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Landmark Turkish Divestment Bill Passes California Assembly Appropriations Committee

AB 1597 Goes to Full Assembly for Historic Vote

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—On May 26, AB 1597, the Divestment from Turkish Bonds Act, passed the California Assembly Appropriations Committee, clearing the way for a historic vote to hold Turkey accountable for their continued denial of the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians.

Adrin Nazarian

“I am humbled and grateful for my colleagues in the Assembly for joining with me to fight for justice for the 1.5 million Armenian souls who perished in the Genocide,” stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian. “If Turkey continues to fund Armenian Genocide deniers they must be financially punished.”

AB 1597 prohibits the boards of the California Public Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) from making additional or new investments, or renewing existing investments issued, owned, controlled, or managed by the government of Turkey.

The boards shall liquidate investments only upon action taken by the federal government. More specifically, CalPERS and CalSTRS must liquidate any of the investments described above within six months of the passage of a federal law imposing sanctions on Turkey.

This bill also requires the boards of CalPERS and CalSTRS to submit reports to the Legislature and the Governor, within a year of when the federal government issues sanctions against Tukey. The report will detail a list of investments that they have already liquidated and a list of investments that potentially can be liquidated.

AB 1597 will now be debated and voted on by the California Assembly.

Adrin Nazarian represents the 46th Assembly District, serving the San Fernando Valley communities of Hollywood Hills, Lake Balboa, North Hills, North Hollywood, Panorama City, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Toluca Lake, Valley Glen, Universal City, Van Nuys, and Valley Village.

1 Comment on Landmark Turkish Divestment Bill Passes California Assembly Appropriations Committee

  1. avatar Laurence Kueffer // June 1, 2017 at 10:20 pm // Reply

    An obscure element of the Armenian Genocide involves the Turkification of Armenian agricultural contributions. Armenian agricultural land and wealth was seized and transferred into the hands of Turkish and Kurdish fortune hunters.

    Ataturk’s Republic of Turkey eventually took measures to erase Armenian heritage and cultural contributions, frequently taking credit for such things, by falsely identifying them as part of their Turkish heritage.

    Varieties of apricots, figs, mulberries, persimmones and pomegranates (with a distinctly Armenian origin), are now being marketed as Turkish heritage products, without any reference to their Armenian cultural origin. The proper way to do it, is to credit the founders of these products, as is the case with corn (or maiz), originally a Native American agricultural product in America.

    California should ban Turkish fruit imports, misidentified as “Turkish” — whether they be a formerly Armenian variety strain of apricots, figs, or any other misidentified fruit product.

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