We join the Turkish-American citizens of California, members of the Pax Turcica Institute, to oppose Assembly Bill 659. Introduced by Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, AB 659 seeks to impose the one-sided and legally unfounded “Armenian genocide” narrative in the history-social science curricula of our public schools.
As acts of crime, all genocides, including the Holocaust, Srebrenica, and Rwanda, have been determined through relevant court tribunals and verdicts. In contrast, the atrocities in the Ottoman Empire were never tried in any court. No legal ground to charge the crime of genocide was ever established. Last month, in the landmark Perincek vs. Switzerland decision, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that genocide is “a very narrowly defined legal notion which is difficult to prove” in the Armenian case. ECHR also doubted that there could be a general consensus on the alleged “Armenian genocide” as it remains a matter of historical debate. In 2012, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed the same position.
Reputable American scholars, including Bernard Lewis, Stanford Shaw, Guenter Lewy, Justin McCarthy, Edward J. Erickson, and Michael Gunter, have rejected the characterization of the Ottoman Armenian tragedy as genocide.
Furthermore, during World War I, over half a million Turks, Kurds, and other Muslims were massacred by the Armenian armed groups, fighting alongside the Russian, Greek, and French armies, with an aim to carve an ethnic Armenian state. While we share the pain of innocent Armenians who perished in World War I, memories of the non-Armenian victims are insulted by this bill.
AB 659’s advocacy of an unfounded allegation of a crime constitutes an educational malpractice. Therefore, we urge a vote against this bill when it comes to the floor. The young generations should have a choice not to be indoctrinated using a single disputed viewpoint.