The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has launched a petition, urging the Congress to work with the Administration to boost U.S.–Armenia trade and investment.
A historic U.S.-Armenia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) – a bilateral blueprint for the expansion of U.S.-Armenia economic relations – was signed in 2015, ANCA reminds.
In the petition, the Committee calls on the public to help build on that framework by asking their U.S. Senate and House Members to work actively on three key U.S.-Armenia economic priorities:
— Encourage the Treasury Secretary to initiate negotiations toward a U.S.-Armenia Tax Treaty, a base-line accord among friendly economic partners that would eliminate the threat of double taxation of firms operating in both jurisdictions;
— Encourage the leadership of the Millennium Challenge Corporation to extend an education-oriented grant to Armenia supporting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) programs in public schools.
— Encourage the Transportation Secretary to support commercially viable direct flights between the United States and Armenia, starting with Los Angeles to Yerevan connections.
Last week, the Erdogan government cracked down on the Turkish academic community after over 1,400 academics from 89 universities signed a petition urging the government to “stop the massacre and deportation” of Kurds in the south of the country. Now, academics have prepared a new, harder edged petition, consisting of four points.
Last week, Turkish authorities detained 18 academics opposed to the government’s treatment of the Kurdish minority, accusing the teachers of ‘terrorist propaganda’, in a move which human rights groups and academics from around the world quickly condemned.
Now, the repressed academics have prepared a new, more forceful petition, Sputnik Turkey reports.
Professor Baskin Oran, one of the academics who signed both petitions, filled Sputnik in on the contents of the new appeal, and commented on the desperate situation which has unfolded in the country.
The new petition, which has four points, reads as follows:
“1. The Erdogan regime, using the pretext of unrest in the country which they themselves created (i.e., a situation reminiscent of the coup of September 12, 1980), will not be able to apply dictatorial pressure on Turkish academics and the Turkish people who a point of view which is different from the official ideology.”
“2. The situation associated with the construction of trenches and barricades in southeast Turkey did not come about as a result of today’s conflict. It is the result of the promises which were given to the Kurds, beginning in 1919, and which have not been fulfilled, resulting in frustration caused by the winding down of negotiations on the settlement of the Kurdish question, and the suffocating repression against the Kurdish population.”
“3. Erdogan’s regime, hiding behind various pretexts, will not be able to kill the Kurdish people, will not be able to harass and humiliate the residents of the southeastern provinces of the country, and will not be able to turn their cities into ruins.”
“4. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party [a militant organization officially banned in Turkey], in the fight against the state’s policy aimed at the destruction of the Kurdish population, must not harm civilians, using the methods of blind, merciless terror, which enables the Turkish authorities to further increase pressure on the civilian population.”
The current situation, Professor Oran suggested, is reminiscent of the period which followed the military coup of September 12, 1980. “At that time [too], our patience had come to an end, and the academic community issued an appeal to the authorities. But even in that period’s darkest moments, the government did not openly apply the level of repression [against academics] which it is today. At the same time, Erdogan has brought the situation to a point where we can no longer remain silent.”
Asked why the academics’ appeal had caused such an apparent overreaction from the authorities, Oran suggested that it was part of President Erdogan’s clumsy attempt to intimidate the Turkish people.
“Was it rational or irrational to inflate the situation to such an extent? Of course it was irrational. But from Erdogan’s view, this was reasonable cause [for a crackdown]. Erdogan is attempting to intimidate the Turkish people. At every possible opportunity, he attempts to sow chaos and to deepen the rift in Turkish society.”
“This time, he found a pretext in the petition of the academics. Dictatorial and authoritarian regimes from time immemorial have used similar rhetoric, similar words of accusation and insult, to achieve the desired effect. And these templates have been left unchanged.”
At the same time, Oran warns, “dictators are mistaken in their belief that people can be restrained forever, increasing the level of pressure and repression against them. At a certain point, when the degree of pressure exceeds that which the people are able to withstand, it will become impossible to hold back their protest and discontent. Erdogan will have to face the consequences of such a protest.”
