Turkish Divestment Bill Passes Calif. State Senate; Heads to Newsom’s Desk

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Divest Turkey

Divest Turkey

SACRAMENTO—The Divestment from Turkish Bonds Act, known as AB 1320, passed the California State Senate on Wednesday with a vote of 33 in favor, no opposition and seven abstentions. The bill now goes to the Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk.

California has a long history of divesting from countries that violate human rights, South Africa (apartheid policy), Sudan (Darfur genocide), and Iran (international terrorism, human rights violations). A divestment from Turkish bonds over Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide, the continued funding of a campaign of genocide denial, and the recent erosion of democratic principles would send a clear message internationally that California, the fifth largest economy in the world, demands justice for 1.5 million Armenians killed.

“California is a signature away from sending a clear message to Turkey to stop their deceitful campaign of genocide denial,” stated Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian.

“Having spearheaded the Divest Turkey movement for the past several years, the ANCA-WR is grateful to the California State Legislature for once again taking a stand by passing this bill. We now look to Governor Newsom, with whom we recently had a very productive discussion on this issue, to sign the bill into law so that California’s fiscal policy can mirror its human rights policy on justice for the Armenian Genocide,” said Nora Hovsepian, Esq., the Chairperson of the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region.

AB 1320 prohibits the boards of the California Public Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) from making additional or new investments, or renewing existing investments issued, owned, controlled, or managed by the government of Turkey after federal sanctions are imposed on Turkey.

The boards shall liquidate investments only upon action taken by the federal government. More specifically, CalPERS and CalSTRS must liquidate any of the investments described above within six months of the passage of federal sanctions on Turkey.

This bill also requires the boards of CalPERS and CalSTRS to submit reports to the Legislature and the Governor, within a year of when the federal government issues sanctions against Turkey. The report will detail a list of investments that they have already liquidated and a list of investments that potentially can be liquidated.

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6 Comments

  1. mark said:

    He will never sign it, even he did, it is a drop in the bucket, all you are doing is that the Turks will hate you more, you gain nothing by that but more hate, and at the end you will lose again.

    • Shawn said:

      oh really? Islamists already hate us and we are not doing this to have a turk like or hate us. Its justice you mfr.

    • GB said:

      ” and at the end, you will lose again” …you must be living with your gendarme grandpa era, who used to rape defenseless Armenian women in front of their husbands, fathers, and brothers during Armenian Genocide…Armenians don’t hate Turks… they are looking for justice!

      • Raffi said:

        @GB: I agree with you,…. Armenians don’t hate Turks… they are looking for justice!

  2. Peter M. said:

    I certainly understand the moral and political nature of divestment. In this case, I am curious, from a journalistic perspective, as to how much money we are talking about. I am NOT suggesting that a certain threshold must be met to impress anyone. For those disgusted by Turkish genocide denial, moral and political messages will be sent and accentuated. BUT, just to complete the news reporting on this matter, I would like to know if the investments are 1 dollar, 100 billion dollars, or something in between. Then, I would like to know what the total investment will be (as best forecast) a year from AB 1320 becoming California law. I simply want to know. It is a germane fact to this discussion. That fact should not inflate or deflate the importance of AB 1320, but it is a fact that should be included in the news reporting.

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