WEATHER »

Turkish Prohibition Outrageous


As an American of Turkic descent I am outraged by California Assembly Bill 1410 sponsored by assemblymembers Nazarian, Achadjian, and Wilk.

Using personal ethnic agenda, AB1410 sponsors seek to prohibit investing California public employee retirement funds in any business with operations in Turkey. Such a racially driven business divestment initiative is based on Turkey’s rejection of the legally unfounded and widely debated allegation of Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire.

The purported Ottoman intent to exterminate Armenians during World War I — a necessary precondition to describe any act of genocide, such as the Holocaust, Srebrenica, Rwanda — has never been established in any court. Most American and Western scholars concur that such intent never existed. The 1915 Ottoman decision to resettle the Armenians away from the WWI frontline was a measure in response to Armenian armed revolt amid the Russian invasion. Within a year prior to April 1915, over half a million Turks, Kurds, Jews, Azerbaijanis, and others perished at the hands of Armenian nationalists seeking to carve out their own state. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians also suffered in this conflict. But claiming that they were the only victims subjected to genocide is unethical and defeats the very purpose of AB 1410.

Turkey — a nation of 78 million — is the world’s 17th largest economy. It has been a U.S. and NATO ally since the 1950s; Turkey’s partnership through the Cold War and amid the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Iraq has been indispensable. In contrast, neighboring Armenia, whose interests AB1410 sponsors advance, hosts the only Russian military base in Western Asia and has been a major regional ally of Iran.

AB1410 is an affront to the U.S. Constitution, judicial system, foreign policy, and American values. It is an unethical attempt to misuse elected office and to deceive taxpayers with personal, racial agenda. Vote “no” on AB1410.

To submit a comment on this article, email letters@independent.com or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email tips@independent.com.



event calendar sponsored by:

Plastic Bags? Throw ‘Em Away

Santa Barbara County makes recycling rules tougher in face of exacting standards.

UCSB Ranked Number Three in UC System

Cal and UCLA took the one and two spots.

Pini Property Fights Continue

As an epic attorney battle continues in the Dario Pini receivership, a tenant is getting fed up.

MTD Takes Stand Against Prop. 6

The bus company is concerned about the state funding it relies upon.

County Half-Jokes It Wants Cannabis ‘World Domination’

A government executive implores growers to get legal before time runs out.