CARSON CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER ATATURK STATUE IN CITY'S INTERNATIONAL SCULPTURE GARDEN
Updated: March 3, 2015
CARSON, CA - The Los Angeles Turkish Association has lobbied the
City of Carson, to erect a statue of controversial Turkish dictator,
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the city's International Sculpture Garden.
The City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposed installation
of the Ataturk monument on Wednesday, March 4th.
This project, which has so far garnered the approval of the City's
Landscape and Monument Sub-Committee, was first proposed in 2012 by
Los Angeles Turkish Association as a "Turkish Cultural project."
Ataturk is considered the founding father of the Republic of Turkey
after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. He is known to have been
responsible for continuing the deportations and ethnic cleansing of
Armenians from Cilicia and Greeks from Anatolia until 1923. His tactics
of silencing political dissent within Turkey, were also violent and
often targeted at religious minorities such as Armenians, Assyrians,
Kurds, Alawis and Greeks.
The monument's Website, which is soliciting 150 thousand dollars
for its construction and maintenance, urges constituents to help
commemorate Ataturk "among the world leaders who advanced the cause
for liberation, freedom, and democracy." Yet historians note, it
is due to Ataturk's authoritarian rule, that Turkey was a one-party
state or under military rule for the majority of the 20th century,
and has yet to establish itself as a county where basic democratic
values and freedoms are respected.
The installation of this monument also comes at a very sensitive time
for the Armenian-American community, which is focused on commemorating
the Centennial commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Mustafa Kemal
Ataturk was a leading figure in Turkish society to perpetuate genocide
denial - the current Turkish State's position towards the horrors
committed by their predecessors.
Community members within the City of Carson have expressed their
desire to make their voices heard and object to the blatant disregard
to historical truth that is being put forth in support of the statue.
Council meeting will take place at 701 East Carson Street, starting
at 5 pm., in City Hall's Helen Kawogoe Chambers. Members of the
City Council are; Mayor Jim Dear, who can be contacted via email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (310) 952-1700 ext.1000, Mayor Pro
Tem Elito M. Santarina, Councilmember Lula Davis-Holmes, Councilmember
Albert Robles, City Treasurer Karen Avilla, and City Clerk Donesia
Gause will also be present at the meeting.
CARSON CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER ATATURK STATUE IN CITY'S INTERNATI
Posted 04 March 2015 - 11:06 AM
CARSON CITY COUNCIL TO CONSIDER ATATURK STATUE IN CITY'S INTERNATIONAL SCULPTURE GARDEN
Posted 05 March 2015 - 07:54 AM
Earlier this evening, the Carson City Council unanimously rejected the proposal to erect amemorial monument for Genocide Perpetrator and Denier Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the city's International Sculpture Garden.
The 4-0 vote came after an overflow crowd of community organizations, leaders, activists
and concerned community members packed Carson's City Hall to voice their concerns during the public comment session. While over 298 members opposing the monument and 101 in favor submitted cards to speak, only 6 from each side were afforded the opportunity to comment.
In the weeks leading up to today's vote, the ANCA-WR, Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Armenian Youth Federation, American Hellenic Council, elected officials from neighboring cities, and the concerned citizenry of the local South Bay community, respectively had all been educating the Carson City Councilmembers who had been lobbied by the Los Angeles Turkish American Association with the ill-conceived proposition for erecting a statue of Ataturk on public grounds and rallying the community for tonight's meeting.
"We thank our grassroots and the community based organizations for their unrelenting vigor to time and again advocate for the truth, which Turkish lobbyists shamelessly and unsuccessfully, as evidenced today, try to bury with corrupt funding and preposterous schemes," stated ANCA-WR Executive Director Elen Asatryan. "We applaud Mayor Jim Dear, Mayor Pro Tempore Elita Santarina, and Councilmembers Lula Davis-Homes and Albert Robles for listening to the testimonies and comments from our community and allies and voting against such revisionist agendas," added Asatryan.
