US ARMENIANS SEEK TO STOP AWARD FOR DAVUTOGLU
http://www.hurriyetdailynews.c om/n.php?n=us-armenians-seek-to-stop-award-for-dav utoglu-2010-05-20
May 20 2010
The largest U.S. Armenian group is trying to keep a leading Washington,
D.C., think tank from honoring the Turkish foreign minister with
an award due to what they call Turkey’s "aggressive denial of the
In a statement Wednesday, the Armenian National Committee of America
expressed its displeasure with the Woodrow Wilson International Center
for Scholars’ plans to give Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu
its Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service.
Davutoglu is scheduled to receive the award, named after the 28th U.S.
president, in Turkey on June 17, the Anatolia news agency reported
when the center announced its decision in March, saying that he "had
catalyzed the development of Turkey’s foreign relations, elevating
its position in international discussions" since becoming foreign
minister in May 2009.
"Through an ANCA action alert, Armenian-American and other
anti-genocide activists are expressing profound anger and
disappointment over the Woodrow Wilson Center’s plans to travel to
Turkey to bestow the award on Davutoglu," ANCA said in its statement.
The organization said the activists had sent letters to members of
the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, urging them to look
into the center’s "controversial" decision.
The Woodrow Wilson Center receives one-third of its annual funding
from Congress, according to ANCA. "Senators and representatives are
being encouraged to formally investigate this matter and to share
their concerns on this deeply troubling development directly with
the leadership of the Woodrow Wilson Center," its statement said.
The letter being sent to members of the U.S. Congress reads, in part:
"This award dishonors President Wilson’s vision of justice for the
Armenian nation. Mr. Davutoglu represents a government that, in its
aggressive denial of the Armenian genocide and ongoing obstruction of
justice for the Armenian nation, makes a mockery of the Wilson Center
and its founding commitment to fostering scholarship ‘commemorating
the ideals and concerns of Woodrow Wilson.’"
ANCA has spearheaded U.S. Armenian efforts urging President Barack
Obama and the U.S. Congress to recognize World War I-era Armenian
deaths in the Ottoman Empire as "genocide," a term Obama has declined
to use since taking office in January 2009. Two resolutions calling
for such recognition are currently pending in Congress.