Representatives from Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance have laid flowers to the New South Wales parliament on the third anniversary of a motion that unfairly vilified the ancestors of Australian-Turkish community.
On May 8, 2013, the NSW Parliament lower house passed a motion recognizing the claims of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians against the Turkish people. Both, then the premier Barry O’Farrell and the leader of the opposition John Robertson refused to hear our side of the story while advocating this divisive motion in their groups.
”They betrayed the people of NSW by doing so,” said ATA-A’s Director Hakan Evecek in a brief statement.
”Taking sides in an international historic debate is not in the job description of local parliamentarians,” added Evecek, ”They should have used the time and effort on tax payers’ expense to work on delivering better services to all of us,”.
The motion that was passed in both houses of the NSW parliament triggered a very strong reaction from Australian-Turkish community.
It gave birth to the Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance and united dozens of organizations and tens of thousands of Australians with Turkish descent to fight for one cause.
That cause is advocating multi-cultural harmony and unity in Australia.
Since then, we continue to remind our politicians that:
- Australia is not to place to settle disputes from overseas and past.
- Such motions, favoring one version of the history, undermine our harmony.
- Politicians should work for us all not for one community and their lobby groups.
Australian Turkish people will not forget this motion which was passed to appease minority groups such as Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians.
But as we have done so since 1915, we will channel the strong reaction it created to avenues towards peace and harmony.
‘Peace at home, Peace in the World.’