UCLA Student Body Passes Resolution Calling for Divestment from Turkey

WESTWOOD, Calif.—The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) student body government on Tuesday night unanimously voted to divest $72.6 million-worth of University of California bonds and investments in the Republic of Turkey for its crimes in—and continued denial of—the Armenian genocide.

UCLA Student Council members read the resolution before the vote.
UCLA Student Council members read the resolution before the vote.

The resolution, titled “A Resolution to Divest from the Republic of Turkey to End the Perpetuation of the Armenian Genocide,” passed with a vote of 12-0-0 around 10 p.m. at Kerckhoff Hall in UCLA.

The resolution is part of a larger initiative (#DivestTurkey) spearheaded by the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Western United States—a grassroots community organization dedicated to justice—calling on institutions to divest from the Republic of Turkey.

AYF Central Executive Board member Gev Iskajyan stated, “The #DivestTurkey initiative began in order to connect and provide resources for university students and activists on campuses across America to divest all holdings in the Republic of Turkey’s government until reparations for the Armenian Genocide are met and until genocide is no longer a profitable venture. The Armenian Students’ Association at UCLA was the first organization to accept this call for divestment from the community and successfully presented this resolution.”

The resolution passed with overwhelming support from UCLA’s general student body and official UCLA student organizations.

“Tonight demonstrates the Armenian community is not alone in its fight for justice and reparations for genocide,” explained Razmig Sarkissian, an AYF member and UCLA alumnus.

Student organization co-sponsors included Armenian Dance Group, Alpha Epsilon Omega, Alpha Gamma Alpha, Armenians for Health Advancement, Hidden Road Initiative, and Samahang Pilipino. Student organization endorsers included Bengali Students Association, Indus, Jewish Voice for Peace, Native Roots, Samahang Pilipino, Sikh Student Association, and Students for Justice in Palestine.

“[#DivestTurkey] is about reaffirming student agency because students were not consulted in the decision to invest in the Turkish government,” said Mikael Matossian, president of the Armenian Students’ Association at UCLA. “This is a proactive step in the ethical direction, of an Armenian student-led coalition calling on our student government to take a stand against funding genocidal regimes.”

“The AYF plans to expand the #DivestTurkey initiative, working with several colleges and universities in order to introduce similar resolutions in the coming weeks and months,” confirmed Iskajyan.

Campus organizations and interested individuals can contact [email protected].

Guest Contributor

Guest Contributor

Guest contributions to the Armenian Weekly are informative articles or press releases written and submitted by members of the community.

6 Comments

  1. I dissent. Divestiture does the gov of Turkey no harm. It makes US business interests, who already follow money and not justice, more hostile. UC will never agree, so it is a vain effort.

    • wouldn’t your same argument apply to South African apartheid regime ?

      http://scalar.usc.edu/works/livinghistoryproject/uc-divestment-from-south-africa

      {1986 Later in the year, the Regents give in to the pressure and bad publicity brought by the UC-wide student movement and the UC Regents take a final vote on the issue of UC investments in companies with business ties to South Africa, with regard to apartheid; at this time, the Board adopts a policy of phased full divestment.agree to withdraw their holdings by 1990 in all companies doing business in South Africa.}

      “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win.”

      ― Mahatma Gandhi

  2. You are on the moral high ground.
    Congratulations for recognizing a corporate conscience does not exist but can be forced upon it by its’ board of directors.

  3. Great job and vote AYF. Go on pursuing Turkish denialist strategies! Germany and UN organizations “divested” more than those billions to repair and indemnify holocausr victims. Turkey has yet to officially recoignize the Arm genocide, assume accountability to finally reach the repair phase (which includes Artsakh’s political destiny). Cut-throat denialist strategies throuhgout the international community and among world leaders and historians are defrying all hopes and attempts to bring truth to the surface and act along international law norms and mechanisms. The Arm. genocide needs to be handled legally by the creation of an UN-based internationa Tribunal or ICP (exception) In any case, all efforts should be made to pressure UN mandated bodies to reconsider the matter. If you had accreditation you should come and sit at UN human rights meetings in NY, and in Geneva, as an NGO, and voice civil society Armenian claims. Rekindle interest and bring new facts and arguments to launch an international UN based trial. Go for it. And spread all the information yiu have among all members of the the international communiry.

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