Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte

Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte

Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte is an author, lecturer, lawyer, business woman and a human rights activist. She is an Armenian refugee from Baku, Azerbaijan. After fleeing Baku in the fall of 1989 due to ethnic cleansing of Armenians, Anna and her family spent three years in Armenia as refugees before coming to United States in 1992.

Anna received Bachelor of Arts degrees in English & Literature and Philosophy & Religion, a minor in Russian Language & Literature from the University of North Dakota. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Maine School of Law. As a law student Anna received an Outstanding Law Student of the Year by Who’s Who American Law Students. In 2004 Anna was one of the first Americans to clerk at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands after working toward and observing the ICC’s creation at the United Nations in New York.

In 2012 Anna published her book, titled “Nowhere, a Story of Exile,” which she wrote at the age of 14 as her family settled in North Dakota as refugees. The book is based on the childhood diaries she kept as her family was fleeing Baku, Azerbaijan and during the years as refugees in Armenia. In April, 2013 Anna successfully spearheaded the recognition efforts of Nagorno-Karabakh independence at the State of Maine House of Representatives. In November, 2015 she was elected to the Westbrook Maine City Council by a 64% landslide. In 2017, the Russian translation of Anna's book was published.

Anna is the recipient of Mkhitar Gosh Medal, Republic of Armenia’s highest civilian honor awarded for exceptional achievements in the political-social spheres, as well as outstanding efforts in the fields of diplomacy, law, and political science. Anna also received an Artsakh's Gratitude Medal, Vahan Cardashian award for her contributions within the Armenian Diaspora from ANCA-WR and Activism Award from ANCA-ER for enhancement of human rights, democracy, truth and justice.

Aside from speaking worldwide on genocide prevention, refugee issues, international law and human rights, Anna has a 13 year career in banking regulatory compliance and risk management, currently as a Vice President, Senior Corporate Compliance Manager at TD Bank. Anna lives in Westbrook, Maine with her husband John and their son and daughter.

Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte

Returning From the Line

What is it like to find yourself on a heavily militarized contact line? How does it feel to see an adversary, a mere 400 meters away, who was the reason you became a refugee? Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte, a refugee from Baku, writes about her emotional journey to the line and back.