October 14, 2022
Erik B. Nordstrom
Nordstrom Corporate Communications
Re: Request to Remove Turkey Culture Toy and Activity manufactured by IN KIDZ from Your Company’s Online and in-Store Offerings
Dear Mr. Gennette, Mr. Nordstrom, and Mr. Cornell:
In solidarity with the outrage of your consumers within the Armenian-American community to your promotion of the Turkey Culture Toy and Activity (Macy’s, Nordstrom, Target) manufactured by IN KIDZ and being sold by your company, the Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region hereby demands that this offensive and racist product be immediately removed from your online and in-store offerings with an apology to be issued to the Armenian community and all other minority groups which have been victims of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and persecution at the hands of the Turkish government. Failure to do so will make your company complicit in Turkey’s ongoing campaign of Armenophobia and hate. This demand is made on the grounds that the box includes depictions of a seemingly innocuous grey wolf next to the Turkish flag, but in reality, inclusion of this image is anything but innocuous. In fact, the depiction of the wolf is tantamount to promoting the well-known ultranationalist Grey Wolves movement which uses this image as its symbol.
The Grey Wolves is a Pan-Turkish, neofascist organization and movement in Turkey that acts as the paramilitary arm of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The movement promotes Armenian Genocide denial, defends the Turkish occupation of Cyprus, and murders and assassinates Armenians, Greeks, Jews, Kurds, among others, as part of its ethnic cleansing campaign. Throughout its decades-long history, it has also killed political enemies, labor activists, intellectuals, and journalists. The core ideology behind these acts is Pan-Turkism, which aims to unite all Turkish-speaking people and eliminate any ethnic minority or individual that is perceived by them to obstruct this goal. Not only has the movement been empowered by the MHP, but it has received direct or indirect support from other government officials, including President Erdogan, who routinely uses the hand signal of the Grey Wolves amongst his supporters to promote its message of hate. The Grey Wolves have been banned in France for political violence and hate speech, and the European Parliament has called on its member states to designate them as a terrorist group.
Even subliminally or implicitly promoting this movement is horrifying. Without a firm denunciation of this imagery of the Grey Wolves’ symbol, your company will be complicit in the propaganda machine of Turkish ultranationalists. The sale of this product is a deep insult to the Armenian community along with other ethnic groups who have been the victims of Turkish oppression, persecution, and ethnic cleansing.
We anticipate a swift response to our requests for removal and apology and will wait for your reply by October 21, 2022 before escalating our request through applicable agencies.
Should you require additional information about the Grey Wolves, their campaigns of terrorism, or wish to discuss the matter further, please do not hesitate to have a member of your staff contact our office at (818) XXX-XXXX | firstname.lastname@example.org or me directly at (818) XXX-XXXX | email@example.com.
Nora Hovsepian, Esq.
ANCA-Western Region Chair
104 N Belmont Suite 200
Glendale, CA 91206