October 17, 2007
Two Sides of the Controversial Genocide Bill Debate
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Day to Day, October 15, 2007 – The U.S. House of Representatives is
considering a resolution that calls the 1915 massacre of Armenians a
genocide. The White House has opposed the measure and it has angered
the Turkish government.
Nigar Goksel, editor in chief of Turkish Policy Quarterly, says the
events of 1915 are not denied in Turkey. The contention is over the
use of the term genocide, which many in Turkey believe is being used
to discredit them. Turkey also contends that the Armenian deaths were
not as systematic as the term suggests.
Goksel says there is already a lot of anti-Americanism in Turkey over
the war in neighboring Iraq. However, the U.S. military uses the
country’s airspace and one of its bases to conduct the war. But if the
House passes the resolution, relations could be further stained and
Turkey could cut off military ties with the United States.
For Armenians in the U.S., though, the passage of the House resolution
is being considered a "historical moment."
Southern California has the largest number of Armenians living in the
United States. Doualy Xaykaothao of member station KPCC reports from
Glendale, the Armenian heart of Los Angeles.
The House resolution has wide-spread support in the Armenian
community. Some Armenian-Americans suggest that passing of the measure
might even spur the U.S. to address a genocide modern Darfur.
The House vote is expected sometime before Thanksgiving.