Kerry Rep. Sets Record Straight on False Story in Turkish Press

Reinforces strong record on Armenian issues; stresses sharp differences with President Bush

WASHINGTON–DC– On October 9–John Kerry’s Spokesman Mark Kitchens issued a statement in response to false reports in the Turkish newspaper Zaman about John Kerry’s position on issues of importance to Armenia Americans. "There is no truth to the report published recently in the Turkish newspaper "Zaman."

"John Kerry’s record in the Senate and his statemen’s during this campaign have consistently supported US recognition of the Armenian Genocide," noted Kitchens. "John Kerry is a long-time leader on issues of concern to Armenian Americans and is proud to have been endorsed by the Armenian National Committee of America."

"We appreciate John Kerry’s quick action to set the record straight regarding a blatantly fabricated attempt to misrepresent his 20-year record of principled support for US recognition of the Armenian Genocide–strong US-Armenia ties–and other issues of special importance to Armenian American voters," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

"Senator Kerry’s rapid response to this latest act of desperation by deniers of the Armenian Genocide underscores the depth of his commitment to recognizing the Armenian Genocide–highlights the importance he attaches to reaching out to Armenian American voters–and dramatically illustrates the contrast between his record of principled leadership and the President’s neglect and opposition to a broad range of Armenian American issues," stated Hamparian.

"The choice for Armenian Americans is clear," emphasized Kitchens’s statement. "They can either have four more years of neglect and even outright opposition from the Bush administration–or a Kerry-Edwards administration that supports the issues they care about and welcomes their input."

The text from the original Zaman article is as follows:

Kerry Denies Acceptance of Armenian ‘Genocide’

The US Democratic Party’s Presidential Candidate–Senator John F. Kerry–put a damper on the expectations of Armenian lobbyists on the issue of genocide.

Zaman Turkey–Kerry denied claims made by the Armenian lobby in late August that he will accept the Armenian Genocide resolution. The Presidential candidate told Zaman that he contributed to Senator Robert Dole’s initiatives on the subject in 1990–but said he has not made any statement that he would accept the resolution either before the upcoming elections on November 2nd or within the last 10 years. Kerry said–"Turkey is one of America’s oldest allies and it will remain so."

In the first round of debates between the presidential candidates–Kerry narrowed the gap between him and his Republican rival–US President George W. Bush. Kerry–like Bush–gave his full support to Turkey’s accession to the European Union (EU). The Massachusetts Senator added that Turkey’s candidacy is a must for both Europe and Turkey. He said if he is elected President–the friendship between the two countries will be maintained as is.

At a Democrat Party committee meeting on October 2nd–the Senator paused when he was told that his statement that he intends to accept the alleged Armenian genocide deeply upset Turkish society and voters of Turkish origin. He asked when he had made the statement and was told "last month." Kerry responded by absolutely denying it and stressed that he has said no such thing over the past ten years.

At a musical festival titled "Armenstock-Kef for Kerry" held on August 28–2004 that was organized by the American National Committee for Armenia’s (ANCA) in Massachusetts–a letter allegedly sent by Kerry was read by Democratic Congressional member–Barney Frank. The letter conveyed that the Democratic Presidential candidate would accept the resolution on April 24–2005–the 90th anniversary of the alleged Armenian genocide.

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