Acclaimed Turkish writer Yaşar Kemal has received the Grigor Narekatsi Medal, which is awarded by the Armenian Culture Ministry, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.
Kemal was awarded the medal for his successes and contributions to literature, in addition to his works which have helped preserve Armenian cultural heritage.
“We are here to show our appreciation to Kemal on his contribution to protecting important Armenian architecture such as Akhtamar Church [in Lake Van],” said Culture Ministry representative Seyranuhi Geghamyan during a visit to Kemal’s home to present him with the award.
“I am from Van. … Today I salute you and thank you, and I really would like our societies to communicate again,” said the Armenian representatives deputy Aragats Akhoyan, adding that they were determined to build an environment that lends itself to communication.
“On these lands people have gone through pain. The most sacred effort is to fight against hostility,” Kemal said, adding that Grigor Narekatsi was a poet that he esteemed greatly and that he was honored to receive the medal.
The Armenian representatives also gave Kemal an Armenian translation of one of his most famous works, “Memed, My Hawk,” which was first published in 1975.
Kemal said Anatolia was the land of many civilizations, including Armenian civilization, which had bequeathed many traces from architecture to art and music.