December 4, 2009
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel: (202) 775-1918 / (703) 585-8254 cell

ERDOGAN LOOKING TO LOCK IN OBAMA-BIDEN ADMINISTRATION SILENCE ON GENOCIDE

Final Days of Countdown to Erdogan Lead up to December 7th White House Call-In Day Urging President Obama to “Get it Right”

WASHINGTON, DC – With the White House meeting between President Obama and Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan just days away, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) once again voiced its concerns over the Turkish government’s increasingly energetic efforts to cement in place the Obama Administration’s refusal to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide.

“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.

Armenian Americans concerned about Erdogan’s 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.

On the day of the meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan, the ANCA has organized a final push of phone calls to the White House. Links to a sample phone script and phone number will be available at www.anca.org/countdown.

Examples of U.S. and Turkish media coverage of the ANCA “Countdown to Erdogan” are provided below:

UPI: Armenians Brace for Erdogan Visit

Hurriyet: US Armenians step up ‘genocide recognition’ campaign ahead of Erdogan visit

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