The U.S. House of Representatives is considering a resolution that calls the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide. The White House has opposed the measure and it has angered the Turkish government.
Nigar Goksel, editor in chief of Turkish Policy Quarterly, says the events of 1915 are not denied in Turkey. The contention is over the use of the term genocide, which many in Turkey believe is being used to discredit them. Turkey also contends that the Armenian deaths were not as systematic as the term suggests.
Goksel says there is already a lot of anti-Americanism in Turkey over the war in neighboring Iraq. However, the U.S. military uses the country's airspace and one of its bases to conduct the war. But if the House passes the resolution, relations could be further stained and Turkey could cut off military ties with the United States.
For Armenians in the U.S., though, the passage of the House resolution is being considered a "historical moment."
Southern California has the largest number of Armenians living in the United States. Doualy Xaykaothao of member station KPCC reports from Glendale, the Armenian heart of Los Angeles.
The House resolution has wide-spread support in the Armenian community. Some Armenian-Americans suggest that passing of the measure might even spur the U.S. to address a modern genocide — Darfur.
The House vote is expected sometime before Thanksgiving.