to return and go to Armenia.

։ I was excited to go to Yerevan with Hrant, but my excitement didn't last long. When I was in Paris, he was killed. After that, I came to Armenia a lot, but without Hrant.

After learning about my grandmother's story, I became suspicious. I did not believe what they presented and taught. I had lost my faith, I was trying to make clarifications, to try.

It seems that I was blind until then, then I started to see, look around, ask questions. I remember that in the place where I was born, when adults showed me a church, they didn't say whose church it was, where the people disappeared to, and we didn't ask questions either.

We saw lonely Armenian grandparents and did not ask why they were left alone. After learning about my grandmother's story, I started to look with different eyes and ask questions. My grandmother's story influenced my future activities. I decided to deal with the protection of the rights of national minorities. A platform was created, and that's when I got to know Hrant Dink."