Activists Ask Congress to Investigate Planned Woodrow Wilson Center Award to Turkey’s Foreign Minister

WASHINGTON–Citizens from across the United States are asking their Members of Congress to look into the controversial decision by the Woodrow Wilson Center to award Armenian Genocide denier, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, with their public service award, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

Through an ANCA Action Alert, Armenian American and other anti-genocide activists are expressing “profound anger and disappointment” over the Woodrow Wilson Center’s plans to travel to Turkey to bestow the award on Davutoglu, who had recently openly threatened the United States against speaking honestly about the Armenian Genocide.

“This award dishonors President Wilson’s vision of justice for the Armenian nation,” explains the letter to Senate and House members. “Mr. Davutoglu represents a government that, in its aggressive denial of the Armenian Genocide and ongoing obstruction of justice for the Armenian nation, makes a mockery of the Wilson Center and its founding commitment to fostering scholarship commemorating ‘the ideals and concerns of Woodrow Wilson.'”

The letter makes special mention that “Mr. Davutoglu leads a Foreign Ministry that reflects and actively reinforces the anti-Armenian hatreds and intolerances that fueled the Armenian Genocide in the first place,” noting that the Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC hosted a group of demonstrators who insulted and mocked Armenians gathered on April 24th, Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, to mark the murder of 1.5 million men, women, and children, and the exile of a people from their ancient homeland.  Video from the Turkish protest can be viewed at:

The Woodrow Wilson Center receives one-third of its annual funding from Congress.  Senators and Representatives are being encouraged to “formally investigate this matter and to share [their] concerns on this deeply troubling development directly with the leadership of the Woodrow Wilson Center.”

The ANCA Action Alert can be viewed at: http://www.capwiz.com/anca/issues/alert/?alertid=15045776

The complete text of the letter is provided below.

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Dear Senator / Representative:

I am writing to share with you three reasons behind my profound anger and disappointment over the recently announced decision of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, a U.S. government-supported institution, to honor the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu, who, only weeks ago, openly threatened the United States against speaking honestly about the Armenian Genocide.

1) This award dishonors President Wilson’s vision of justice for the Armenian nation

Mr Davutoglu represents a government that, in its aggressive denial of the Armenian Genocide and ongoing obstruction of justice for the Armenian nation, makes a mockery of the Wilson Center and its founding commitment to fostering scholarship commemorating “the ideals and concerns of Woodrow Wilson.” President Wilson, throughout his time in public office, was a tireless champion of Armenian rights and security. He sharply condemned the Armenian Genocide, provided extensive relief to its survivors, and pressed, both domestically and internationally, for a viable Wilsonian Armenia as a means of restoring to the Armenian people their rightful place at the table of nation’s following this horrific crime. Mr. Davutoglu, whose government blockades the very Armenia that Woodrow Wilson sought to protect, flagrantly and in the most offensive terms rejects our great President’s vision of a truthful, just and lasting resolution of the Armenian Genocide.

2) This award makes a mockery of President Wilson’s belief in free and open inquiry

Mr. Davutolgu represents a government that aggressively suppresses free speech and open historical inquiry, particularly on issues dealing with the Armenian Genocide. His government, including the leaders of his political party, continue to enforce laws, such as Article 301, that criminalize the discussion of the Armenian Genocide and demonize scholars, journalists and others who dare to speak honestly about this crime against humanity. His record runs directly counter to the Center’s policy that the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service should be reserved for those who share Woodrow Wilson’s steadfast belief in “the free and open exchange of ideas” and his commitment to “examin[ing] the historical background and long-term implications of issues confronting society.” Far from supporting open inquiry, Mr. Davutoglu has devoted his own personal energies and the resources of his Ministry to silencing discourse within Turkey and the United States on the Armenian Genocide, one of the most prominent human rights issues that Woodrow Wilson himself actively pursued. Three weeks before the award was announced, Mr. Davutoglu openly condemned President Obama’s Administration for not doing enough to prevent the March 4, 2010 vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Not even two months later, Davutoglu condemned President Obama himself for making a statement express empathy towards Armenian Americans on the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, a statement which did not even use the term “genocide.” While Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan expressed appreciation that President Obama’s statement considered “Turkish sensitivities” and did not use the term genocide, Foreign Minister Davutoglu called the statement “unacceptable” and protested that “No nation has the right to impose its memory records on another nation.”
3) This award provides an undeserved U.S. endorsement for Turkey’s anti-Armenian policies