Glendale City Mayor Zareh Sinanyan was the first to speak in opposition of the proposal, and recounted his family's personal story of survival of the Armenian Genocide. He informed the Carson City Council that Ataturk was idolized by Nazi Germany and by Hitler for how he 'liberated' Turkey. This liberation, however, included trying to finish what the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey attempted but failed-total annihilation of the Armenians. At the end of his comments Mayor Sinanyan urged the Council to vote against the measure and noted that having an Ataturk Memorial would be the same as having one of Hitler.
"To honor Ataturk is to honor murder, rape, dictatorship, repression, ethnic cleansing and genocide. Today the Armenian community of S. California made sure there is no place for that here or anywhere else in the civilized world," stated Mayor Sinanyan.
Sinanyan's statements were followed by Honorable Mayor of Montebello Jack Hadjinian, Glendale City Clerk Ardashes "Ardy" Kassakhian, Professor Levon Marashlian, and the Vice Chairman of the American Hellenic Council Aris Anagnos who shed light on the historical facts surrounding the Armenian Genocide and Ataturk, all urging the Council to reject this ridiculous measure. In his remarks, Anagnos posed the question that crossed the minds of many "Why would an American city choose to honor a General who fought against Americans?" Read on.
Posted 05 March 2015 - 08:07 AM
13:40 05/03/2015 » MISCELLANEOUS
Carson City Council unanimously rejects Ataturk monument measure
The City Council of City of Carson voted unanimously on Wednesday to reject a measure to erect a monument to Kemal Ataturk in the city, after lengthy debate during the regular city council session, Asbarez reports.
More than 400 people opposing the measure, led by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US Central Committee, Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region, the Armenian Youth Federation and the American Hellenic Council, flocked to the Carson City Hall, where a capacity crowd in the council chamber spilled outside to protest the measure.
Speaking against the monument were Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanian, Montebello Mayor Jack Hadjinian, Glendale City Clerk Ardashes “Ardy” Kassakhian, Professor Levon Marashlian and the Vice Chairman of the American Hellenic Council Aris Anagnos. Although there were only six speakers permitted per side, there were 298 speaker cards submitted in opposition to the monument and 101 in favor.
California State Assemblymembers submitted a letter in opposition to the monument, which was presented at the meeting by a representative of Assemblymember and former Carson City Councilman Mike Gipson, and co-signed by Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian, Katcho Achadjian, Scott Wilk and Mike Gatto.
The Turkish Consul General of Los Angeles Raife Gulru Gezer was one of the six speaking in favor of the monument. Carson Mayor Jim Dear, who initiated the monument proposal, in the end changed his vote.
Posted 05 March 2015 - 04:53 PM
this has been in the works since 2012 i'm told.
over 2 years. and only yesterday we learned about this
Posted 06 March 2015 - 10:31 AM
AMERICAN TV CHANNELS RECORD DISGRACEFUL FAILURE OF TURKISH DIPLOMACY
15:33, 5 March, 2015
YEREVAN, MARCH 5, ARMENPRESS. The leading American TV channels
displayed the disgraceful defeat of the Turkish diplomatic circles
in the City Council of City of Carson, which voted unanimously on
Wednesday to reject a measure to erect a monument to Kemal Ataturk
in the city, after lengthy debate during the regular city council
session. As reports "Armenpress", the prominent American ABC7 aired
a piece of reporting online dedicated to the issue.
The vote came after hours of heated debate Wednesday over the tribute
honoring Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who was the first
president of Turkey.
"I want to celebrate my heritage. Ataturk is George Washington to
our country," Vega Sankur said.
Opponents said Ataturk was a vicious dictator responsible for the
"I highly doubt that if a city was entertaining a German cultural
monument, the German government would recommend a monument of Adolf
Hitler," Montebello Mayor Jack Hadjinian said.
"I'm here to vociferously oppose the donation, installation of the
statue to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk," Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan said.
Tempers flared when the Turkish Consul General addressed the city
council. Opponents standing turned their back on her as she spoke.
Carson is now looking for other sculptures to add to its garden.
Currently, the garden only has one piece of art.
As reports Armenpress citing Asbarez, more than 400 people opposing
the measure, led by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western US
Central Committee, Armenian National Committee of America-Western
Region, the Armenian Youth Federation and the American Hellenic
Council flocked to the Carson City Hall, where a capacity crowd in
the council chamber spilled outside to protest the measure.
