The Carson City Council unanimously votes to NOT pass the bill to erect a statue of Ataturk #TurkeyFailed
— AYF – Western US (@ayfwest) March 5, 2015
CARSON, Calif.—The City Council of City of Carson voted unanimously on Wednesday to reject a measure to erect a monument to Kemal Ataturk in the city, after lengthy debate during the regular city council session.
Hundreds opposing the measure, led by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US Central Committee, Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region, the Armenian Youth Federation and the American Hellenic Council flocked to the Carson City Hall, where a capacity crowd in the council chamber spilled outside to protest the measure.
Speaking against the monument were Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanian, Montebello Mayor Jack Hadjinian, Glendale City Clerk Ardashes “Ardy” Kassakhian, Professor Levon Marashlian and the Vice Chairman of the American Hellenic Council Aris Anagnos. Although there were only six speakers permitted per side, there were 298 speaker cards submitted in opposition to the monument and 101 in favor.
California State Assemblymembers submitted a letter in opposition to the monument, which was presented at the meeting by a representative of Assemblymember and former Carson City Councilman Mike Gipson, and co-signed by Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian, Katcho Achadjian, Scott Wilk and Mike Gatto.
The Turkish Consul General of Los Angeles Raife Gulru Gezer was one of the six speaking in favor of the monument. Carson Mayor Jim Dear, who initiated the monument proposal, in the end changed his vote.
Armenian press, including Asbarez, was not allowed to enter the City Council chamber. However, CNN Turk and ABC7 were allowed to cover the proceedings from inside the chamber.
Asbarez will have detailed coverage of the meeting in later editions.