Mr. Davutoglu leads a Foreign Ministry that reflects and actively reinforces the anti-Armenian hatreds and intolerances that fueled the Armenian Genocide in the first place. On April 24th of this year, a day of solemn remembrance for Armenians worldwide, the Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC hosted a group of demonstrators who, as this video link shows, had, only moments before, insulted and mocked Armenians gathered on this day to mark the murder of 1.5 million men, women, and children, and the exile of a people from their ancient homeland. Please take a moment to watch this video on YouTube (which is banned in Turkey) as you consider whether Mr. Davutoglu, whose staff hosted the protesters celebrating genocide, is worthy of this great honor in the name of our late President Woodrow Wilson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNfpYNeSyfE

I bring this matter to your attention because, as a Member of Congress, you appreciate the public policy implications of the Wilson Center receiving approximately one third of its budget from our tax dollars and of it having been granted its location in a wing of the Ronald Reagan Building by the Federal government. The leaders of the Center are, of course, answerable to the American people and their elected representatives, to act in accord with both their own official mandate, as well as with the values and interests of the American people. In proposing to honor Mr. Davutoglu with this award, the Center acts counter to its own mandate, disgraces President Wilson’s proud legacy, and diminishes the good name of the world-renowned institution named in his sacred memory.

It is in this spirit that I call upon your office to formally investigate this matter and to share your concerns on this deeply troubling development directly with the leadership of the Woodrow Wilson Center. I look forward to hearing from you regarding any action that you take or feedback you receive on this subject of immediate and pressing concern to my family, friends, and community.

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24 Comments

  1. Alex Postallian said:

    Somebody in the Woodrow Wilson Center was given baksheesh.Everyone knows turkeys modus operandi.

  2. Edward Mouradian said:

    Yes Alex we all know that but we should have given them the tip before the turks did it. Now we can only urge the honorable Congress to rename it the Thchenghiz Khan Mongol Center for Dubious achievements Award.American Kyor-oglu will happily give Davut-oglu any award he wishes.The Roman proverb for that occasion is Assinus fricat assinum ,meaning one donkey rubbing the back of another donkey for the sake of mutual satisfaction.

  3. Araxi said:

    It is a shameful decision, one that strikes at the heart of every Armenian. A blasphemy of the memory of a GREAT American, the likes of which we will probably never see again.

  4. MihranK said:

    The board of trustees of WWC should be ashamed of themselves, congress should replace them with decent trustees.

  5. john papazian said:

    By the time an investigation is done,they’ll be giving the same award to the next foreign minister.”honorable Congress” are you kidding Ed, yeah I know sarcasm.

  6. Zareh said:

    Ov asets vor ashxarum ardarutyun ka. Chen asum ‘eh ashxar, ashxar anastvats ashxar’… Ujeg-e haxtum a, mez uj.

  7. vahe said:

    This is no surprise at all ! Anyone or any organization that attempts to help Armenians has to be infiltrated by turkish blood money !! But the timing of this is of utmost importance-remember a few weeks back when Armenian president Serj Sargsyan visited washington ? Well he visited Woodrow Wilson’s gravesight-a very symbolic gesture-either meant to show obama administration that Armenia has not forgotten about ‘Wilsonian Armenia’ or just to pretend to Armenian Diaspora that Armenia still remembers it. This is a Bitchslap to the faces of every Armenian worldwide ! Treaty Of Sevres is still valid !! signed with the great american eagle seal itself ! Armenia wasnt present for lausanne treaty so we still WILL get what is owed to us…one way or another !!!

  8. Zareh said:

    Skzbits petk e uj havakel vor sor xske qash unena, vor mez lsen, uj, uj, uj. Tujlin ov lksi, ete angam inqe tchisht e

  9. Patille said:

    Get a clue, Davutoglue: don’t bother reaching out to the diaspora or Armenia for that matter, unless it’s to come clean and restore our homeland.

  10. manooshag said:

    Hye, what an ‘in your face’ act – besmirching the memory of our American President Woodrow Wilson who in the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians years endeavored to offer USA assistance to the tortured Armenians. For this reason the Turks today – in your face – enjoy being able to distort the truths (as is always). And yet, these Turks are insulting the United States of America – insulting the service of Woodrow Wilson to our nation. What rights does anyone, anywhere have the rights to bring shame to our President Wilson’s efforts against the crimes of Genocides. Only a Turk, guilty of the Turkish Genocides.
    Turks seem to believe they are due and owing – for what? Genocides? Obvious, shabby and distressing as this ‘award’ would be – it shames the Turk leaderships mentality. Turkey has a long way to go before becoming a civilized democracy. But then, in Turkey, all the Turks who were the leadership for pursuing the mass slaughters, rapes, kidnappings, and worse of the Armenians – imagine! today are the ‘heroes’ of the Turkish nation. The mentality of the Turk is still in the Ottoman mode – funny thing, Turk leaders are proud of their Ottoman heritage – and it shows – again, in your face!
    Manooshag

