t h e honor a bl e congr e s s m a n t h a dde us g. mcco t t e r 17197 North Laurel Park Drive Livonia, mi 48152 March 4, 2010 Dear Congressman McCotter: I recently received a copy of the letter which you wrote to one of our members, Ms. Falkiewicz, regarding your support for H. Res. 252. I was very disappointed to see the wording you chose in order to defend your actions on this subject matter. I am specifically referring to your second paragraph where you state that “…Turks began their genocidal purge…” You chose not to use “Ottoman Government” nor “Young Turks” and instead decided on just using “Turk,” which I believe is a very disturbing choice of words to explain your reasoning to support H. Res. 252. I, on behalf of my community, do not appreciate the connotations intended by your wording to vilify an entire ethnic group. This is an insult to our Turkish Community and all Turks who live in the United States and in Turkey. I think you owe us an apology. It was an extremely poor and vile choice of words to make a statement about an entire people. Would you, Honorable Congressman, stand by if another country branded all Americans as perpetrators of genocide based on our history of enslavement of millions of Africans and the elimination of nearly the entire indigenous American Indian population? No you would not, because it is unfair to label an entire people based on an interpretation of the actions of some individuals in the past. I believe you to be a man of character, and thus I feel you would fight that charge; just as we are fighting your charge against us in your letter.
With jobs still being lost in Michigan every day, why are you devoting your energy to a non-binding resolution that attempts to turn politicians into historians? Indeed this resolution lacks any meaning or substance beyond dishonoring a frontline ally against the Soviet Union, and a modern ally in the War for Freedom against Terrorism. Whether you agree or disagree with my opinion on this resolution, it does not give you the right to defame Turks. In modern history no nation has a claim of being completely innocent of acts of violence — including Western countries that are quick to condemn other nations. Where I take personal issue is with your usage of a decontextualized facet of World War I history, a history rarely taught in its totality in the United States, and branding an entire people in such a way to simply score political points or solicit campaign donations. Turkish-Americans are an important part of the history of the United States, and an important part of Michigan’s 11th district. We are business owners, engineers, academics, entrepreneurs, educators and active citizens engaged in our communities. Instead of ignoring this constituency, you should be honored that the 11th district has been the home of the Turkish community for almost 40 years and that your district has one of the highest numbers of Turkish-Americans in this Great State of ours. I hope you understand Sir, and will review your previous conclusions so that you may apologize for the poor choice of words that you have used in your attempt to slander all Turkish people. I look forward to sharing such correspondence from you with our entire community.
leylâ ahmed 2009 – 2010 tacam president
Response letter from the 2009-2010 president of the Turkish American Cultural Association of Michigan about the letter written from the offi...