Speaking against the monument were Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanian,
Montebello Mayor Jack Hadjinian, Glendale City Clerk Ardashes "Ardy"
Kassakhian, Professor Levon Marashlian and the Vice Chairman of the
American Hellenic Council Aris Anagnos. Although there were only six
speakers permitted per side, there were 298 speaker cards submitted
in opposition to the monument and 101 in favor.
California State Assemblymembers submitted a letter in opposition to
the monument, which was presented at the meeting by a representative
of Assemblymember and former Carson City Councilman Mike Gipson,
and co-signed by Assemblymembers Adrin Nazarian, Katcho Achadjian,
Scott Wilk and Mike Gatto.
The Turkish Consul General of Los Angeles Raife Gulru Gezer was one
of the six speaking in favor of the monument. Carson Mayor Jim Dear,
who initiated the monument proposal, in the end changed his vote.
Posted 07 March 2015 - 08:53 AM
TURKISH PROPAGANDA ASSAULT
Friday, March 6th, 2015
BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
Armenians have two recent victories to celebrate, the Starbucks snafu
and toppling of a proposed Ataturk statue in the City of Carson before
it was even erected.
I'm convinced the first example was an honest mistake born of
ignorance. But the second one, that's another story. That statue
project has been in the mill for a few years, and is part of an
ongoing effort by Turkey and Turks living in the U.S. to sanitize
that country's murderous history, and along with that, deny and bury
any talk of the Armenian Genocide.
If there was any doubt of this intent, one need only remember the
joint Aliev-Erdogan mutual-assistance-through-deceit pledge made back
in September, 2014. Turkey would help slam Armenia in the context of
the Gharapagh issue, and Azerbaijan would promote Genocide denial.
On this front, the millions of dollars these two countries have spent
have been largely for naught. Their "success" has been largely limited
to Washington D.C. where the cynical, utterly immoral calculus of
international relations has allowed them to dupe all three branches
of the U.S. federal government.
On the local level, duplicitous Dick Gephardt's consulting firm's
contract with the City of Los Angeles has recently been dumped because
of his denialist activities. In Colorado and New Hampshire (only the
most recent examples), attempts to pass pro-Azerbaijan resolutions
in state legislatures have failed repeatedly. Since many of these
states have miniscule Armenian communities--meaning no votes and no
money for politicians, I have to believe that ultimately those elected
officials acted out of a sense of decency and truth. That's heartening.
But two questions have to be asked, one from the Turkish side and
the other from the Armenian. For the citizens of Turkey, is all this
money from government coffers worth spending? Even if a given Turk is
a denier, s/he's got to be pondering this expense. And, an article in
"Al-Monitor", a Turkish on-line multi-lingual publication implicitly
asks this question after citing the Los Angeles and Starbucks examples,
and describing Turks' (in Turkey) reactions.
The piece explains that due to an incorrect translation, people in
Turkey thought Armenians were objecting to a Turkish flag. As a result,
we were treated to the laughable scene of police being dispatched to
hang Turkish flags on Starbucks stores in Adana. Even more telling,
when a few days later the Khojali hoax was being "commemorated" in
Turkey, racist banners appeared in some Turkish cities. One group
named "Genc Atsizlar" hung a banner that read "We celebrate the 100th
anniversary of cleansing our country from Armenians. We are proud of
our honorable ancestors." That's a very interesting way of confessing
to the Genocide, don't you think?
To the extent that these events and actions are connected, Turkey's
incessant propaganda campaign, both internal and external, is clearly
backfiring. Nevertheless, the question on Armenians' minds should be:
"how do we stop being trapped by Turkey-funded propaganda assaults
into fighting pointless micro-battles?" No matter how successful we
are at putting out these "fires" set by Turkish "pyromaniacs", they
are still a waste of time and energy, although they do provide the
fringe benefit of publicizing our cause. With this in mind, the topic
of my piece last week, Turkish commercial penetration in the U.S., is
something we must be alert to. Just think, what average Joe is likely
to believe that Turks are capable of genocide when all s/he knows
about Turkey is the yummy food (stolen cuisine) at the neighborhood
"Turkish" restaurant served by a cute Turkish youngster? Or, when the
bathrobe s/he uses and loves is Turkish-made? Or, the ships bringing
various goods to American ports are Turkish built?
