A number of Turkish foundations held a meeting yesterday in New York City to commemorate Turkish diplomats assassinated by the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) and to react to “genocide claims” regarding the 1915 events.
Some foundations from other countries also gave their support to the meeting that took place for the 13th time in the city and was pioneered by the Federation of Turkish American Associations (TADF).
During the meeting, a call was made to deal with the 1915 events via a dialogue, while the Armenian claims were refuted. The demonstrators hung pictures of assassinated Turkish diplomats on a platform.
Between 1973 and 1993, 33 Turkish diplomats, employees and families based in Turkish diplomatic missions abroad were murdered by Armenian terrorist groups, with the ASALA being the most infamous one. ARA, previously known as the Justice Commandos for the Armenian Genocide (JCAG), was affiliated with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF – Dashnaktsutyun), which is a political party dating back to the early 20th century which still operates in Armenia. These militant groups, cooperating with each other and other terrorist groups despite differing in ideology, were mainly based in civil war-torn Lebanon, from where Sassounian’s family emigrated to the U.S.
Relations between Turkey and Armenia have historically been poor because of the 1915-1916 incidents that took place during World War I and the killing of Turkish diplomats by the Armenian terrorist groups.
The Armenian diaspora and government describe the 1915 events as “genocide” and have asked for compensation.
Turkey officially refutes this description, saying that although Armenians died during relocations, many Turks also lost their lives in attacks carried out by Armenian gangs in Anatolia. Ankara has also long been calling for Armenia and its historians to carry out joint academic research and study into the archives of both countries.