WIXOM, Mich.—Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Michigan members and activists met with Wixom City Manager Steven Brown on May 26 to discuss issues relevant to the Armenian American community. Residents highlighted the actions of Turkish nationalists in the city of Wixom. In 2019, the Turkish American Cultural Association of Michigan (TACAM), which has its community center located on Beck Road in Wixom, inaugurated a park to Turkish President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Atatürk Park was created with the intention to serve as a celebratory hub for Turkish Americans and, according to TACAM’s website, “All over the world, there are several designated areas named after Atatürk. But TACAM’s Atatürk Park is the largest such park in the US and outside the Turkic world.”
The meeting with Brown was held to discuss the dangerous implications of this park created in the memory of a man responsible for the deaths of millions of Armenians, Greeks, Kurds and Assyrians, all of which have diaspora communities in the metro-Detroit area. Beck Road is one of the busiest main roads in Wixom, where Armenian residents have to drive by the sign on their daily commutes. Brown heard the concerns of Armenian American residents of Wixom and was provided with educational materials including articles and books in order to supplement his knowledge on Atatürk’s responsibility in the ethnic cleansing of minorities from the Republic of Turkey.
Brown also promised further steps that can be taken by the city in order to determine future decisions regarding the “Atatürk Park” sign located on the edge of Beck Road, as well as seeking legal counsel regarding the park. He also noted that members of TACAM have been pushing for the space to gain the status of a public park within the city of Wixom and have pressured the local government to pass problematic proclamations.
ANC of MI thanks City Manager Brown for the meeting and welcomes further actions by the city.