Turks and Friends of Turkey in the US state of Minnesota, reacted to the mention of so called Armenian genocide during the discussions on the bill S.F. No 359 at Minnesota State Congress.

Bill, which designates April as Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month, was brought to the State Congress by non-governmental organization World Without Genocide.

During the discussions on the resolution, a letter of a survivor of 1915 incidents was read to the Senate, as an attempt to address 1915 incidents in Ottoman empire as a “genocide”.

World Without Genocide, urged its followers in its official web site to support the bill at the senate floor, listing so called Armenian genocide besides the real genocides in Srebrenica, Ruanda and Kambodia.

TAAM Warns Congress Over the Attempt

Turkish American Association of Minnesota (TAAM), sent a letter to Minnesota House of Representatives and State regarding the issue.

“On behalf of Minnesota Turkish Americans, TAAM would like to commend and support Bill S.F. No. 359 that is brought before State and Local Government Committee today. This Bill designates April as Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. This Bill defines genocide based on the Holocaust and 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, and seeks to raise public awareness regarding possible genocides in the future.

 TAAM attended the hearing of February 20, 2013 in which the companion bill H.F. No. 414 was discussed as well. While we agree with the Bill’s already prospective nature, regarding possible genocides in the future and its definition of the crime based on the strict definition in the 1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, we submit that the Bill emphasize that whether a case constitutes genocide is a judicial determination to be made after the application of due process. Accordingly, after the first sentence we respectfully recommend that the following sentence be inserted:

"Genocide is a crime defined by law. As such, cases that constitute genocide for the purposes of this Bill shall be those that a court or tribunal of competent jurisdiction, applying rigorous standards of due process, has determined that the crime, as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, has been committe”.” TAAM wrote in the letter prepared with the assistance of Gunay Evinch, former president of Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA).

Somalian Americans living in Minneapolis also announced their support to the position of Turkish Americans. The relations between two communities got closer following Turkey’s humanitarian aid to Somalia.