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Resolutions ACR22 and SJR 5 Are Wrong and Grossly Unfair to Turkish-Americans

Los Altos, CA, March 12, 2001 – Two resolutions (ACR 22 and SJR 5) being brought before the California State Legislature by Assemblyman Frommer and Senators Poochigian and Speier and other co-authors, respectively, are a repeat of previous resolutions blaming Turks for an alleged “Armenian genocide”. The language of these resolutions, with the repetitious use of the word Turkish, the incorrect usage of historical information, and the propaganda use of misinformation, is extremely offensive to Turkish-Americans living in California. Turkish-Americans are well aware that ACR 22 was not written by Mr. Frommer, but by those who gave it into his hands. SJR 5, practically a duplicate of ACR 22 and previous similar resolutions, is sponsored by legislators of Armenian and Greek origin, who, in our view, use the California Legislature as a tool in furthering their anti-Turkish ethnic agenda. All parties apparently are equally devoid of real knowledge of Ottoman and Turkish history:

“Europeans in Turkey were agreed that the immediate aim of the agitators was to incite disorder, bring about inhuman reprisals, and so provoke the intervention of the powers. For that reason, it was said, they operated by preference in areas where the Armenians were a hopeless minority, so that reprisals will be certain. One of the revolutionaries told Dr. Hamlin, the founder of Robert College, that the Hentchak bands would ‘watch their opportunity to kill Turks and Koords, set fire to their villages, and then make their escape into the mountains. The enraged Moslems will then rise, and fall upon the defenceless Armenians and slaughter them with such barbarity that Russia will enter in the name of humanity and Christian civilization and take possession'”
Langer, William L., “The Diplomacy of Imperialism 1890-1902”, Alfred a. Knopf, New York (1935) V. I, pg. 157.

As described above by Harvard history professor William L. Langer, Armenian separatists were planning allegations of genocide even in the 1890s, although the word had not been coined yet. The insurgents were willing to sacrifice their own people in their attempt to separate from the Ottoman Empire. The 1915 relocation of a large part of Ottoman Armenians following severe Armenian uprisings and treason, and the wartime difficulties and certain regrettable atrocities accompanying this event gave both the Allies and the Armenians the opportunity to generate volumes of wartime propaganda. George M. Lamsa, a missionary well known for his research on Christianity, clarifies the difference between reality and propaganda:

“In some towns containing ten Armenian houses and thirty Turkish houses it was reported that 40,000 people were killed, about 10,000 women were taken to the harem and thousands of children left destitute; and the city university destroyed and the bishop killed. It is a well-known fact that even in the last war the native Christians, despite the Turkish cautions, armed themselves and fought on the side of the Allies. In these conflicts, they were not idle, but they were well supplied with artillery, machine guns and inflicted heavy losses on their enemies.”
Lamsa, George M., “The Secret of the Near East”, The Ideal Press, Philadelphia (1923), pg. 133.

Unfortunately, feelings of hatred, vindictiveness, and hostility against Turks are still being fanned by a small group whose purpose is not humanitarian but political, and which tries to politicize what it cannot prove historically. This follows in the wake of terrorist activities by Armenians, aimed at intimidating Turks and historians and which caused the deaths of three Turkish diplomats in California alone, over seventy across the world. American professors, including one in California, have been targets of terrorism and threats because they refused to accept the allegations of an “Armenian genocide”. Turkish students in California have been beaten, Turkish-Americans have been insulted, and their events have been threatened for purposes of intimidation. Passing resolutions such as ACR 22 and SJR 5 simply encourages more aggression against those of Turkish descent and against neutral researchers who do not agree with Armenian views.

“The Moslems who did not succeed in escaping [the city] were put to death,…”,
Knapp, Grace H., “The Tragedy of Bitlis”, Fleming H. Revell Co., New York (1919), pg. 146. (the real tragedy buried in one line in an otherwise anti-Turkish, anti-Moslem book)

While we, as Turkish-Americans, recognize and sincerely regret injustices against Armenians during 1915, specifically during an ill-conceived forced relocation of a non-belligerent segment of Armenian civilians under war conditions, we are equally determined to stand up against what we believe are calculated exaggerations and falsifications, as well as omissions, of historical events, designed into political attacks. We urge the California State Legislators to consider also the hundreds of thousands of Turkish and Kurdish Ottoman deaths which were a result of Armenian insurgency and treason, as well as the 1905 massacres of Turkic peoples in Russian Armenia and Azerbaijan, the ethnic cleansing and massacres of Turks and Kurds in areas under Armenian occupation in 1917 through 1920, activities of Armenian terrorists, and finally the massacres and forced deportation of Azerbaijanis in the recent war over Karabagh, before attempting to pass judgment on history, and we call on them to vote against ACR 22 and SJR 5.

“In this movement we took with us three thousand Turkish soldiers who had been captured by the Russians and left on our hands when the Russians abandoned the struggle. During our retreat to Karaklis two thousand of these poor devils were cruelly put to death.” (memoirs of Armenian officer Ohanus Appressian, as related by author)
Hartill, Leonard Ramsden, “Men Are Like That”, The Bobbs-Merrill Co., Indianapolis (1928), pg. 133.

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Turkish American Alliance for Fairness is a 501(c)4 public benefit organization dedicated to promote public understanding and fair treatment of issues of concern to Turkish-Americans, and to public education and other civil activities in related matters.

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