July 3, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Elen Asatryan
tel: (818) 500-1918

Stop and Think

By: Erik Khzmalyan

Today, hundreds of Armenians prefer to spend their vacations in Turkey where they spend thousands of dollars. Yes, this is a fact.  I remember watching a commercial where a Turkish businessman, with sarcasm, thanked all Armenians for their contribution in Turkey’s economy. This is a paradox that I have been trying to figure out for a long time. Turkey’s vast economy is dramatically dependent on its tourism and many Armenians in recent years have been active in spending their holidays in Turkish resorts such as Antalya. Here, our fellow Armenians spend their money in luxurious hotels, restaurants, clubs, and shop around not even thinking about what they are doing.

Annually Turkey enriches the Azeri military budget mostly from its tremendous tourism incomes. So we essentially donate money to Azerbaijan’s military. Well, people think that a couple hundred Armenians are not going to make a huge difference but the fact is that we still put money in their economy and help them to compete against us. The mindset of Armenians who choose Turkey as a tourist destination really confuses me. Turkey is the country that is responsible for the Genocide, the destruction of ancient Armenian monuments, and huge economic sanctions during the Karabakh War. Prior to the Karabakh War, Armenia faced one of the greatest challenges in its recent history; the disastrous earthquake of 1988. More than 25000 people lost their lives. As a neighboring country, Turkey volunteered to help us by sending help packages. Later it was disclosed that most of the packages included drugs such as marijuana and opium. Yes, this was done in purpose in order to put people on drugs. From the recent tragic events, the assassination of Hrant Dink is the most noticeable. A Turkish nationalist killed Dink, a Turkish Armenian journalist criticizing Turkish denial of the genocide, in front of his office. Shortly after his assassination, the killer was “captured.” He became a national hero in Turkey. People named their sons in honor of the assassin.

This is the country where many Armenians prefer to spend their holidays. I want to send my word to my fellow Armenians who still put Turkey in their priority and ask them to STOP. It is unreasonable, it is naive, and it is against our national interests. There are thousands of places where YOU can have a wonderful time but, not Turkey. REMEMBER: it is their national goal to weaken Armenia and its Diaspora as much as it’s possible!