9:13 AM EDT, April 25, 2011
As a Turkic-American, I oppose efforts to secure a presidential proclamation designating April 24 as "Armenian genocide" day.
Unlike many other tragedies and massacres, the Armenian allegations of Turkish genocide are hotly contested and have been rejected by the federal courts in the U.S. Nor have they been accepted by the United Nations International Criminal Court, the only authority empowered to designate a historical event as a genocide.
We should not allow our nation and strategic allies such as Turkey to become pawns of Armenian propagandists and high-priced lobbyists.
During that tragic period in history, moreover, thousands of Turks and other Muslims died violently at the hands of the Armenian military. According to Ottoman archives, some 523,000 Turks were massacred by Armenians between 1910 and 1922.
Unfortunately, the massacres of Turks and other Muslims in the region are not well known and have never been acknowledged in any proclamation.
There are almost one million Turkic-Americans, and we hope the one-sided attitude towards the suffering of our ancestors will finally begin to change.
Ayse Atayurt, Towson
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