GENOCIDE DISPUTE BURSTS INTO SOCAL US HOUSE RACE

San Jose Mercury News
http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_10854357
O ct 30 2008
CA

PASADENA, Calif.--A Southern California contender for a U.S. House
seat has received thousands of dollars of campaign contributions
raised by a Turkish-American businessman opposed to the incumbent
candidate's support of a failed resolution calling the 1915 killing
of Armenians by Ottoman Turks genocide.

Charles Hahn, who is seeking to unseat Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff,
received $5,700 from fundraising and contributions by Ergun
Kirlikovali, the Pasadena Star-News reported on its Web site Wednesday.

Hahn has also received $2,300 from the national Turkish Coalition USA
Political Action Committee, which also opposed Schiff's legislation.

Kirlikovali, who runs a Web site denying that a genocide took
place, said the main reason he and others at his fundraiser for
Hahn supported the Republican challenger was because they disliked
Schiff's resolution.

"I find Schiff's stand racist and dishonest," Kirlikovali said. "I'd
like to support someone who can defeat him."

Schiff, whose district includes tens of thousands of Armenians,
said he found Kirlikovali's involvement troubling.

"This is a pretty narrow special interest group that is devoted to
eradicating the memory of genocide," he said.

The resolution failed last year after inflaming U.S. tensions with
Turkey, which denies the deaths of as many as 1.5 million Armenians
constituted genocide. It says the toll has been inflated, and those
killed were victims of civil war and unrest as the Ottoman Empire
fell into disarray.

Hahn said he does not deny that an Armenian genocide took place,
but said he would not have supported Schiff's legislation. He said he
would like to introduce legislation that Armenian- and Turkish-American
groups could agree on. He would not say what specifically his bill
would say or accomplish.