LAS VEGAS—On Nov. 21, the Las Vegas Armenian community welcomed Fethiye Cetin, attorney of the late Hrant Dink, to St. Garabed Armenian Apostolic Church & Cultural Center. The visit was organized by Los Angeles-based United Armenian Council for the Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide (UACLA).
Upon her arrival, Cetin was welcomed by Parish Pastor Fr. Arsen Kassabian and Parish Council representatives. A brief background was provided by Adroushan Armenian about St. Garabed Church and the Las Vegas Armenian community.
Cetin then was welcomed to a dinner organized by St. Garabed Church Ladies Auxiliary. Following dinner close to 100 community members passionately listened to Cetin describe her personal experiences of how she learned about the Armenian Genocide, her grandmother being of Armenian origin and about defending Hrant Dink while on trial and later assisting the Dink family in the murder trials. Cetin spoke in Turkish while Las Vegas community members Herman Bilalian, originally from Istanbul, translated to both Armenian and English.
Cetin described that while she was growing up in Turkey there was no mention about the Armenian Genocide and the subject was not discussed in schools or even in private homes. Now, although the policy of denial by the government continues, the issue is publicly discussed and the Turkish public is much more aware compared to 10 years ago.