  11. manooshag said:

    Hye, what an ‘in your face’ act – besmirching the memory of our American President Woodrow Wilson who in the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians years endeavored to offer USA assistance to the tortured Armenians. For this reason the Turks today – in your face – enjoy being able to distort the truths (as is always). And yet, these Turks are insulting the United States of America – insulting the service of Woodrow Wilson to our nation. What rights does anyone, anywhere have the rights to bring shame to our President Wilson’s efforts against the crimes of Genocides. Only a Turk, guilty of the Turkish Genocides.
    Turks seem to believe they are due and owing – for what? Genocides? Obvious, shabby and distressing as this ‘award’ would be – it shames the Turk leaderships mentality. Turkey has a long way to go before becoming a civilized democracy. But then, in Turkey, all the Turks who were the leadership for pursuing the mass slaughters, rapes, kidnappings, and worse of the Armenians – imagine! today are the ‘heroes’ of the Turkish nation. The mentality of the Turk is still in the Ottoman mode – funny thing, Turk leaders are proud of their Ottoman heritage – and it shows – again, in your face!
    Manooshag
    P.S. Whose entity is the WWC, Woodrow Wilson Center – the USA, or it seems, Turks are running it?

  12. Robert said:

    I say screw the whole thing! Turkey should just take over armenia in one fell swoop and be done with the whole thing! We won’t hear any more of their stupid nonesense!

  13. Berge Jololian said:

    Patille your comment is right on target: “Davutoglue: don’t bother reaching out to the diaspora or Armenia for that matter, unless it’s to come clean and restore our homeland.” The problem is with opportunists like Katchig Mouradian (Armenain Weekly) and Emil Sanamyan (Armenian Reporter) who are appeasing Davutoglu by accepting invitations to Turkey and visiting the Turkish foreign ministry. They allow themselves to be openly used by the international community to promote fake normalization of relations.

  14. Boghos said:

    Mr. Jololian, your comments are very astute. We need more truth tellers like you.

  15. MihranK said:

    We should all thank David Boyadjian for his brilliant investigative journalism on this subject.
    Well done David.

  16. Edward said:

    Dearest Robber-t, We were all waiting for you to shut down the bloody terrorist & racist dashnak web-sites & now you talk about screwing!!!!!! I see the camels` love season has opened but how can you screw anything when you have no dick ??? We shall have to find you one , but horny as you are you`ll probably put it in yer favourite place you do your thinking with – yer a – – hole,that is if Ahmak Ahmed hasn`t already put one or two or Allah knows how many ones there.As for Cold Mongol Turkey`s taking over Armenia we`ll have to do the same -give every Mongol Camel , I mean a turk a dildo and if they can find their a – -holes then every dashnak will gladly become ATATURK – and you will become unemployed.

  17. Kevork said:

    Mr. Boyajian’s activism is very original and always puts us on the offense. That’s why he is successful all the time, even if the exact aim is not reached!

    Just sitting there, allowing corrupt officials here and in Armenia to determine your agenda and how far to go, and not wishing to rock the boat when you have a terrific, pro-humanity cause is backwards and destructive.

    Whether he likes it or not, Mr. Boyajian will go down as one of the greatest Armenian-American success stories in recent times!

  18. mardik said:

    Mardig says.
    Ամօթ ձեզ, մարդկութեան իրաւունքներու ոտնակոխման եւ արդարութիւն ջատագովող շուկայի
    փերեզակներ:

  19. Araxi said:

    Robert you are not who you pretend to be. You even falsify your name and hide behind a European/Armenian name. Why don’t you tell us your real name. Or are you ashamed of being a turk?

    • Ilyas said:

      Araxi, with your logic, you should criticise your Armenian brothers in Argentina for having first names such as Pedro, Jesus, Ramon, Carlos, Eduardo, Octavio, Sergio, Miguel or stuff like that. Also, criticise Armenian-Americans for having names like Steve, David, Michael, Edward, Kenneth, Joseph, Peter, Stuart, John, Jacob, Walter, or Gregory, instead of names like Shant, Nareg, Levon, Armen, Krikor, Vartan, Harout, Vahe, Vatche, Artin, Kevork, etc. etc.

  20. MihranK said:

    ANCA needs to be more robust and assertive in its agenda, sadly that is lacking to date.
    We need new generation of more aggressive personnel at ANCA to carry out a more aggressive policy, at the moment its a lame duck.

  21. Zareh said:

    Anyhow, Robert should know that turkey is full of s*** They can’t even handle the kurdish question, let alone they take over Armenia. Last time they tried during the war with the azer in the 90ies to threathen Armenia Russia warned they would NUKE turkey. Let them try and get nuked like they should!

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