ANC Leads Protest Against Yilmaz

* Armenia’s–Greeks–Kurds and human rights activists join in urging Clinton to stop US attack helicopter sales to Turkey

WASHINGTON–Armenian-American community activists from throughout the Washington area joined with members of the Greek–Kurdish–Cypriot and human rights communities to protest the White House meeting between President Clinton and Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz.

Protesters gathered in front of the White House at 12 p.m. and–for the next hour and a half–marched and chanted slogans calling on President Clinton and Vice-President Gore to stop US attack helicopter sales to Turkey.

National Security Advisor Samuel Berger stated earlier this week that attack helicopter sales would depend on "representations that they [Turkey] might make in the human rights area."

The demonstrators also called attention to the continued Turkish blockade of Armenia–the denial of the Armenian Genocide–the Turkish occupation of Cyprus and crackdown on the Kurdish minority.

"We succeeded today in bringing together a diverse group of constituencies to call attention to continued US inaction in the face of escalating Turkish aggression abroad and repression at home," said ANC-GW spokesperson Kevork Tatarian.

"Our government’s long-standing policy of appeasement has served only to encourage Turkey’s destructive behaviour–to the point that this conduct has now led to Turkey’s exclusion from the European Union and its alienation from its neighbors in the Middle East," he added.

The protest–organized by the Armenian National Committee of Greater Washington–was covered by several international news services including AP–Reuter and UPI and included the participation of several staffers from Capital Hill.


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