Wednesday, September 19, 2007

It is truly shameful that Turkey coerces Patriarch Mutafyan to oppose Armenian Genocide Resolution

19.09.2007 15:30

YEREVAN (YERKIR) - The Armenian National Committee of America recently sent a letter to all 535 Congressional offices regarding the upcoming visit of Patriarch Mutafyan of Constantinople.

As ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter, the letter stresses that: "the Patriarch - like the leaders of all religious minorities in Turkey - lives in constant fear of acts of discrimination and retribution by a Turkish government that actively persecutes those who speak freely on human rights and other “sensitive” issues. As a virtual hostage, the Patriarch - whose life has been threatened on many occasions - will, as has in the past, be forced to follow the Turkish government’s line. It is truly shameful that Turkey has resorted to using coercion - cynically taking advantage of the concern of Patriach Mesrob for the safety of his flock - in a last ditch bid to block the adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution."

Rep. Adam Schiff, the lead author of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, commented on the growing pressure on Turkey’s remaining Armenians, noting that, "In order to perpetuate its campaign of denial, Turkey seeks to intimidate all Armenians worldwide, but especially the Armenians in Turkey who must live with daily threats. It is a criminal offense to merely speak about the Armenian Genocide, let alone advocate for the passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution before the Congress. The editor of the last Armenian-language newspaper in Turkey, Hrant Dink, was assassinated for writing about the genocide this year, and a popular video now being circulated in Turkey celebrates his killers and threatens Armenians."

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

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