California passes a 1915 bill to block Turkish investments

DAILY SABAH WITH AGENCIES
ISTANBUL
Published 02.06.2017 23:06

The California State Assembly passed a bill regarding the 1915 events that is calling for the divestment of California public funds from Turkish government-controlled financial instruments, to ensure taxpayer funds are no longer used in this manner.

The bill, which was introduced by Armenian deputies, was accepted by the subvention commission of the state assembly. It is stated that if the bill is also accepted in the general assembly, it will become a law.

The "Disposing of the Turkish Divestments" bill is described as "historical" by Armenian organizations and media. Adrin Nazaryan, who is the Armenian member of the California state assembly that introduced the bill, also expressed his contentment with the decision of the assembly.

Turkey denies the alleged Armenian "genocide" of 1915, but acknowledges that there were casualties on both sides during the events during World War I.

According to Turkey's viewpoint, the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia occurred after some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians that began in 1915 resulted in numerous casualties. Ankara describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.

Up to this day, the issue is a major problem between Armenia and Turkey. Although the 102nd anniversary of the incidents was commemorated last month, there was no signal of reconciliation between the two countries, similar to what took place nine years ago between Ankara and Yerevan when relations became stuck on "genocide claims."

A significant development in the normalization of relations between the two countries began in September 2008, after then-Turkish President Abdullah Gül's visit to Armenia upon accepting an invitation from his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan.

A year later, in October 2009, two protocols were signed to rebuild diplomatic and bilateral relations.

The Armenian government submitted the protocols to the constitutional court, which ruled that they did not abide by the nature and wording of the country's constitution, meaning that they support the task of achieving international recognition of the 1915 Genocide.

The relations have not given any signal of improvement since then, to the contrary, both countries returned to the era of exchanging criticism. Eventually, in January 2010, the Armenian government announced that it froze the approval process of the protocols.

Five years later, the protocols were completely withdrawn by the Armenian parliament.

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