Robert Haddejian may not be a household name on the western shores of the Atlantic, but his literary and journalistic achievements place him among the major icons of Armenian cultural history. (See related story on Page 1.)
January 2016 marked a watershed in his life, as he stepped into his ninth decade, still going strong, still producing and creating relentlessly with an unstoppable zeal.
The Istanbul Armenians celebrated the 90th birthday of this phenomenal man. Armenia and the Diasporan Armenians have also been joining that celebration. Although his literary output is confined to Armenian, his creative life has impacted not only the Istanbul Armenian community, but also the entire diaspora.
Haddejian’s prodigious output can be categorized under literature or journalism. The combination of his literary and journalistic talents have rendered him into a wise community leader who has guided the Armenian community through many trials and tribulations in that historic and inclement landscape. First and foremost, he is a prominent writer, having produced pioneering works in prose. Almost 70 years of his life have been dedicated to Armenian journalism, 50 as the editor-in-chief of Marmara daily newspaper.
Since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey by Ataturk, the country has experienced many political upheavals — each change impacting the Armenian community life. Haddejian has proven to be one of the more prudent leaders, safeguarding the community’s physical presence while preserving its cultural identity.