For Immediate Release
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
tel: (818) 500-1918
ANCA-WR OPEN LETTER TO CA DEMOCRATIC PARTY
Dear Members of the California Democratic Party, It has come to the attention of the Armenian National Committee of America, Western Region (ANCA-WR), that the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party (CDP) has invited genocide denier and lead host of the offensively-named The Young Turks news program, Cenk Uygur, to speak at the CDP Convention in San Diego, California, on February 11, 2012. The Young Turks, upon whose name Mr. Uygur’s program is based, officially known as the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), came to power in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire using the guise of reform and progressive ideology. As World War I began, the leaders of the Young Turks, known as the Triumvirate, or Three Pashas, — Mehmet Talaat, Ahmed Djemal, and Ismail Enver – initiated the planned extermination of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire. These Young Turks were responsible for the murder of over 1.5 million Armenians. The suffering of the Armenian Nation at the hands of this group has left an indelible association of the moniker with the incomprehensible horrors of the Armenian Genocide. Mr. Uygur’s decision to use this highly offensive and hurtful moniker for his news program has been a source of continued pain for the Armenian community in the United States and abroad. Furthermore, Mr. Uygur has publicly denied the genocide committed against the Armenian people. One example is in the Daily Pennsylvanian where he wrote, “The claims of an Armenian Genocide are not based on historical facts. If the history of the period is examined it becomes evident that in fact no such genocide took place.” For a caucus of the California Democratic Party – a party in which our community has placed its trust to speak the truth about the historical injustices suffered by the Armenian people – is appalling, insensitive, and irresponsible. We ask that the California Democratic Party urge the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party to reconsider its decision to invite an admitted denier of the Armenian Genocide whose program’s name, The Young Turks, perpetuates the misguided disregard for the memory of the martyrs of the Armenian people. Thank you. Sincerely, Andrew Kzirian Chairman Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANCA-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.