Genocide Resolution Approved Despite Turkish Pressure

SAN FRANCISCO–Despite numerous calls–letters–and electronic mail from the Turkish community and many heated public commen’s calling for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to vote against a resolution designating April 24 Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day–the Supervisors voted unanimously Monday in favor of the resolution.

Approximately 30 Turks were present at the meeting–and approximately 15 spoke to the Supervisors during the public comment section of the meeting. They spoke of "extremist" Armenia’s–"propaganda," and the "controversial" status of Armenian Genocide scholarship–citing Turkish Studies professors such as Heath Lowry–Justin McCarthy–Stanford Shaw–and Bernard Lewis.

Armenian-Americans were also present at the meeting–and approximately 10 spoke to the Supervisors about their family background–the overwhelming evidence of the Armenian Genocide–the Turkish agenda of denial and its dangerous consequences.

One Supervisor–Alicia Becerril–who was reported to have met with a group of Turks in the week prior to the vote–stepped out of the meeting before the vote on the resolution.

She had previously signed her name to resolution along with the other Supervisors when it was initiated by Supervisor Michael Yaki–a long-time supporter of Armenian Genocide recognition.

A similar resolution was passed recently by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors–and was followed by claims of foul-play by Turks–who protested the Board’s move.

"These increasingly vocal actions by Turks in defiance of recognition of the Armenian Genocide only prove that the Armenian-American community must be vigilant in calling for recognition–getting involved the political process–and in educating legislators and the general public about Armenian-American issues," said Vicken Sonentz-Papazian–Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee–Western Regional office.

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