By Hambersom Aghbashian

Gülten Kaya is a Turkish music producer and an actress well known for (Yusuf ile Kenan -1979), (Memnu meyva -1979) and (Aklin durur -1975). She is the widow of late Kurdish singer Ahmet Kaya (born in 1957 in Malatya, Turkey – died in 2000 in his de facto exile in Paris). Gülten Kaya is a political activist and a member of “The Friends of Hrant Dink organization.”

Gülten Kaya was one of the main speakers during “The Friends of Hrant Dink organization” gathering to mark the seventh anniversary of the killing of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink on January 19, 2014, where tens of thousands gathered in Istanbul and marched from Taksim Square to Agos newspaper’s office building in the Pangalti neighborhood of Sisli. In her speech, Gülten Kaya, commemorated not only Dink, but also those who were killed during the Gezi Park Resistance. “We are here not only to remember Hrant, but also Ethem [Sarisülük], Abdullah [Cömert], Medeni [Yildirim], Ahmet [Atakan] and those who died in the Gezi protests,” Kaya said. “You have left mothers and fathers devoid of their children. Sons of this country were shot with treacherous bullets. How can we forget how many homes were broken?” she said. “What is your truth? This is 2014: You are carrying guns in your trucks instead of peace, democracy and human rights,” Kaya added, addressing Turkey’s security forces. (1)

Taraf Newspaper wrote on 20th April 2010, “The anniversary of the 1915 events, this year will be remembered in Turkey, too. The commemoration organized by the “Say Stop!” Group. A group of intellectuals, for the first time in Turkey will commemorate this year on 24 April as the anniversary of the events of 1915. Under the leader-ship of “Say Stop!” group, the commemoration will start in front of the tram station in Taksim Square.

The text of the commemoration activity is as follows: “This pain is OUR pain. This mourning is for ALL of US. In 1915, when our population was just 13 million, in these lands were living from 1,5 to 2 million Armenians. In Thrace, in the Aegean, in Adana, Malatya, Van, Kars … Samatya, in Sisli, Galata … Our neighborhood grocery men, our dressmakers, our jewelers, our carpenters, our shoemakers, our classmates, our teachers, our officers, our orderlies, our deputies, our historians, our composers …They were our Friends. In April 24 1915 it was started “to send them”. We lost them. They are no longer available. The vast majority are no more between us. They have not even graves. But, the “Great Pain” of the “Great Disaster”, with its utmost gravity EXISTS in our conscience. It is growing since 95 years. We are calling all the people of Turkey, who [the people] feel in their hearts this “Great Pain”, to respectfully prostrate in front of the 1915s victims’ remembrance. In black dresses, silently.Lightening candles for their souls, bearing flowers. Because this pain is OUR pain. This mourning is for ALL of US.“(2) Gülten Kaya was one of the prominent intellectuals who participated in the commemoration.

Today Zaman daily wrote on April 20, 2011, “Armenians who lost their lives in the Armenian displacement that took place in 1915, during the final days of the Ottoman Empire, will be commemorated through a variety of events for a second time this year. This year’s commemoration ceremonies will be held inin İstanbul’s Taksim Square, Ankara, İzmir, Diyarbakır and Bodrum. A statement with the headline, “This pain is ours,” has been opened up for signatures. More than 100 people including intellectuals, writers and journalists including Ahmet İnsel, Ali Bayramoğlu, Alper Görmüş, Bekir Berat Özipek, Cafer Solgun, Ferhat Kentel, Gülten Kaya, Leyla İpekçi, Mehmet Bekaroğlu, Oral Çalışlar, Orhan Miroğlu, Oya Baydar, Şebnem Korur Fincancı and Ümit Kardaş have already signed the statement. Deputies from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and independent candidates supported by the party will be supporting the commemoration ceremony to be held in Diyarbakır.” (3)

In response to official statements that the Royal Library of Denmark has agreed “to balance” an Armenian Genocide exhibition by allowing the Turkish government to mount its own “alternative” exhibit, a group of Turkish citizens–including academics, writers, former members of parliament, and mayors–have signed an open letter to the Royal Library,where they said “ It is incorrect to suggest that two different views of what happened in 1915 are possible. Over 1 million Ottoman-Armenian citizens were forced out of their homes and annihilated in furtherance of an intentional state policy. What exists today is nothing other than the blatant denial of this reality by the Turkish government.” They added “ Don’t Stand Against Turkey’s Democratization and Confrontation with its History!” Gülten Kaya (music producer) is one of the intellectuals who signed the petition. (4)

According to Today Zaman, September 26, 2014, “A group of academics, journalists, artists and intellectuals have released a statement condemning in the harshest terms what they define as expressions that include “open hatred and hostility” towards Armenians in Turkish schoolbooks, which were recently exposed by the newspapers Agos and Taraf.” Gülten Kaya was one of the intellectuals who signed the petition. (5)
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