LIST ERDOGAN’S TURKEY AS STATE SPONSOR OF TERRORISM; VOID U.S. ALLIANCE WITH TURKEY
Following Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet striking the Islamic State (IS), it is undeniable that Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan supports jihad terrorism in Syria. IS exports oil via Turkey and terrorists of IS, al-Qaeda, and other jihad groups transit the border.
This builds upon a pattern of Ankara’s support for terrorists in other countries: Russia (Chechnya), China (Xinjiang), Israel/Gaza (Hamas), Yugoslavia (Bosnia), Serbia (Kosovo), Georgia (Pankisi), Egypt (Muslim Brotherhood); aggression against neighbors (invasion and occupation of Cyprus, violation of Greece’s airspace, blockade of Armenia); and denial of genocides against Christian Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians.
Turkey should be listed as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. The U.S. alliance with Turkey under NATO should be voided
The Petition text reads:
Considering that racial and cultural intolerance and discrimination are the preconditions associated with the beginnings of genocide, defined as the systematic destruction of a racial, ethnic or cultural group;
Considering that education is the key to recognizing and preventing discrimination and acts of hate amongst our youth, and that knowledge of genocides is essential to preventing such acts in the future;
Considering that significant numbers of Quebec students have no knowledge of genocides, past or present, including the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, Rwandan genocide, and the cultural genocide of our First Nations;
Considering that the study of genocide is not currently a mandatory part of the high school curriculum in Quebec, and that the Foundation for the Compulsory Study of Genocide in Schools is able to provide such a course to be implemented in the schools;
We, the undersigned, ask that the National Assembly and the Minister of Education, Higher Education and Research Act to make the study of genocide compulsory in all Quebec high schools as a means to creating a tolerant and peaceful society which is accepting of all cultures and religions.
The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres, and deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.
The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.
Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.
The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, the Italian Chamber of Deputies, majority of U.S. states, parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium and Wales, National Council of Switzerland, Chamber of Commons of Canada, Polish Sejm, Vatican, European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.
Most residents have been conducting a petition since Wednesday.
“The [residents] are not able to stand this anymore. We cannot sleep or open a balcony door because of the terrible noise. The much respected demonstrators fail to observe the rules of co-existence,” one of residents told our correspondent.
The Ministry of Healthcare has also issued a warning, asking the demonstrators to be conscientious and circumspect not to hamper the ambulance service’s work.
“Lost moments may at time turn out fatal for an individual needing an emergency medical aid. And we can never rule out that the individual in question may be the relative of any one of us or we ourselves,” reads its statement.
Drivers of public transport also complain about the difficulties and inconvenience.
Speaking to Tert.am, President of the Association of Passenger Carriers Hrant Yeghiazaryan said all drivers demand urgent measure for restoring the regular operation of traffic routes.
“We are facing enormous problems due to the closed street. The passenger transportation process is derailed, with the microbuses waiting for hours in traffic jams. And less people use [public transport],” he said.
The famous American Armenian TV personalities, Kim and Khloé Kardashian sisters, have tweeted the following:
“Please sign this petition to bring awareness to the Armenian genocide. I did!!!”
By way of this petition, the image below will appear as Google Doodle on April 24, which marks the centennial of the Armenian Genocide.
– See more at: http://style.news.am/eng/news/21640/kardashian-sisters-sign-armenian-genocide-petition.html#sthash.msA8LPDs.dpuf
The Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of America has launched a petition calling on US President Barack Obama, the House of Representatives and the Senate to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
The text of the petition, on Change.org, is below:
This upcoming April 24, 2015 marks the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Join us as we call on President Obama and Congress to remember the Armenian Genocide by reaffirming past U.S. policy of labeling this event a “genocide.”
