OTTAWA–The Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) condemns Turkish Ambassador Tuncay Babali’s undiplomatic attempts to tie a Canada-Turkey free trade agreement to Canada’s reversal of its principled stand in having recognized the Armenian Genocide.
In a recent interview with the Canadian Press, Ambassador Babali links Turkey’s willingness to negotiate a free trade agreement with Canada to “a gesture from Canada that the government is ‘trying to leave this behind us.’”
“The easiest way to move beyond the Armenian Genocide would be for Turkey to end its policy of denial and stop using economic blackmail as a tool for distorting the truth on the Armenian Genocide.” said ANCC President Dr. Girair Basmajian. “Turkey has realized that it takes more than propaganda and lobbying to get a country like Canada, which is built on a strong foundation of respect for human rights, to forget a brutal crime and now it has resorted to bribery and extortion.”
Dr. Basmajian also stated “Turkey is so blinded by its desire to cover up the sins of the Ottoman Empire that it is willing to hold Turkish exporters hostage. A Canada Turkey free trade deal would benefit Turkey’s economy but Turkey’s rulers are willing to sacrifice their own people so that they can advance their policy of denial.”
The Canadian government will see through Ambassador Babali’s empty threats. The ANCC is confident that Canadian government will not change history to suit the desires of a foreign government. The ANCC particularly applauds the Canadian Museum for Human Rights for immediately responding to Ambassador Babali’s statements by saying that it will definitely include the Armenian Genocide in the museum despite any pressure from Turkey.
Dr. Basmajian thanked the CMHR by saying “The Canadian-Armenian community thanks the CMHR and the Canadian government for making it immediately clear to Ambassador Babali that Canada’s policy on the Armenian Genocide will not be dictated by Turkey’s economic blackmail. Canadians have made it clear that the truth is not for sale.”
The ANCC is the largest and the most influential Armenian-Canadian grassroots human rights organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of the Armenian-Canadian community on a broad range of issues and works to eliminate abuses of human rights throughout Canada and the world.