Dear members of the Montebello City Council and Armenian Martyrs Memorial Monument Council,
While driving from Rosemead Ca. to Los Angeles on Route 60 E, on April 26, 2011, I noticed a large billboard with directions to the Armenian Martyrs Memorial Monument. After driving around and asking several people the exact location, a Spanish speaking attendant at a gas station told me hat George the Armenian would know where it is. When I asked where the monument was, his first question to me was “Are you an Armenian?’ I said, I just came from New York. He said it was right behind the Hilton Garden Inn and the Golf Course, which I located very easily.
The monument stands on a hill with 7 tall pillars joined at the top. The area was covered with flowers, left from the commemoration on April 24, some still fresh, and several mementos, including a vase with a picture of Jesus, and a logo of Istanbul Armenians. This is what is written on the pillar:
“This monument erected by Americans of Armenian descent is dedicated to the 1,500,000 Armenian victims of the genocide perpetrated by the Turkish government, 1915 – 1921, ad to all nations who have fallen victim to the crime against humanity. April 21, 1968.”
I take issue with the above statements which are false and misleading and opens the way to hatred against the Turkish-Americans.
First, the Armenians died during the First World War as a result of their many revolts in eastern Anatolia and re-location necessitated by the war conditions and the number of
Armenians died was probably no more than 300,000. Perhaps over a million Turks were killed during the same period.
Second, the events took place during the Ottoman period, (1878 to 1915) and had nothing to do with the Republic of Turkey established in 1923.
As a concerned American of Turkish descent who has had many Armenian friends during a 75-year life span, I respectfully request the removal of the Monument or the true facts be stated, which is nothing but a monument to hatred.
Yuksel Oktay, PE
Obscene and hateful Billboard and Armenian Monument in Los Angeles, April 26, 2011
Dear Council members,
As an addendum to my earlier letter on the Armenian Monument in Montebello (April 26, 2011), I am attaching the photograph of ta Billboard on Highway 60 E in Los Angeles, which is an injustice to Turks everywhere and Americans who know that there was no Armenian genocide as depicted. Anyone who has been following the course of history knows that signs such as the one in the Attachment and the Monuments erected for a mythical genocide are false and misleading and opens the way to hatred against the Turks and Turkish-Americans, who do not hate the Armenians, falsely claimed by some Armenians.
Armenians died during the First World War following their many revolts in eastern Anatolia and uprisings even in Istanbul and the re-location necessitated by the war conditions. Ara Kociyan, the Director of Armenian language newspaper Jamanak published in Istanbul, presented a balanced and truthful view of the Armenian issue and the events of 1915 in a book ”Turkey” published in 1991 in the following manner:
During the First World War, Turkey was in danger of being swallowed up by foreign nations. To achieve this, they endeavoured to break up the country internally by brainwashing some Armenians with the promise of an independent Armenia. They gave them money and weapons, encouraging them to start guerrilla and underground activities. The Ottoman State (1), in order to preserve Anatolia, forced Armenians living in places where guerrilla attacks took place to move elsewhere. At that time, unfortunately, we must confess that the innocent suffered from the guilty, but even in those conditions, the Turks did not withhold help from their neighbours. Unfortunately, people still exist from abroad who seek an opportunity to realize this dream, people who have not learned their lesson from history.” (p.92)
Istanbul, may 7, 2011