Atom Egoyan Asks People of Turkey to ‘Do Their Part’

Armenian-Canadian director Atom Egoyan


TORONTO—“I simply ask you to do your work,” world-renowned filmmaker Atom Egoyan says in an open letter to the people of Turkey, calling for an end to the denial of the Armenian Genocide. In his letter, Egoyan pleads with the Turkish people to do their part in putting an end to a genocide that continues through denial and to finally make way for healing. The full text of the letter is below.

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“I’m exhausted by my anger,

I have always thought that if you understood all the things I know, you’d feel the same way. You would think that it’s enough, that it’s time to move on.

Yet it’s impossible to move on.

I have made a promise – like so many other Armenians — and it would haunt me to break this vow.

I’ve kept this vow as I’ve seen populations exterminated in Cambodia, in the former Yugoslavia, in Rwanda…in too many places after we said we would learn, where we swore we would never see Genocide happen again.

I’ve also seen members of your civil society stand up bravely to speak the truth. I have seen Hrant Dink murdered for remembering a legacy that every Armenian has a duty to guard.

Without some acknowledgment of the monstrous nature of the crime that continues to be perpetrated through denial and apathy we shall not rest.

We have committed ourselves to remember, and yet the crime remains a raw wound on the very land it was committed upon.

I’m exhausted by your government’s vehement denial, exhausted by my inability to move on. Yet there is little choice but to accept this exhaustion in the face of its alternative.

Your government has imposed the denial of this crime upon your shoulders for a century. There will never be a commission to ‘reveal the truth’ and we are not interested in seeing your open archives. We have the truth from too many witnesses, seen the archives of your closest wartime collaborators and heard the wise counsel of Genocide and Holocaust scholars from around the world.

Today, I simply ask you to do your work, to question your government’s motivations, and to rise to this extraordinary challenge.”

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