WASHINGTON, DC – Activists from across the United States, throughout Europe, and around the world are streaming to the Armenian National Committee of America’s (ANCA) website to take part in a seven-part on-line response to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recently unleashed international wave of genocide denial.
In recent weeks, Erdogan has dramatically raised the stakes in his government’s campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide, orchestrating the purchase of major media advertisements, applying intense pressure on foreign governments, and severely cracking down on dissidents within Turkey who seek to speak openly about this crime against humanity. Elements of this wave of denial include:
* Blocking the first-ever Armenian Genocide conference in Turkey, which was to have taken place in Istanbul this June.
* Spending over $1,000,000 to have Time Magazine include DVDs denying the Armenian Genocide in all of its editions throughout Europe, and placing a major genocide denial ad in the Washington Post.
* Pressing the U.S. government to withdraw the American Foreign Service Association’s “Constructive Dissent” award to U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans for speaking the truth about the Genocide.
* Pressuring President Bush, during their June 8th White House meeting, to oppose the Armenian Genocide Resolution before Congress. This legislation (H.Res.316) was introduced on June 14th by Congressmen George Radanovich (R-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), and Frank Pallone (D-NJ).
* Twisting arms at the State Department to continue to exclude any mention of the Armenian Genocide in the Department’s official website’s section on Armenian history.
* Imposing an effective “gag-rule,” silencing any U.S. protests over Turkey’s new Penal Code provision (Section 305) outlawing even the discussion of the Genocide.
“The powerful response to our action alert reflects the seriousness with which Armenians worldwide are responding to Erdogan’s escalation of his attacks on the truth, on the memories of genocide victims, and on the very security of Armenia,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA.
“But he will fail – despite all the millions of dollars and vast political capital he will expend. He’ll fail – because of the powerful grassroots response he will face from Armenian Americans; because of the moral indignation of the American people as they learn more about how his government’s values stand in stark contrast to those held by the vast majority of Americans; because he is finding himself increasingly isolated internationally as he loses his partners in denial, and – perhaps most importantly – because his years of hateful lies and deception will collapse under their own weight,” added Hamparian.
The ANCA website – www.anca.org – features a seven-part array of action alerts on issues ranging from the Armenian Genocide Resolution to the Time Magazine (European Edition) DVD advertisement denying the Armenian Genocide. These web-based components complement the work of the ANCA’s Washington, DC staff, regional offices in Los Angeles and New York City, and its network of more than fifty chapters and tens of thousands of volunteer activists.