16 January 2008 - TDSB - Program Committee Deputations


in opposition and in favour of the course CHG38M (Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications)


While the citizens concerned about the course material were granted only two deputations, the group in favour of the course was granted four deputations (five speakers). TDSB is informed of our disappointment about this imbalance. Turkish Community was not heard for 2.5 years, this was Turkish Community's first chance to be heard. It would have given TDSB officials a much-needed fair and just image. While it is unfortunate that the Program committee missed this opportunity to display their commitment to equality, we are hopeful that fairness and balance will prevail in the review committee.


Videos of the entire session are provided generously by Turkuaz Television (TTV - http://www.turkuaz.tv) and placed here by their permission. We thank the staff of TTV for their work and their kind permission for use of their material. Copyright belongs to TTV.


Please contrast what you see in the videos with what is written in the Press Release (at the bottom of the page) by Armenian National Committee of Canada, titled Turkish Ultranationalists Try to Silence Prominent Canadians.


Notice how the Turkish Community members are portrayed as Turkish Ultranationalists (not Canadians) while the members of the Armenian Community and their supporters are Canadians.


Part One:
Speeches by Lale Eskicioglu and Prof. Dr. Ozay Mehmet



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Part Two:
Speeches in favour of the course by Leo Adler, Aris Babikian, Prof. Frank Chalk, and MP Jim Karygiannis



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Part Three:
Fourth speech in favour of the course by David Warner and closing remarks by TDSB



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Excerpts from Armenian Lobby's Press Release:


* Turkish Ultranationalists Try to Silence Prominent Canadians — We are Canadians of Turkish descent and we are not Turkish Ultranationalists


* The Turkish Government's propaganda machine tried to — Neither the Turkish Government nor any kind of propaganda was present at the meeting. We talked on behalf of Turkish Canadians and other concerned Canadian citizens.


* tried to intimidate and silence — Nobody was intimidated or silenced, on the contrary, Armenian group had 5 speakers while Turkish Canadians had only 2 speakers. Please watch the videos very carefully, because if you blink, you may miss the intimidation and silencing claimed by the following press release.


* Turkish representatives — Should read Canadian or Turkish-Canadians, because we weren't just off the plane from Turkey, hence "Turkish representatives" is false, we are Canadians who live and work in Canada.


* Ozay Mehmet — That's Professor Emeritus Ozay Mehmet.


* ultranationalist Turks hackled the speakers and tried to stop them from speaking — there were no ultranationalist Turks, please watch the videos to judge for yourself about the hackling.


Enough examples. If Armenian National Committee of Canada can blatantly falsify and misrepresent the events of a public meeting that took place only a few days ago, then imagine how they would narrate the events that happened more than 90 years ago. Judge for yourself.


We feel that the claims in this press release are ridiculous. Please write to us (CTC at TurkishCanadians.com) if you agree with us that this is a divisive, incorrect and racist message, the kind that proves the Turkish Community's claims that they are not considered real Canadians, they are branded as Turkish Ultranationalists and portrayed as second-class citizens.



Full Text of ANCC's (Armenian National Committee of Canada) Press Release:


Turkish Ultranationalists Try to Silence Prominent Canadians


* From: ANCC National Office national.office@anc-canada.com

* Date: Sun, 20 Jan 2008 23:55:54 -0800 (PST)


Armenian National Committee of Canada

Comité National Arménien du Canada

130 Albert St., Suite/Bureau 1007

Ottawa, ON


Tel./Tél. (613) 235-2622 Fax/Téléc. (613) 238-2622






January 18, 2008

Contact: Kevork Manguelian


Turkish Ultranationalists Try to Silence Prominent Canadians


Toronto-The Turkish Government's propaganda machine tried to intimidate and silence many prominent Canadians who had come forth to make deputations during the monthly meeting of the Toronto District School Board's (TDSB) program and services committee.


During the Jan. 16 meeting the TDSB committee provided an opportunity to two Turkish representatives (Ozay Mehmet of the Council of Turkish Canadians, and Lale Eskicioglu) and four Canadians (Prof. Frank Chalk, director of the Montrééal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies; David Warner, former Speaker of the Ontario Legislative Assembly; Leo Adler, prominent criminal lawyer and human rights advocate; and Hon. Jim Karygiannis, MP) to present their points of view on the board's Grad 11 'Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications' curriculum.


The Turkish representatives protested the inclusion of the Armenian Genocide in the curriculum. The prominent Canadians' group praised the TDSB for its moral fortitude, vision, and commitment to develop such a timely curriculum and asked for the inclusion of the Armenian Genocide in the curriculum.


Mr. Warner read a letter signed by prominent Canadians from all walks of life, urging the TDSB to "stand firm by its decision and not to be swayed by politically-motivated pressure groups." Among the signatories were Stephen Lewis, Gerald Caplan, Jack Layton, Bob Rae, Joy Kogawa, Amir Hassanpour, Jacques Kornberg.


During the presentations of Chalk, Warner, Adler and Karygiannis, ultranationalist Turks hackled the speakers and tried to stop them from speaking. Several times committee chair, trustee Chris Bolton, was forced to call for order and ask the Turkish representatives not to disrupt the meeting.


After the meeting, members of the Turkish group approached some of the pro-Genocide inclusion speakers and taunted them with abuse and profanities. The scene was reminiscent of the trials of many righteous Turkish individuals who in recent years have challenged the Turkish Government on its denial of the Armenian Genocide and have been silenced under Article 301 of the Turkish penal code.


At the meeting, Aris Babikian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of Canada, tabled a petition in support of the curriculum. The petition carried 2,643 signatures. Among the signatories were many teachers from the TDSB system.


For the past two years the TDSB has been developing 'Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications' curriculum for Grade 11 students. The course comprises of three genocide case studies: the Armenian Genocide; the Holocaust; the Rwandan Genocide, in addition to other cases of ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity.


The course has been approved by the Ontario Minister of Education. An overwhelming majority of principals, teachers and program directors have commended the TDSB for this timely project. They have also indicated that they are eager to teach the program.


In the last two months the Turkish denial machine has launched a vicious campaign of falsehood, misrepresentation, unsubstantiated accusations, innuendo and revisionist historical discourse to persuade the TDSB to remove the Armenian Genocide from the curriculum.




The ANCC is the largest and the most influential Canadian-Armenian grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout Canada and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCC actively advances the concerns of the Canadian-Armenian community on a broad range of issues.


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