Armenia awards civilian medal to Maine Law alumna Anna Turcotte
September 30, 2013
PORTLAND, Maine – Anna Astvatsaturian Turcotte, a 2003 graduate of the University of Maine School of Law, has been named a recipient of the Mkhitar Gosh Medal by the government of Armenia.
The award was announced in a decree by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan on Sept. 21, Armenia’s Day of Independence. Mkhitar Gosh is the highest civilian honor for notable state, public and political activities, as well as service in the areas of diplomacy, law and political science. It is named for a 12th century Armenian clergyman, writer and codifier of the Armenian civil and canon laws. Turcotte will receive the medal at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., at a later date.
Turcotte was a young girl when her family, along with thousands of other Christian Armenians, were forced out of the Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan in 1988. They fled to Armenia, and eventually her family came to the United States.
In 2012, Turcotte published her memoir, Nowhere, a Story of Exile, which is based on her diary and recollections of her journey as a refugee. Turcotte has emerged as a strong voice in the global fight against ethnic cleansing, and as an inspiration for survivors around the world. To read a Q&A with Anna, click here.
Turcotte became a U.S. citizen in 1997 and graduated from the University of Maine School of Law in 2003. She was one of the first Americans to clerk for the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. She and her husband, John Turcotte (Maine Law ’00), and their two children live in Westbrook, Maine, and she works in the financial industry.