Calls on U.S. Ambassador Ricciardone to Denounce Government-Sanctioned Rallies Aimed at Inciting Violence
WASHINGTON—The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), sharply criticizing the government-sanctioned anti-Armenian demonstrations held throughout Turkey on Feb. 26, called on U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone to forcefully condemn this latest attempt by Ankara to foment hatred and violence against Armenians.
“Today’s anti-Armenian demonstrations in the streets of Istanbul—with the interior minister and prominent political parties at the helm—were clearly aimed at inciting increased racism and renewed violence against Turkey’s own Armenian citizens and neighboring Armenia,” stated ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “These are not simply the violent echoes of a post-genocidal state, but the determined actions of a pre-genocidal Turkish society that is angrily lashing out at its imagined enemies and seeking out its next target. We urge U.S. Ambassador Ricciardone to immediately, forcefully, and publicly condemn this government-sanctioned incitement to violence.”
International news agencies have reported that 20,000 to 50,000 people participated in the anti-Armenian protests, with professionally printed signs that read, “You are all Armenians, You are all bastards,” and “Today Taksim, Tomorrow Yerevan: We will descend upon you suddenly in the night.” Among the speakers at the demonstration in Turkey’s famous Taksim Square was Turkish Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin, among other leaders of Erdogan’s AK Party.
According to statements issued by the protest organizers, similar demonstrations have been planned in over 50 cities in Turkey.
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