November 8, 2009
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel: (202) 775-1918 / (703) 585-8254 cell

ANCA LAUNCHES “COUNTDOWN TO ERDOGAN” CALLING ON PRESIDENT OBAMA TO HONOR HIS ARMENIAN GENOCIDE PLEDGE

ANCA Website - anca.org/countdown - to Feature 28 days of Armenian Genocide Affirmation Activities Leading up to December 7th White House Visit by Turkey’s Prime Minister

WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) today unveiled “Countdown to Erdogan” – a month-long campaign of grassroots activism aimed at encouraging the U.S. Congress, the media, and – ultimately – the White House to put America on the right side of the Armenian Genocide.

Starting on Monday, November 9th, the ANCA website – www.anca.org/countdown – will launch a new action item every day, ranging from on-line activism and call-in days to social networking, coalition-building, community outreach, and hands-on activities – all aimed at educating and inspiring President Obama, on December 7th, to tell Prime Minister Erdogan, to his face, that American stands for a truthful and just resolution of the Armenian Genocide. Each week will also include at least one action item geared to end the ongoing genocide in Darfur, as part of the ANCA’s broader commitment to fostering U.S leadership in ending the cycle of genocide.

The first week of the campaign will address the U.S. Senate, the second the U.S. House, followed by the media on the third week, and then a final push in the final seven days directly to the White House. President Obama is set to meet with President Erdogan on December 7th. On the first day of the campaign, November 9th, activists are urged to send a free ANCA WebFax to their Senators and encourage them to cosponsor the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.316, spearheaded by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and John Ensign (R-NV). A special Call-in Day for Senators is set for Thursday, November 12th.

“As we all know far too well, when President Obama met this April in Ankara with Prime Minister Erdogan, he got it wrong, breaking his clearly and repeatedly stated promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian, in a letter to campaign participants. “Even worse, in the weeks that followed, he compounded his broken pledge by joining with Turkey in pressuring Armenia, a landlocked and blockaded country, into accepting a historical “commission” that calls into question this very crime against humanity. This time, on American soil, President Obama has a chance to make it right – to honor his pledge and be, as he stated during the campaign, the President the American people deserve.

The “Countdown to Erdogan” campaign launch coincides with recent statements by Prime Minister Erdogan denying both the Armenian and Darfur genocides. In recent remarks, he asserted that “It’s not possible for a Muslim to commit genocide.” His statements came in response to international pressure on Turkey to arrest Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir during a scheduled visit, later postponed, to Ankara. “We are comfortable [with the visit of al-Bashir],” explained Erdogan.

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