Earlier today, Mari Manoogian, a member of the Michigan House of Representatives received a letter from Ayşe Selcan Şanlı, the Consulate General of the Republic of Turkey in Chicago, in which Şanlı criticized Manoogian for her work in furthering the affirmation and recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
“I am thoroughly disgusted by this letter I received from the Turkish Consul General re: HR 253 that denies the fact that what happened to my family & millions of Armenians from 1915-1923 at the hands of the Ottoman Empire is genocide. In it, the CG gives the definition of genocide as defined by the UN, but conveniently omits that the definition was coined by Raphael Lemkin specifically in reference to the Armenian Genocide. People ask me all the time why it’s important to reaffirm something that happened more than 100 years ago. This is just one example of the Genocide continuing to be perpetrated against the Armenians—gaslighting the descendants of those who perished is an affront to the truth,” said Manoogian on a Facebook post.
“Although I can’t say its contents were such a surprise to me, receiving that letter from the Consul General of Turkey in Chicago was incredibly disappointing,” Rep. Manoogian said. “Denialism is a form of ongoing genocide in and of itself; it continues and perpetuates the crimes committed against the ancestors of every Armenian-American,” said Manoogian to Zartonk Media.
“In Michigan, the Armenian Genocide is law. Under MCL 380.1168, it is taught as historical fact in our schools alongside the Holocaust, the Rwandan Genocide, and the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in the former Yugoslavia. As the descendants of those against whom crimes were committed, it is incumbent upon each of us to honor our ancestors’ memories by making sure such horrors are never seen again in our world. This begins with true and complete recognition, and I am proud to stand in the Michigan Legislature as the great-granddaughter of survivors of the Armenian Genocide to stand up for our community and all communities affected by genocide against the propaganda of denialist politicians,” added Manoogian to Zartonk Media.
Mari Manoogian is an Armenian-American politician from Michigan who represents the 40th District in the Michigan House of Representatives. A member of the Democratic Party, her constituency includes several communities within Oakland County, including Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, and part of West Bloomfield Township. Manoogian’s family are descendants of survivors of the Armenian Genocide. She is a member of St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church in Dearborn.