*Moved up, because the conversation is fun. Non-Armenians and non-Turks encouraged to comment!
The Los Angeles Times had a fascinating story yesterday about how Turkish businessmen held a fundraiser last month in Orange County for the opponent of Glendale-area Congressman Adam Schiff. They don't like Schiff because he dared tried to pass a House resolution that would acknowledge the Armenian genocide, a historical fact that only Turkish nationalists and their apologists deny. Leading the charge is Coto de Caza resident Ergun Kirlikovali, who hosted the buffet fundraiser that notched about $15,000, "opposes the resolution and has written for websites that deny the genocide," wrote reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske.
As usual, the dailies put it too lightly. Kirlikovali is one vile man—"Just because we [Turks] sit quietly and grieve [about their losses in World War I] instead of making noise about it does not mean we haven't suffered," he told the Pasadena Star-News. But we'll save the totality of his writings for another day—the purpose of this post is to show his disingenuous reasons for supporting Schiff's opponent, Charles Hahn.
Kirlikovali left a comment on the Times blog trying to argue that one of the reasons he supports Hahn is because the Republican opposed the recent Wall Street bailout. Problem is, Florida Republican congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen voted for the bailout. So why did Kirlikovali donate $500 to her last year? Could it be because she voted against Schiff's Armenian genocide resolution? Illinois Republican Congressman Peter Roskam opposed the bailout—so why did Kirlikovali fork over $250 to the campaign of Roskam's Democratic opponent, Jill Morgenthaler? Could it be because Roskam—a Know Nothing in every other sense—is a cosponsor of the Armenian genocide resolution and member of the Armenian Congressional Caucus?
Kirlikovali drew another Armenian genocide-denier to donate cash to Hahn: Irvine resident Erdal Atrek.
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Atrek is a former chair of the Turkish-American Alliance for Fairness, an organization so fair that they have a page called the "Armenian File," which offers links to documents to refute "their [Armenian] so-called 'genocide' story." In an online petition last year against a proposal to teach Toronto 11th graders about the Armenian genocide, Atrek wrote "Whatever is going to be taught in this regard is going to be one-sided, and according to the wishes of the Armenian Diaspora, with total disregard for historical accuracy, truth, and huge amounts of evidence to the contrary." A Kenan Alpan of Huntington Beach signed the same petition and gave cash to Hahn.
Atrek and Kirlikovali once teamed up for a contribution to Tall Armenian Tale, a notorious Armenian genocide-denying website noted by the Southern Poverty Law Center in their brilliant summer exposé of the Turkish government's multi-million-dollar battle to fight the Armenian genocide in the United States. This quote from the Tall Armenian Tale article is all you need to know about Kirlikovali:
I am a product, like many Turks, of an ignored and untold genocide; that of the Turks. Yet, in all these years, I have not read a single word about my suffering in any of the AFATH ("Armenian Falsifiers and Turk Haters") accounts... All I see is an unfortunate and relentless barrage of typical Crusader bias, constantly parroting the Armenian side of the tragedy, and drilling into the hearts and minds of unsuspecting readers the notion of "poor, starving Armenians" and "barbarous Turk" clichés, with zero respect for fairness, balance, or truth. And then they wonder: "Why is this issue not resolved in 90 years?" You tell me!
"Crusader bias"? A genocide against the Turks? Excuse us while we laugh. More—much more—about Kirlikovali after the election. In the meanwhile, refry this: Hamid Bilici, chair of the finance department at Long Beach St. and a Los Alamito resident, gave money to Hahn. Why is Bilici giving money to someone far away from his district? Does Bilici also deny the Armenian genocide? Someone should ask him...