WASHINGTON–DC–Armenian Americans from throughout the Greater Washington–DC area demonstrated on March 27–outside the annual black-tie banquet of the American Turkish Council (ATC) to protest the aggressive anti-Armenian Genocide Resolution campaign waged by this association of corporate and defense industry allies of the Turkish government.
The demonstration was organized by the Greater Washington–DC chapters of the Armenian National Committee and the Armenian Youth Federation. The three hour protest included the enthusiastic participation of the local Hellenic and Kurdish communities. The protesters–ranging from toddlers to senior citizens–braved the cold and windy weather by chanting slogans–which–according to reports from staff inside the banquet–were heard throughout the banquet hall during the course of the entire evening.
"The guests at ATC’s banquet tonight represent the core of Turkey’s corporate and governmental constituency here in our nation’s capital," said ANC-Maryland Chairwoman Maral Habeshian. "We were here to make sure that they know that they are dining with the leaders of an undemocratic government that denies Genocide–tortures its own people–and commits acts of aggression against its neighbors. We delivered our message – every person who entered the banquet hall crossed our demonstration–saw our signs–looked into our faces–and heard our chants."
Among the guests at the ATC banquet were Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem and Turkish Ambassador to the US Barki Ilkin. Among the estimated 500 attendees were dozens of corporate and defense industry executives involved in multi-billion dollar business ventures with Turkey.
For a complete list of conference attendees–please visit: http://www.americanturkishcouncil.org/2001/files/atc_attendees_list.pdf