ANCA Disappointed in State Department Response to Ankara’s Warning
WASHINGTON–Congressmen Jim Costa (D-Calif.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) have spoken out forcefully against Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chilling warning – clearly intended to intimidate Armenia by raising the specter of 1915 – that Ankara may respond to international recognition of the Armenian Genocide by launching a new wave of deportations of Armenians living in Turkey, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“Prime Minister Erdogan’s cruel threat to expel Armenians from Turkey as punishment for the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s recent markup of my Armenian Genocide commemoration resolution is the latest example of a longstanding policy of using Armenians as ‘human shields’ in Ankara’s campaign of genocide denial,” said Congressman Schiff, the lead author of the Armenian Genocide Resolution. “Ninety-five years after Ottoman troops forced marched hundreds of thousands of Armenians through the desert and to their deaths, Erdogan’s comments add a new measure of cruelty towards the survivors and their families.”
“Turkey’s threat of deportation against Armenian migrants, whether documented or undocumented, is irresponsible, especially considering that Armenia-Turkey relations continue to be haunted by the Armenian Genocide,” said Congressman Costa, a leading member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
“Congressman Costa and Schiff’s powerful and principled comments condemning Prime Minister Erdogan’s threats to deport Armenians stand in sharp contrast to the State Department’s strained and, frankly implausible, efforts to somehow dismiss Ankara’s chilling warnings as a simple immigration issue,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “Erdogan’s comments were clear, as was his obvious intention to use the specter of 1915 to intimidate the Armenian people.”
Earlier today, noted columnist Christopher Hitchens explained that Erdogan’s threat was akin to the Turkish leader saying: “If democratic assemblies dare to mention the ethnic cleansing of Armenians in the 20th century, I will personally complete that cleansing in the 21st!” He was also sharply critical of the U.S. silence in response to this ominous warning.
In recent weeks, the London Times has called Turkey’s threats to expel Armenians “unconscionable” and “shameful,” and The London Daily News noted Turkey was “entering the dark ages mode.”
Below are links to three recent responses in the international media to Erdogan’s threat:
Turkey Denies History
History News Network
April 5, 2010
Uncomfortable Truth: Turkish threats to expel Armenian migrants to make a political point are shameful
The London Times (Editorial) March 18, 2010
Turkey goes into “dark ages mode” following Armenian expulsion threat
The London Daily News (Editorial)
March 18, 2010