A group of prominent businessmen in Turkey have issued a call for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s movies to be banned from Turkish TV after the California governor endorsed a call by Armenian-Americans (a sizeable constituency in his state) for April 24 to be declared “Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.”
“We condemn and protest movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger, who declared April 24 a day to commemorate the Armenian genocide and accused Turks of genocide by acting under the influence of the Armenian lobby, and without researching historical truths,” read a statement from Sinan Aygun, head of Ankara Chamber of Commerce. (AP, April 26)
April 24 is remembered by Armenians as the day the systematic massacres began in 1915, and was met by a massively-attended commemoration ceremony in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, presided over by President Robert Kocharian, who said “Turkey, responsible for the genocide, has surprised not only us, but the rest of the world, with its refusal to recognize and take responsibility for the genocide.” (Turkish Weekly, April 24)
But we caution the Armenians that Gov. Schwarzennger will prove a cynical ally at best. Reader of WW4 REPORT will recall that Arnold has been disturbingly ambivalent in his repudiation of the Nazi regime that his father served.
See also our last blog post on the ongoing struggle over ethnic nationalism and historical memory in Turkey.