May 18, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

L.A. County officials push for Turkish recognition of Armenian Genocide

(Thinkstock: Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)
(Thinkstock: Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to send a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to petition the Turkish government to recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide.

Supervisor Michael Antonovich marked the 100th anniversary of the slaughter and decried the “Turkish government’s continued denial of that genocide.”

Moving to “honor the 1.5 million victims,” Antonovich told his colleagues, “23 nations and our Pope Francis have declared this a genocide … it’s time that we also proclaim it a genocide.”

An Armenian priest told the board that the “eighth and final stage of genocide is denial.”

Recalling the Holocaust and reciting a list of other genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur and “today in the desert of Syria,” the religious leader told the board, “and we still say ‘never again.”‘

Supervisor Hilda Solis told her colleagues that “any assault on humanity is an assault on all of us.”

Los Angeles is home to the largest Armenian population in America — more than 183,000 people according to the latest available U.S. Census estimates.

Tens of thousands of people marched to the Turkish consulate in Los Angeles last week to mark the anniversary and several public officials had harsh words for the President and Congress, who have failed to push Turkey, a NATO ally, on the issue.

During a visit to Washington, D.C. last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that any use of the term “genocide” by Obama would have a “detrimental effect” on U.S.-Turkish relations, The Washington Post reported.

Turkey has cooperated with the U.S. in its fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

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