Monday, March 31st, 2014

Protesters in front of the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles. March
28, 2014.

LOS ANGELES--On Friday, March 28, hundreds of activists gathered in
front of the Turkish Consulate in Los Angeles to protest Turkey's role
in recent attacks against civilians in Kessab, Syria. The protest was
organized by the Armenian Youth Federation and the Kessab Educational

Civilians in Kessab were forced to flee their homes following attacks
by al-Qaeda-linked groups on March 21.Turkey reportedly allowed
hundreds of radical foreign fighters to cross its border and attack
the civilian population, which includes over 2,000 Christian Armenians
whose ancestors survived the Armenian Genocide. Armenian homes and
churches were systematically desecrated and looted by the invaders.

Some reports stated that injured extremists were returning to Turkey
for medical treatment.

Protesters urged President Obama to condemn Turkey's actions and demand
that Turkey stop aiding the invaders immediately. The protest was
paired with a social media campaign to bring attention and awareness
to the atrocities taking place in Kessab facilitated by the Turkish

Social media users addressed the Kessab crisis using the hashtag
#SaveKessab. The campaign began at 12 p.m. on Friday and continued
throughout the weekend. AYF regions across the world contributed via
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The social media campaign found success on Facebook, as the hashtag
continues to trend today. On Twitter, there are nearly 100,000 tweets
containing the hashtag, with an estimated reach of about 40 million
people. Some high-profile tweets by Kim and Khloe Kardashian, The
Game, Travis Barker, and Chris Martin also helped bring light to
the campaign.

Councilmen Paul Krikorian (Los Angeles) and Jack Hadjinian (Montebello)
addressed the crowd at the protest and called for Turkey to stop
helping the al-Qaeda-linked forces. Garo Ghazourian, Alique Cherchian
and Alik Ourfalian delivered the AYF's message.

The Armenian Youth Federation asks that all individuals posting about
Kessab with #SaveKessab ensure that they use correct and factual
information as to not discredit the campaign. Please make sure to
conduct research on the photos, videos and statements being used to
make sure that they are from the recent occurrences. Facts are what
has made this campaign persevere. Let us educate ourselves in order
to educate others.

Founded in 1933, the Armenian Youth Federation is the largest and most
influential Armenian-American youth organization in the United States,
working to advance the social, political, educational and cultural
awareness of Armenian-American youth.