(AINA) — A second member of Australia’s New South Wales Parliament has responded to the Turkish Consul General’s condemnation of the recognition of the Assyrian, Greek and Armenian genocides of World War One. Marie Ficarra, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier of NSW, has written a strong response to the Turkish Consul’s letter. Yesterday, Rev. Hon. Fred Nile, the Parliamentary Leader and member of the Christian Democratic Party, responded to the Turkish Consul General’s letter (AINA 5-14-2013).
Marie Ficarra’s letter follows.
Mr Gulseren Celik
Consul General of the Republic of Turkey Sydney
66 Ocean Street
WOOLLAHRA, NSW 2025
Dear Consul General
I refer to your correspondence forwarded on your behalf to all Members of the NSW Parliament by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, The Hon Shelley Hancock concerning the unanimous Resolution of the NSW Legislative Council in recognition of the Genocides of the indigenous Assyrian and Hellenic peoples of Anatolia, incorporating a re-affirmation of the 1997 recognition of the Genocide of the indigenous Armenian people.
You may also be aware that since the Resolution of the Legislative Council, the Premier of New South Wales, The Hon Barry O’Farrell MP, has moved a similar Motion which was passed unanimously by the Legislative Assembly.
As democratically elected representatives of the people of New South Wales, we are duty bound to respond to issues of concern to our constituents. Indeed, the issues raised in the unanimous Resolutions of both Houses are an effort to respond to those concerns and acknowledge the grieving.
I have read Turkey’s No: 133, 7 May 2013, Press Release regarding the Motion Passed by the Legislative Council of the Parliament of the State of New South Wales in Australia. I can assure you that the statement “a session at the State Parliament attended by a small number of parliamentarians” is incorrect and the Minutes of proceedings indicate this. I must also reject and note that I find it offensive the comments “It is evident that history will not be rewritten by such motions passed with petty political calculations under the influence of ethnic lobbies known for their excesses and prejudices”.
To politicise Gallipoli is also an unacceptable and irrational act and comments such as “not have their place in the Çanakkale ceremonies where we commemorate together our sons lying side by side in our soil” only diminishes Turkey’s credibility and reputation. I condemn such excessive comments and actions.
I commend both the Hon the Rev Fred Nile MLC and the Premier, The Hon Barry O’Farrell MP on their initiative and care for many people in New South Wales who value such acknowledgement.
I also reject the incorrect assertion that the Resolutions of the Parliament are “hate speeches”. I reiterate The Hon Fred Nile’s statements that his Motion, and I know the Premier’s similarly was not to attack or denigrate the modern State of Turkey but place on record the undeniable true history and properly acknowledge those who have suffered such disgraceful atrocities.
The Honourable Marie Ficarra MLC
Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier of NSW