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US Federal Court Rejects Armenian Reparations

Category: General Announcements
Published: 31 August 2009
Written by Administrator
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9th Circuit Court of Appeals invalidated the 2000 Poochigian Law, in Movsesian v. Victoria Versicherung, et al.

In 2000 California enacted a law sponsored by state Senator Chuck Poochigian that sought to force insurance companies that had sold life insurance in the Ottoman Empire to Ottoman Armenians in effect to pay reparations to Armenian claimants under the disputed theory that they died from acts of genocide.

Armenian American claimants sued the insurer, Victoria Verischerung, and its re-insurer, Munich Ruckversicherung, both German companies. The Republic of Turkey notified the Court of the continued diplomacy between Turkey and the United States on the Armenian matter.

The Court invalidated the Poochigian Law because it unconstitutionally interfered with U.S. foreign policy not to prejudice Turkey with an unproven allegation of genocide. The Court's opinion can be read here

The Circuit Court's ruling comes shortly after ATAA and its California-based Component Organizations, the Turkish American Association of California (TAACA) and the Association of Turkish Americans of Southern California (ATASC), in cooperation with the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund (TALDF) and Turkish Union of Chambers of Commerce and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB-USA), defeated California Assembly Bill 961 which similarly sought to penalize companies that did business in the Ottoman Empire and who do business in Turkey today. ATAA President-Elect Ergün Kırlıkovalı and longtime ATAA volunteer Karahan Mete lead more than 25 Turkish Americans to provide public statements at the California Assembly. An elderly Turkish American woman placed roses on the podium for each of her family members who was massacred during the Armenian Revolt (1885-1921), that caused the deaths and displacement of over 600,000 Muslims and Jews in Eastern Ottoman Anatolia.