Turkish Coalition of California Political Action Committee (TC-CAL PAC) organized a fundraising dinner for Michele Martinez on May 17th 2012. Michele Martinez currently holds a seat in Santa Ana City Council and is running for state assembly.
The attendees representing the Turkish American community in California were introduced as highly educated individuals and accomplished families that are business owners and employees of highly respectable private companies and institutions. They shared with Michele their main concerns in California. They explained that the Turkish-Americans are tired of hearing baseless allegations of genocide, painting the entire Turkish American community as murderers, based on some racist and dishonest interpretations of tragic events of 100 years ago. Such anti-Turkish propaganda is sugar coated each year and proposed as bills in California State Assembly. They told her that Turkish-Americans do not approve of the allegations and they are bored, if also insulted, of hearing the same embellished stories defaming their ancestors. They told her that they have similar stories of Turkish suffering which are dismissed, ignored, or censored, to make Armenian stories stick.
“No one, for instance, talks about the Armenian terrorism from 1882-1922 in the Ottoman Empire and then again from 1973 to current in America, Europe and the Middle East,” stated Ergün Kırlıkovalı to www.alaturklaonline.com . He continued “No one knows about Armenian revolts (1862-1922) or Armenian treason (1877-1920) or Armenian demands for territory, and more, because they are all censored by the Armenian lobby and their supporters in the media, academia, and politics.”
Michele, after listening to these fair and sincere comments, explained to the group that she understands the concerns of Turkish-Americans as she, too, often is subjected to defamatory remarks and degrading jokes stereotyping her Mexican ancestors. She promised to keep these comments in mind when she is elected to the Assembly. She also talked about her background and her agenda in the assembly which focused on economy, job creation, improving education and health care, and making California a better place to live for all.
TC-CAL PAC presented the donation check to Michele and said that Turkish-Americans will continue to support her campaign.
Engin Pehlivanoğlu, Orange County