LOS ANGELES–During a community forum Wednesday–sponsored by the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region–guest speakers and community members expressed their resounding opposition to the so-called "Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation Commission."
The program began with welcoming remarks by ANCA-WR Board of Directors chairman Steve Dadaian–Esq.–who briefed the participants on the misguided efforts of the individuals that have spearheaded the so-called "reconciliation commission."
Making presentations on the matter were Dr. Simon Payaslian and attorney Seto Boyajian–both of whom have had extensive experience in Armeno-Turkish relations–the former as a historian and the latter as an activist and former Executive Director of the ANCA Washington headquarters.
In his remarks–Payaslian presented a brief historical overview of the matter–emphasizing the centuries’ old expansionist goals–known as pan-turkism.
"Since the days of World War I–Armenia’s have become a major obstacle in Turkish efforts to expand eastward," explained Payaslian who tied the current "reconciliation" effort to the establishment of an independent republic of Armenia–the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and stepped-up efforts to garner international recognition for the Armenian Genocide as possible obstacles for Turkey’s aims..
In his presentation–Boyajian explained that establishment of such a commission should not be viewed as happenstance–but rather a clearly thought out plan by elemen’s that wish to hinder the pursuit of Armenian aspirations and the Armenian Cause.
He added that the commission should not be viewed as a sincere effort to establish any level of reconciliation–since the entities behind the creation of this grouping possess other interests–which are not altruistic.
Boyajian asserted that the Armenian-American community has a responsibility as American citizens to sensitize political officials about the reconciliation commission. He added that the US and other powers have opted to utilize an Armenian base–from which to counter the emancipation of Armenian interests.
The tool–Boyajian explained–being used by the US and others is the Armenian Assembly America–for which Armenian national interests have never been a priority.
"We cannot allow the Armenian issue to be discussed in commission such as this," declared Boyajian.
Also discussed during the community forum were issues related to the aims of the commissions–public opinion in Armenia–as well as the posturing of the Armenian government and other political forces and leaders.
The establishment of the commission–Boyajian explained–aimed at creating a schism within the Armenian community –and called on the community to become involved and not apathetic toward this crucial matter–which could hinder the pursuit of the Armenian Cause.
"This is clearly an attempt to create a duality within the Armenian people. Turks must not be allowed to succeed in this effort and deliver a blow to decades of activism by the Armenian National Committee.
Following the presentations–a lengthy discussion and question and answer period followed–at the conclusion of which the participants gave a resounding no to the Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation Commission.