The TALDF has sponsored an advertisement in Roll Call regarding the apparent continued embrace of Mr. Mourad Toplian by the Armenian National Committee of America, the organization which he once headed. We did this to bring to light the fact that few things can chill speech more quickly and more severely than terrorism. The government’s indictment of Mr. Topalian implicates him in crimes calculated to frighten Turkish Americans from possessing or expressing certain views on Ottoman history. He pleaded guilty to criminal acts related to those crimes. At his sentencing, Turkish Americans submitted a victims’ impact statement regarding the lingering effects of the era of Armenian terrorism on Turkish Americans who wish to express themselves freely. The judge issued the maximum sentence, and told Mr. Topalian, “The best lesson Mr. Topalian has to teach [his children] at this moment is that no one is above the law, no matter how much he believes in the rightness of his cause.” The TALDF believes that Mr. Topalian is a poor example of the type of “activist” that any organization should embrace and present to members of Congress.
Ad published in Roll Call, a Capitol Hill publication, on April 16, 2008. Please click on the image to see the full size ad.