TORONTO–Canadian Armenia’s have made it clear that they are opposed to the activities of the so-called "Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission."
At a public meeting in Toronto on Friday–November 9–with Ross Vartian–member of the Board of Trustees of the Armenian Assembly of America Inc.–in Toronto–Canadian Armenia’s expressed their concerns about TARC’s negative effect on efforts to bring about universal recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Vartian was a last-minute replacement for TARC Commissioner Van Krikorian who could not attend due to illness.
Unfortunately–the reaction of the audience was not documented as meeting organizers barred media representatives from the event. Souren Chekijian–producer of the Hai Horizon television program–was turned away immediately before the commencement of the meeting.
Vartian’s attempts to justify his organization’s participation in TARC was met with unanimous condemnation. Audience members were especially concerned about the funding of TARC by the State Department of the United States of America.
Vartian was also presented with numerous statemen’s from a wide variety of Armenian organizations throughout the world condemning the actions of TARC and calling upon the Armenian commission members to resign their positions.
Many attendees also pointed to the words of Turkish TARC commissioner Ozdem Sanberk who stated that "The basic goal of [TARC] is merely to impede the initiatives put forth every year?in the parliamen’s of Western countries for the genocide issue?"
George Kharlakian–an audience member stated "We have sacrificed too much to allow a self-appointed group to prevent justice from being served. TARC is just an excuse created by the US government so they can continue to ignore the Armenian Genocide."
A significant number of people were more concerned that Vartian’s presence in Canada–at the behest of Member of Parliament Sarkis Assadourian–signaled that the Canadian government also planned to use TARC as a means of disregarding Canadian Armenian calls to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
During the gathering–Assadourian called the police to remove individuals who were questioning Vartian’s and TARC’s motives.
The police–however–said that removing people from a public gathering for expressing their views would be illegal.
"I am worried that my country’s government will ignore the Canadian Armenia’s and listen instead to these people who don’t care about our opinions. I am in favor of eventual reconciliation but Canada’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide is an important step toward true reconciliation. Turkey can’t be allowed to get away with its crimes," said Karin Kidikian–a concerned Canadian-Armenian attending the forum.
The Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission is a group of 10 self-appointed individuals 6 Turks and 4 Armenia’s who have been meeting privately to discuss Turkish-Armenian relations. The commission is funded by the US State Department.
According to TARC member Ozdem Sanberk "The intent (of TARC) is not to find what the truth is."
This is another proof that Canadian Armenia’s stand united against TARC.