On Friday, September 20, the Armenian Council of Europe (ACE), Sourp Khatch Tebrevank and the University for Peace in Turkey organized a public screening of the documentary film “Red” produced and directed by Turkish political scientist Kadir Akın.

Garo Paylan, member of the Turkish Grand National Assembly for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), representing Diyabakir, made a special trip to support the film, despite the unstable situation in Turkey.

In attendance were Luc Carvounas, Member of the French Parliament for the Val-de-Marne, Michel Gerchinovitz, Mayor of Alfortville, as well as many community members and activists.

“Red” deals with the Ottoman democratic intellectual movement and the “Armenian Question” as it manifests itself in all its news after the Berlin agreements of 1893. In particular, it traces the history of Armenian Political Parties leading the fight for rights born from this agreement.

The film derives its content from historical data and documents: the uprisings of Kumkapu, Sasoon and Zeytun as well as the Ottoman Bank affair and draws Armenian MPs sitting in the Ottoman Parliament after the promulgation of the Constitutional regime in 1908 and reports on the struggle and battle for social rights.

Ultimately, the documentary reveals the concept of the rights of minorities, freedom of religion, freedom of language and equality in terms of the rights and duties of a citizen in the Ottoman Empire, which were first established by Armenians.

The film also focuses on the genocidal policy of the Young Turk “CUP” government, despite the displayed will of the Armenian people to promote peaceful coexistence.

The documentary is seen through the eyes of Armenian activist Paramaz (Matteos Sarkissian) who was sentenced to death and executed along with nineteen fellow compatriots in Constantinople’s Bayazit Square in June 1915.

The documentary shows that the Genocide not only killed over 1.5 million Armenians, but it also destroyed the intellectual and cultural heritage of the region, and damaged the roots of socialist ideals.

Shot in Geneva, Basel and Istanbul in high-definition, “Red” features a myriad of extracts from reports and archival images. It was first premiered in Istanbul on October 12, 2017 in the presence and support of Garo Paylan.

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