Armenian Genocide Recognition Key to Renewed U.S.-Turkey Relations

April 5, 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama’s trip to Turkey affords him an opportunity to reset U.S.-Turkey relations based on a shared commitment to truth and mutual respect, starting with a break from the gag-rule that Turkey has long imposed on U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide – the Ottoman Turkish Empire’s annihilation of over 1.5 million Armenians from 1915-1923.

“President Obama is the right man at the right time to speak honestly in Turkey about the Armenian Genocide,” said Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “President Obama, in honoring his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide, will show the world that America’s leadership in condemning genocide will never again be held hostage to threats from a foreign government.”

During talks with Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President Obama will discuss a range of concerns, including Turkey’s 15-year illegal blockade of Armenia. Recent talks between Turkey and Armenia remain tenuous, with Erdogan, as recently as Friday, denying the Armenian Genocide and setting the resolution of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict as a precondition for establishing ties with Armenia. Armenian authorities have long called for normalized relations with Turkey with no preconditions.

As a Senator and presidential candidate, President Obama pledged repeatedly to recognize the Armenian Genocide and promised “unstinting resolve” to end the Darfur Genocide, stating, “America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President.” View his record on the issue at:

The ANCA has launched the “Fierce Urgency of Now” ( campaign urging anti-genocide activists to ask the Obama Administration and Congress to take action to end the Darfur Genocide and to recognize the Armenian Genocide. The effort is inspired by President Obama’s campaign remarks: “I am running because of what Dr. King called ‘the fierce urgency of now.’ I am running because I do believe there’s such a thing as being too late. And that hour is almost here.”

The Armenian Genocide is commemorated worldwide April 24th. U.S. presidents traditionally issue statements on this day honoring the victims of this crime. More than 20 countries, including 12 NATO allies, have recognized the Armenian Genocide, along with 41 U.S. states.

To schedule an interview with ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian, or for information, contact Elizabeth Chouldjian, (703) 585-8254;


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918 / (703) 585-8254 cell
Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 *
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