December 7, 2009
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel: (202) 775-1918 / (703) 585-8254 cell

ANCA TO PRESIDENT OBAMA: “DO THE RIGHT THING. RECOGNIZE THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE”

White House meeting with Erdogan takes place as Armenian Americans continue call-in campaign urging Obama to Honor his Armenian Genocide Pledge

WASHINGTON, DC – Armenian Americans made their final push in their month-long Countdown to Erdogan with a White House call-in day urging President Barack Obama to honor his campaign pledge by telling visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan that the U.S. condemns the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America, (ANCA).

“In April, President Obama missed an opportunity to reclaim the moral high ground on ending the cycle of genocide,” stated ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Today, in his meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan, we urge President Obama to ‘get it right’ – by recognizing the Armenian Genocide and urging Turkey’s leadership to do the same.”

The ANCA Executive Director had expressed concerns about Prime Minister Erdogan’s efforts to use the meeting with Obama to continue U.S. complicity in Armenian Genocide denial:

“Prime Minister Erdogan – having succeeded in using the Ankara-inspired Protocols to enlist the cooperation of yet another U.S. Administration into its campaign to block recognition of the Armenian Genocide – is now coming to Washington to cement his gains and further press his advantage,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

“High on his agenda, it seems, will be showcasing Turkey’s public disregard for President Obama’s twin priorities for Armenia-Turkey normalization, namely that they be established without preconditions and within a reasonable time-frame. Today, more than seven months after our President’s speech in Ankara – during which he broke his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide – it’s patently clear that Turkey has in fact imposed preconditions, will not act in a reasonable time-frame, and, more broadly, views this entire process as simply a way to extend U.S. complicity in Turkey’s denials from one April 24th to the next,” added Hamparian.

Countdown to Erdogan Campaign Channels Armenian American Concerns to White House, Congress, and Media

Armenian Americans concerned about the Obama-Erdogan agenda have participated in the ANCA’s “Countdown to Erdogan” campaign – the month-long grassroots initiative to encourage President Obama to challenge Turkey’s Prime Minister with the facts of the Armenian Genocide during their December 7th White House meeting.

The “Countdown” has generated media coverage in the U.S., Turkey, and Armenia, and, as participation in the campaign grew with each passing week, it came under increasingly heavy attack from the Turkish lobby. The United Press International reported, on December 1st, that, “The Armenian National Committee of America stepped up its lobbying efforts ahead of the [Erdogan] visit, calling on its supporters to contact their Washington representatives to encourage Obama to make true on his campaign pledge to recognize the Armenian genocide.” The Turkish Coalition publicly criticized the campaign as a political “blitzkrieg.”

The final days of the effort are devoted to calling directly on President Obama – through phone calls, letters, and social networking vehicles – to honor his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide and urging him to demonstrate resolve in working to end the ongoing cycle of genocide and denial. The calls are increasingly important following a letter issued by President Obama earlier today praising the Turkey-Armenia protocols, and once again, refraining to properly characterize that crime against humanity.

#####