On the occasion of a state visit to Canada by Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu, the Armenian National Committee of Canada calls upon the Canadian government to use this opportunity to encourage Turkey toward becoming a better practitioner of human rights. Canada, a leader in the advancement of international human rights, should help guide Turkey to correct its continuing abuses of human rights both domestically and internationally. According to Amnesty International’s 2012 country report on Turkey:
“…Promised constitutional and other legal reforms did not occur. Instead, the right to freedom of expression was threatened and protesters faced increased police violence. Thousands of prosecutions brought under flawed anti-terrorism laws routinely failed fair trial standards. Bomb attacks claimed the lives of civilians. No progress was made in recognizing the right to conscientious objection or in protecting the rights of children in the judicial system…”
"Canada must not turn a blind eye to Turkey’s centuries-old and continued disregard for human rights," stated Dr. Girair Basmadjian, President of the ANCC. "Rather, Canada must take every opportunity to remind Turkey of its obligation to correct past injustices and ensure that human rights are established in Turkey. Until Turkey does not reform its abusive practices, its calls for regional justice and humanitarianism will remain hypocritical rhetoric. We call on Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird to take action in guiding Turkey towards improving its human rights practices."Turkey’s state policy of denial of the Armenian Genocide is part of its appalling human rights record. Recalling Canada’s Senate motion of June 13, 2002, Dr Girair Basmadjian added: “The Senate motion calls upon Canada not only to recognize the genocide of the Armenians, which Canada has since done, but also “to condemn any attempt to deny or distort a historical truth as being anything less than genocide, a crime against humanity”.
Turkey’s attempts at denial and minimization are well known to all; this includes pressuring even those countries who have recognized the historical truth of the Armenian Genocide to soften their statements on the matter. “Canada must condemn Turkey’s attempts to deny the historical truth of the Armenian Genocide” stated the ANCC President.
The ANCC is the largest and the most influential Canadian-Armenian grassroots human rights organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of the Canadian-Armenian community on a broad range of issues.