By Alin K. Gregorian
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A murder almost a decade ago and a genocide a century back impacted one woman so much that she altered the course of her life.
The woman, Gonca Sönmez-Poole, a Turkish-American, formed the grassroots group Turkish-Armenian Women’s Association (TAWA) in 2012, to bring together women who could speak frankly and openly about the Armenian Genocide and its impact on both Turks and Armenians.
“I wanted to do something on the overall subject,” said Sönmez-Poole recently, after the murder of Hrant Dink. “I knew there was something I had to say. I can keep talking myself,” she said, noting she could not change minds on her own. “I decided to start after Hrant Dink. I threw myself into the dialogue group.”
The resulting conversations and friendships between September 2012 and May 2014 are now in the process of becoming a documentary.
She did not tape the sessions, but asked some of the people involved to speak on camera at a different time.