We must proactively set the agenda, and be sure that an overwhelming
majority of our nation is on board with that agenda. We have done, and
continue to do this every time we introduce congressional/parliamentary
initiatives (laws, resolutions, investigations, etc.). But this
is limited and limiting. Our full agenda must become an item of
international discussions and popular movements in non-Armenian
Posted 07 March 2015 - 09:16 AM
CARSON SCRAPS PLAN FOR MONUMENT TO TURKISH PRESIDENT CONNECTED TO ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
Daily Breeze, CA
March 5 2015
By Sandy Mazza, Daily Breeze
Hundreds of protesters crowded Carson City Hall late Tuesday, calling
Mayor Jim Dear's plan to install a Civic Center monument to a man
they hold responsible for the massacre of more than 1â~@~Imillion
Armenians an affront to human rights.
Dear hatched the proposal with members of the Turkish community,
who had already commissioned designs for the statue of the first
president of the Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The mayor
wanted to add the piece to the city's International Sculpture Garden.
Dear, who accepted a $3,000 campaign contribution from the Turkish
community last month, said he intended the garden on the grounds of
Carson City Hall to be an artistic nod to world peace and democracy.
City officials have sought sculpture donations of world leaders,
and the Los Angeles Turkish American Association was excited to
But before the City Council could give the project its blessing Tuesday
night, furious protesters said it would be akin to erecting a statue
of Adolf Hitler.
Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan told council members he was shocked
they would even consider such an offensive idea.
"Approximately half of Glendale residents are Armenian-American and
survivors of the Armenian genocide," Sinanyan said. "My namesake was
born 80 kilometers outside of Constantinople and subjected to the
horrible genocide of 1915 but managed to survive. That's the only
reason I'm here tonight.
"Don't accept this gift."
Extra Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies attended the meeting to
maintain peace between the two groups, which alternately erupted in
angry outbursts throughout the discussion. Dear and Councilman Albert
Robles, who had supported the plans, backpedaled during the meeting
and the idea ultimately was scrapped on a unanimous vote.
"I think the International Sculpture Garden, which was your idea Mayor
Dear, is a great idea," Robles said. "But the purpose of the garden
was to bring positive and noteworthy coverage to the city of Carson.
Not the type of coverage we're receiving today, which is controversial
and not positive."
Representatives of the Turkish community argued passionately in favor
of the monument, which was to consist of a series of nine plaques on
pedestals lauding Ataturk, a man they likened to George Washington,
as the founder of modern Turkey. It was to be the second installment
in the International Sculpture Garden. Dear proposed the garden in
2010, and it currently has one statue -- donated by the Republic of
the Philippines -- of Dr. Jose P. Rizal, a Filipino national hero.
Posted 09 March 2015 - 09:22 AM
Talk about Turkish hypocrisy, that this failed because of Armenian pressure, while forgetting the pressure that the Turkish government applies to other countries around the world against Armenian Genocide recognition.
Cihan News Agency (CNA), TurkeyMarch 6, 2015 Friday
AtatÃ¼rk memorial proposal rejected in Los Angeles
Ã?Â°STANBUL (CÃ?Â°HAN)- A proposal to build a monument to the founder of the
Turkish Republic, Mustafa Kemal AtatÃ¼rk, in Los Angeles's
International Sculpture Park was rejected by the Carson City Council,
under pressure from the Armenian diaspora.
Several media outlets reported that, following an hours-long debate on
March 4, the Carson City Council voted unanimously to oppose the
construction of the statue. The decision was made based on votes
influenced by community organizations and activists, who voiced
concerns during a public comment session. A total of 298 people sought
to speak in opposition to the monument while 101 were present to speak
in favor of the monument's construction. Only six from each side were
afforded the opportunity to comment, according to media sources.
