ATA-A Media Release

19 January 2015

Armenian Lobby fuels hatred – NSW Parliament supports them

From time to time, we post examples of the hatred people express toward Turkey and people of Turkish descent. These are by no means the only examples we see, but just a sample to show how the work of some lobby groups works only to promote hatred and disharmony in our community. We want it to stop.

You will be able to see some example of hatred that has been expressed as a result of efforts by various lobby groups, amongst them, the Armenian National Committee (ANC) to promote their version of historical events in Ottoman Empire in 1915.

Recently the Armenian Lobby started publishing century old propaganda new stories from WW1 era on their Facebook page. Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance’s “hatemails page” also shows some comments to these posts. One post by Gary Chirinian reads : F….g dogs., Garo Semerdjian replies : “Dogs are better than turkes” (sic) , Raffi Demirjian shows the solution :Drop a bomb on them.

Another example of hate speech on social media is about a protest. On April 2nd 2014, the Armenian Lobby has organised a furious protest over the events in Kessab in Syria. While no one died, the Armenian villagers were forced to empty their houses. Turkey then offered and helped the villagers to seek refuge in their relatives in Turkey. Some of them are still in refugees in Turkey to this day. While all of this happening suddenly the Armenian Lobby, blamed Turkey for causing the villagers to be forced out of their homes and supporting Al-Qaeda and organised a protest in front of the Turkish Consulate. A counter protest was organised to protect the consulate, and to show support for the humanitarian work Turkey was doing in the area. The main message was that it was wrong to try to link events in 1915 to what was happening in the region today.

To a photograph ATA-A posted on their Facebook page, this time a NSW Police Force Cadet, Linda Shahinian posts a series of swears. In her racist and indecent posts, Linda Shahinian says in Turkish : “Go f… your mothers.” and “F.. off you murderers”. Ms Shahinian says, on her Facebook post that she is currently at the police academy! This woman is training to become a police officer. ATA-A wonders how she will respond to a call for assistance from a Turkish-Australian, or how fairly she will deal with such people in her line of work. People like Ms Shahinian are not fit and proper persons to serve as police officers.

The hatred was not limited to comments online. The ANC had organised busloads of secondary school students to attend. Filled with venom, these students swore and yelled threats and other hate filled slogans toward the peaceful Turkish protestors. News crews on site were shocked to see the level of hatred exhibited by these students.

Indeed, the situation has gotten so serious that police have had to become involved. Jack Young posted a threat to shoot those participating in the protest, he said he was going to “set up a sniper at Gallipoli parade [Auburn] at 1pm” where the Turkish protesters were to assemble prior to the demonstration. Chris Kaplandjian replied “Go get ‘em”. Mr Young’s facebook profile states he is a teacher at a Catholic Education Centre!

ATA-A asks why the NSW Parliament continues to engage in dialogue with the ANC, which clearly allows such hate speech on its website. Why is the parliament supporting these people and the anti-Turkish propaganda they preach? Such actions as “recognising” an Armenian, and now Assyrian and Greek genocide only fuel this hatred toward Turkish-Australians.

We will not be turned away from our task by these threats. Armenian terrorists in this country have already carried out two terrorist attacks, taking the lives of two members of Turkey’s consular corps. The perpetrator, or one of them, walks free in Sydney today. So long as NSW Parliament turns a blind eye to the extremism within the Armenian Lobby’s support network, so long as they fail to denounce such hatred, not just Turkish-Australians, but our multi-cultural harmony is at risk.

We say the Armenian Lobby needs to stop fuelling ethnic hatred. NSW Parliament needs to condemn such hatred..

Australian Turkish Advocacy Alliance