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Call to boycott film denying Greek, Assyrian and Armenian genocide

The American Hellenic Council issued an official statement against Turkish production The Ottoman Lieutenant

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A still from The Ottoman Lieutenant.

17 March 2017

A recently released Turkish production The Ottoman Lieutenant has come under fire for its denial of the Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian genocide.

The American Hellenic Council (AHC) has issued a statement along with the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) Western United States urging the Greek American community and descendants of the genocide to jointly boycott the film.

"The film is a blatant attempt to repudiate the upcoming movie, The Promise, and mislead impressionable youth into believing the Genocide was a 'two-sided' event," the statement written by AHC executive director Ioannis Fidanaki reads.

"Although we at the AHC, acknowledge that Ottoman Turks were affected by the state of war throughout the Empire, like all Ottoman citizens, their suffering cannot be equated with a systematic campaign of extermination, which befell the native Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian peoples of Eastern Thrace and Anatolia."

The AHC also calls for the public to join an AYF-initiated letter writing campaign to local theatres in a bid to educate them about the intents of the film.

Released on 10 March, The Ottoman Lieutenant is directed by Joseph Ruben and stars Michiel Huisman, Hera Hilmar, Josh Hartnett, and Ben Kingsley.

Set in Ittihadist, Turkey, it follows the love story between an American nurse (Hilmar) and Turkish officer (Huisman) during the First World War, and subsequently the period of the genocide.

To join the letter writing campaign, email ioannis@americanhellenic.org for further details.

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