ANCA Opposes Deployment of Turkish Troops in Iraq

WASHINGTON–DC–The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has added its voice to the growing opposition to the proposed inclusion of Turkish armed forces in US operations in Iraq.

The presence of Turkish forces in Iraq has been rejected by the Iraqi Governing Council and sparked controversy in the region and around the world–over fears that Turkish efforts to manipulate the political situation–ethnic issues–and energy resources to its advantage will further aggravate an already unstable region.

"Neither American values nor US interests are served by allowing the entry into Iraq of a Turkish military with a legacy of Ottoman oppression and a modern-day track record of abuse at home and aggression abroad," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "The troops that Turkey has already sent illegally into Northern Iraq – despite its decision to block coalition forces from opening a northern front against Iraq – have already engaged in all manner of disruptive activities and come into conflict with US forces. Sending more Turkish troops can only be a recipe for greater problems."

In a statement issued on October 10th–the American Hellenic Institute noted that–"Turkey is the former colonial master for 400 years of Iraq and the Middle East. Putting Turkish troops in Iraq at this time is like putting German troops in Poland or Israel or Japanese troops in Manchuria or Korea."

"The Turkish government–which denies the Armenian Genocide–continues to militarily occupy Cyprus–denies the rights of its own Kurdish citizens–restricts the rights of Christian communities–and has among the world’s worst human rights records–is in no position to serve as a role model for the people of Iraq on either democracy or responsible international conduct," added Hamparian.

On October 21st–the ANCA joined with the American Hellenic Institute–American Kurdish Information Network–Order of AHEPA–Hellenic American National Council–and Hellenic American Women’s Council in cosigning a letter to President Bush outlining twelve reasons why it is not in the best interests of the US to support Turkish armed forces in Iraq.

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