SACRAMENTO—Assemblymember Chris Holden on Thursday introduced the Stop Investment in Turkey Act, AB 1019, that will mandate the state to stop all new investments or renew existing investments issued or owned by Turkey using the full force of the California government to pressure Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide and takes steps towards justice to its victims.
“An unrepentant Turkey prevents justice for the families of Armenian Genocide survivors, and makes Turkey a more dangerous country for their minority communities and neighboring Armenia,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “Continued investment in the Government of Turkey signals implicit support for their actions, and it needs to stop.”
California is home to the largest population of Armenians in the nation and most of them are of direct descendants of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Despite efforts by state and federal governments around the world to encourage Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide, the government of Turkey continues to engage in an ongoing campaign of genocide denial and imposes an illegal economic blockade on neighboring Armenia.
“The ANCA Western Region is grateful to Assemblymember Chris Holden for introducing this bill,” remarked Nora Hovsepian, Esq., Chair of the ANCA Western Region. “When passed, it will go a long way toward holding Turkey accountable both for the Armenian Genocide and for the continued genocidal policies it has recently pursued in supporting Azerbaijan’s aggression against Armenia and Artsakh, including its own provision of foreign mercenaries to attack innocent Armenian civilians and ethnically cleanse the Armenian presence from our ancestral Homeland. We look forward to working with Assemblymember Holden and his colleagues to ensure that this bill is passed and signed into law.”
Current California law established by AB 1320 (in 2019), can impose economic sanctions against Turkey for not recognizing its responsibility for the Armenia Genocide, but only upon passage of federal sanctions specifically for Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide.
Since passage of AB 1320 the United States Government has taken significant action against Turkey. At the end of 2019 the United States Congress formally recognized the Armenian Genocide (HRES 296 and SRES 150) with bipartisan and overwhelming support. In 2020, The Executive Branch imposed sanctions on Turkey on over a multibillion-dollar acquisition of a Russian missile system.
“Now is the time for California to stand up for truth and justice for the Armenian Genocide with meaningful action,” said Holden.