GLENDALE–Discussions between representatives of the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region and Greek–Cypriot and Kurdish community leaders are underway in order to expand joint efforts to counter the proliferation of Turkish government funded Turkish studies programs at American universities.
"The Turkish government’s designs for establishing Turkish studies program in the United States go far beyond covering up the Armenian Genocide and include reinventing Turkey’s entire history. Among their goals are the denial of the Pontean Genocide of the Greeks–the illegal invasion and military occupation of Cyprus–and the ongoing brutalization of the Kurds and even dissenting Turks," stated ANCA-WR Executive Director Vicken Sonentz-Papazian.
"The establishment of these ‘academic’ programs are only one part of a larger–more comprehensive Turkish government campaign to rehabilitate its tainted reputation. The failed effort to produce a major Hollywood film about the life of Kemal Ataturk–the expenditure of millions of dollars annually to retain leading American public relations firms and the campaign to establish Turkish studies programs–are all integral components of the Turkish government’s plot to distance itself from the numerous barbaric and criminal acts it continues to perpetrate," concluded Sonentz-Papazian.
As part of the ANC outreach campaign–on Saturday–August 8–Sonentz-Papazian will be addressing the 11th Annual Conference of the Kurdish National Congress of North America in Irvine–California.
Several weeks ago the Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region sources obtained documen’s detailing ongoing negotiations between the University of Washington and the government of Turkey to establish a "Turkish Studies Endowment Fund" for the purpose of creating a Turkish studies program to begin operations in the fall of 1998.
Under the terms of the proposed contract–the government of Turkey would provide the initial $250,000 "gift" to the University of Washington. The government of Turkey would also be obliged to make two more annual contributions of $250,000 to the fund.