Between 1915 and 1923, two million Christian Armenians were forcibly uprooted from their homeland with 1.5 million of that number systematically slaughtered by the Ottoman Turkish government under the cover of World War I, effectively eliminating the 5,000-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland. This campaign of ethnic mass murder – which also targeted Christian Greeks and Assyrians living in Turkey – is considered the first documented genocide of modern times and included crucifixions, torture of women and children, sexual slavery, deportations, mass executions, forced labor, enslavement of children and purposeful starvation. Similar to the pattern seen in the Holocaust, this genocidal campaign also consisted of the confiscation of the personal and real property of the genocide victims, as well as that of the Armenian Church.
The Armenian Genocide is settled history. The International Association of Genocide Scholars has repeatedly and unanimously declared these events to be a genocide. In 1918, Theodore Roosevelt referred to the Armenian Genocide as “the greatest crime of the war.” In 1939, Adolf Hitler referenced the Armenian Genocide as justification for the Holocaust saying, “Who, after all, today speaks of the annihilation of the Armenians?” The creator of the word “genocide,” Holocaust survivor and lawyer Raphael Lemkin, said he conceived the word to describe the pattern of ethnic cleansing seen in WWI with the Armenians and WWII with the Jewish people.
Despite this overwhelming evidence, the Turkish government denies its past. It has criminalized discussion of the Armenian Genocide by its own citizens and built a powerful coalition of lobbyists in the United States who use political influence to deny the truth about the genocide and prevent international recognition of this crime, including former Congressional leaders like Dick Gephardt and Dennis Hastert and the law firm of Greenberg Traurig.
We call on President Obama and Congress to rise above Turkey’s threats and political pressure to take a stand for historical justice. Join the 22 other countries – including 11 NATO allies, the Holy See, 43 U.S. states, and numerous past Presidents including Ronald Reagan – in recognizing that the events of 1915 were, in fact, a genocide.
In the case of President Obama, we simply ask him to keep his promise: As a Senator and candidate for President, President Obama strongly endorsed recognition of the genocide, promised he would recognize the genocide as President, and said America “deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide.” We couldn’t agree more, Mr. President.
The surest way to prevent atrocities in the future is to acknowledge and learn from those in the past. Sign on to our petition today to add your voice to the growing chorus who demand recognition and justice.
We would like to bring to your attention an event taking place at the University of Toronto which should be cause for concern to the student body as it threatens the integrity of this Canadian institution.
In line with Turkish President Erdogan’s numerous calls to its embassies to actively challenge Armenian Genocide recognition and commemoration in light of its 100th anniversary, on February 27, the Federation of Canadian Turkish Associations has invited infamous genocide deniers Justin McCarthy and Bruce Fein to be the keynote speakers at an event titled “WWI 100th Anniversary-Human Suffering in Eastern Anatolia”. The event will take place at the University of Toronto’s University College. At a time when the world will be commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, events of this sort attempt to trivialize the issue through denialist claims. According to genocide scholar Gregory Stanton denial is considered the 10th and last stage of genocide. As in the past, McCarthy and Fein are once again on tour to parrot the Turkish Government’s propaganda and denial which amounts to hate-speech and is considered to be the perpetuation of the cycle of genocide.
In commenting about the denial of the Armenian Genocide writer and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel has said “Genocide kills twice, the second time by silence.”
Please sign the petition below to voice your concern to the University of Toronto president and leadership. Let us stand together against genocide denial. visit http://www.ayfcanada.org and sign petition
Stop the University of Toronto from giving a podium to genocide deniers!
If you are a current University of Toronto student or alumni, please give the U of T President’s office (416-978-4163) and University College Principal (416 978-7516) a call to voice your concern.
— AYF Canada (@AYFCanada) February 25, 2015
As Aram I stressed at the 5th Armenia-Diaspora conference in Yerevan, he’ll apply to the European Court for Human Rights, should Turkey’s court turn down the petition. As the Catholicos stressed, Turkey must always be reminded that Armenia will never stop fighting for its rights in the face of all odds.
The Catholicos further called to struggle for retribution of misappropriated Armenian property and restoration of rights in following the suit of the Armenian youth who raised their voices in 1965 demanding return of their lands.
“In 2015, on the centenary of Genocide, their children and Diaspora youth must join their voices to urge for justice,” the Catholicos said.