Turkish-Canadian organizations lobby Trudeau regarding misinformation campaign
Prime Minister Trudeau recently received a letter signed by 20 local and national Turkish-Canadian organizations representing strong and vibrant Turkish-Canadian communities. The coalition has directed its concerns to Trudeau about what it calls the ongoing disinformation campaign in Canada regarding recent developments in the South Caucasus region where a border conflict is flaring up.
The letter accuses that Armenian-Canadian and Greek-Canadian organizations of spearheading an information campaign intended “to demonize Turks and Azerbaijanis.” The Turkish community in Canada feels that its voice is not being heard to the same extent by the public. It is particularly disappointed that several Canadian politicians and media outlets have also been influenced by what it describes as a one-sided approach that is escalating tensions among the communities without considering the possibility of confrontation. It points to recent violence against Turkish-Canadians and Azerbaijani-Canadians that it feels was inspired by this misinformation campaign.
“We are extremely worried that these groups are importing their ethnic and religious grievances into Canada, damaging the progressive, multicultural and diverse fabric of our society,” the Turkish coalition states in the letter to the PM. They are calling on the government:
- To take every necessary step to stop this hatred campaign and avoid future violence against Turkish-Canadians and Azerbaijani-Canadians,
- To support and actively work towards a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in line with the relevant UN Security Council and UN General Assembly resolutions, (UN Security Council Resolutions (1993) 822, 853, 874, 884, UN General Assembly Resolution (2008) 62/243),
- To carefully monitor Armenian-Canadian organizations’ fundraising, not to channel tax deductible Canadian funds to armed groups or other organizations that aims to change demographics of the occupied territories under the guise of humanitarian aid,
- To assume a balanced approach with regard to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, by regular dialogue with both sides,
- To start a government humanitarian support program to help improve livelihoods of one million Azerbaijanis that were forced out of their homes after Armenia’s invasion of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding Azerbaijani regions in 1990s,
- To condemn Armenia’s missile attacks on civilian populations in Azerbaijani cities that are far away from the front-line. We see these inhuman assaults as Armenian attempts to spread the conflict into wider international level,
- To work with international actors, including NATO ally Turkey, in a constructive manner to end conflicts and build a prosperous future in the South Caucasus.
The coalition of Turkish-Canadian organizations stresses that Canada’s leaders have the responsibility to make sure Canada’s multi-cultural mosaic will not be harmed by imported hatred and disinformation campaigns. It believes that Canada’s peaceful approach to uphold international law, and its unbiased approach to address humanitarian sufferings in South Caucasus should guide Canadian society and the information it receives.