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AHI Applauds Connecticut Governor For Retraction Of Historically Revisionist Proclamation
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHRYSOULA ECONOMOPOULOS
October 26, 2001 No. 51/01 (202) 785-8430

AHI Applauds Connecticut Governor For Retraction Of Historically Revisionist Proclamation

In a letter dated October 25, 2001 to the Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA ER), Governor John G. Rowland of Connecticut retracted a historically revisionist proclamation regarding Turkey, issued August 30, 2001. The American Hellenic Institute (AHI) congratulates and thanks Governor Rowland for his retraction, and applauds Greek and Armenian Americans for their crucial efforts on the forefront of this campaign to set the historical record straight.

The Governor's retraction helps to combat the spread of historical inaccuracies surrounding the violence and genocide perpetrated against the Greek, Armenian, Assyrian and other minority populations in Asia Minor at the hands of the Turkish government during the early part of the twentieth century. The proclamation glorifiedMustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, and perpetuated a number of myths about Turkey during the period in question.

According to the letter from Governor Rowland's office, "The Official Statement declaring August 30, 2001 as a 'Day of Remembrance for the Turkish Zafer Holiday in the State of Connecticut' has been retracted due to historical inaccuracies."

The letter continued by emphasizing that:

"It is never the intent of any official statement issued by the Governor's office to create controversy. We apologize for any confusion or distress it may have caused, particularly to the Armenian and Greek communities in Connecticut."

The Connecticut proclamation is the third in a series of historically revisionist proclamations issued in recent months regarding Turkish Independence Day. Similar proclamations were issued by Governor Don Siegelman of Alabama, and MayorMichael P. Peters of Hartford, Connecticut. Both officials have since retracted these documents. Governor Siegelman officially retracted his proclamation on October 3, 2001. Mayor Peters issued a formal apology on September 6, 2001 to the Greek and Armenian communities for issuing the exact proclamation issued by Governor Rowland regarding the Turkish Zafer Holiday.

Governor Rowland's retraction, along with the two other recent retractions, are significant victories. The three retractions set an important precedent for government officials nationwide should they be confronted with similar revisionist documents.

This situation also has raised awareness about the efforts of certain Turkish American organizations and the Turkish government to deny history and to propagate a revisionist version of the historical facts.

Visit the AHI Web site at http://www.ahiworld.org/press2001.html for full documentation of AHI's campaign for retraction of the Connecticut and Alabama proclamations—including press releases, letters and an action alert.

For additional information, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or [email protected], and visit our Web site athttp://www.ahiworld.org.