April 24, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel. (202) 775-1918

President Trump Continues to Enforce Turkey’s Gag Rule

Annual Commemorative Statement Fails to Properly Characterize Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON, DC – Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian issued this response to President Donald Trump’s failure to reaffirm the Armenian Genocide in his commemorative statement issued earlier today.

“President Trump has chosen to enforce Ankara’s gag-rule against American condemnation and commemoration of the Armenian Genocide,” stated ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “In failing to properly mark April 24th, President Trump is effectively outsourcing U.S. genocide-prevention policy to Recep Erdogan, an arrogant and authoritarian dictator who clearly enjoys the public spectacle of arm-twisting American presidents into silence on Turkey’s mass murder of millions of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and other Christians.”

For further comment on the statement, please call Elizabeth Chouldjian at (703) 585-8254 or email elizabeth@anca.org to arrange an interview with Mr. Hamparian.

The President’s full statement is provided below.

Background:

The U.S. first recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1951 through a filing which was included in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Report titled: “Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.” The specific reference to the Armenian Genocide appears on page 25 of the ICJ Report: “The Genocide Convention resulted from the inhuman and barbarous practices which prevailed in certain countries prior to and during World War II, when entire religious, racial and national minority groups were threatened with and subjected to deliberate extermination. The practice of genocide has occurred throughout human history. The Roman persecution of the Christians, the Turkish massacres of Armenians, the extermination of millions of Jews and Poles by the Nazis are outstanding examples of the crime of genocide.”

President Ronald Reagan reaffirmed the Armenian Genocide in 1981. The U.S. House of Representatives adopted legislation on the Armenian Genocide in 1975, 1984 and 1996.

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THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 24, 2017

Statement by President Donald J. Trump on Armenian Remembrance Day 2017

Today, we remember and honor the memory of those who suffered during the Meds Yeghern, one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century. Beginning in 1915, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. I join the Armenian community in America and around the world in mourning the loss of innocent lives and the suffering endured by so many.

As we reflect on this dark chapter of human history, we also recognize the resilience of the Armenian people. Many built new lives in the United States and made indelible contributions to our country, while cherishing memories of the historic homeland in which their ancestors established one of the great civilizations of antiquity.

We must remember atrocities to prevent them from occurring again. We welcome the efforts of Turks and Armenians to acknowledge and reckon with painful history, which is a critical step toward building a foundation for a more just and tolerant future.

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