Among the council members was Carson Mayor Jim Dear. Mentioning that
he is a professor of history, Dear claimed in a statement during the
meeting that Turks perpetrated a "genocide" against the Armenians. As
the meeting was under the scrutiny of California's Armenian diaspora,
representatives were present, offering harsh sentiments towards
AtatÃ¼rk and the Turkish people, and stressing that a memorial to
AtatÃ¼rk might dishonor Los Angeles. After the vote ended with a
rejection to the proposal, several Armenian members of the public
expressed their joy with shrieks of delight. Some of them had
reportedly verbally harassed some of the Turks attending the meeting.
Speaking at the meeting, the Turkish consul general in Los Angeles,
Raife GÃ¼lru Gezer, mentioned AtatÃ¼rk's world-embracing vision and told
the attendees about his personality that had served as an example to
scores of world leaders. Gezer's speech was protested by Armenian
attendees as they stood up and turned their back to the council's
After the meeting, Burcu Tansu, the head of the Association of Turkish
Americans of Southern California (ATASC), expressed her sorrow over
the decision she believed the Carson City Council made based on
pressure from the Armenian diaspora. Speaking to the DoÃ?Â?an news
agency, Tansu also said the decision will draw the representatives of
both nations further apart.
Posted 26 November 2015 - 12:10 PM
Good riddance Dear!
COUNCILMAN WHO PROPOSED ATATURK STATUE IN CARSON BEING RECALLED
45 mins ago 25/11/15
Former Mayor of Carson, Jim Dear is being recalled
CARSON, Calif.--More than 12,000 signatures were submitted to City
Hall to recall current City Clerk and former Mayor Jim Dear of
Carson. Dear recently gained notoriety and attention among Greek,
Armenian and Assyrian communities for proposing that Carson build
a statue commemorating the Turkish dictator and founder of modern
Turkish State, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
The proposed statue was going to be placed in Carson's International
Sculpture Garden. The idea was brought forth by then-Mayor Jim Dear
and according to the monument's website "the Ataturk Monument in LA
(ATAMLA) team worked for 2.5 years closely with the City of Carson to
select a location, to design the monument, and move through the city
master planning process, building and safety departments to receive
approvals from all staff."
According to the website of the sponsors of the monument, Dear
was part of the committee and helped shepherd the project forward
until news of it reached Armenian and Greek-American individuals and
organizations. At the March 3, 2015 City Council meeting, hundreds of
concerned citizens filled the council chambers to protest the proposed
statue-monument. Numerous groups and individuals appeared before the
council including Glendale City Clerk Ardy Kassakhian, Glendale Mayor
Zareh Sinanyan and Montebello City Councilman Jack Hadjinian. A number
of Turkish residents and activists spoke as well including the Consul
General of the Republic of Turkey in Los Angeles. The council voted
4-0 to suspend action on building of the monument.
Dear ran for City Clerk soon after the Ataturk statue controversy in
an attempt to oust sitting City Clerk Donesia Gause - a professional
City Clerk who was appointed to the post and had worked in the City
Clerk's office in the city of Long Beach. Dear who was first elected
to the City Council in Carson in 2001 ran an aggressive campaign
and claimed that his goal was to bring reforms to the City Clerk's
offices. According to the Daily Breeze, Dear "has been at the center
of allegations regarding election fraud and repeated violations of his
duties, as well as an investigation into employee claims of harassment
and discrimination at his hands."
To recall Dear, 8000 valid signatures needed to be submitted. The
12,000 collected exceeded that number. Dear submitted 1600 withdrawal
cards from supporters he claimed signed the recall petition but later
wished to have their names removed. Regardless, the overall signatures
calling for the recall far exceed the 5171 votes Dear received in
the 2015 election that saw him oust the incumbent City Clerk. His
overall percentage of votes received for the seat was 52.6 percent.
An election will now be set to hold a recall and to select a
replacement should the recall prevail. The race will draw a lot
of attention from everyone in LA County particularly the Armenian
and Greek communities who were affected by Dear's last act as
Mayor. Even though he joined his four colleagues to vote down the
Ataturk monument, many still feel his stewardship is what opened the
door for the attempt to build the statue in the first place.
The Carson City Clerk recall election is scheduled to take place
on February 23, 2016. For more information on the recall, visit
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