May 9, 2007
For Immediate Release
Contact: Haig Hovsepian
tel: (818) 500-1918

Turkish Government Attacks Los Angeles Mayor for Stand on Armenian Genocide

Los Angeles, CA – The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR) has reported that it has received a letter from Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa regarding a package the Mayor had received from the Turkish Consul General of Los Angeles.

In the Mayor’s letter, he states that “[T]he Turkish Consul General of Los Angeles recently sent me, as gifts, two books denying the Armenian Genocide. [The Turkish Consul General] also sent a letter protesting my support of House Resolution 106 and my request to Speaker Nancy Pelosi to bring the Resolution to a vote as soon as possible.

“I would like to donate the books to the [ANCA] so that your organization can study them and ensure that any attempts to diminish the gravity of the Armenian Genocide are met with factual retorts. As the ANCA continues to seek recognition of this horrible act of inhumanity, I hope that I can be of service in ensuring the memory of over one million men, women, and children are never forgotten,” added the Mayor.

Los Angeles Mayor R. Antonio Villaraigosa has long provided strong moral leadership on the issue of the Armenian Genocide. Earlier this year, Mayor Villaraigosa hosted a press conference announcing the city’s new divestment program in Darfur. At this press conference, the Mayor unveiled a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging her to call H. Res. 106, the Armenian Genocide Resolution, to a vote. Additionally, the Mayor presided over an event with the Los Angeles City Council where the City of Los Angeles presented the Armenian American community with a resolution commemorating the Armenian Genocide. Furthermore, just days after the city commemoration ceremony, Mayor Villaraigosa issued a proclamation in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide, urging all Angelenos “simply to never forget.”

“Mayor Villaraigosa has yet again demonstrated the impenetrable and deeply committed nature of his moral leadership regarding recognition of the Armenian Genocide,” stated ANCA-WR Executive Director Andrew Kzirian. “We applaud the Mayor for this donation of books and will surely examine these denialist texts thoroughly,” he added.

The Armenian National Committee of America is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.

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Photo caption: Los Angeles Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa (D).