Armenian Americans rally in opposition to Mehmet Oz’s Pennsylvania Senate bid

Armenian Americans rally in opposition to Mehmet Oz’s Pennsylvania Senate bid, NBC News reports.

Pennsylvania Senate hopeful Mehmet Oz has faced a barrage of questions and criticism from his Republican primary opponents about his initial refusal to relinquish his dual Turkish citizenship.

Oz relented and said he would give up his formal ties with Turkey.

But prominent leaders of the Armenian community argue that his ties to Turkey demand further scrutiny as Oz, the celebrity physician who picked up the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, competes in the crowded Senate race.

Allies have rejected questions about Oz’s Turkish heritage as racist and as dog whistles. But some Armenian American leaders say Oz has failed to adequately answer questions about the Armenian Genocide.

“No one in this community will ever vote for Dr. Oz,” said Mark Momjian, a prominent Philadelphia attorney and the former chair of the Armenian Center at Columbia University. “We are convinced that he is part of a denial campaign when it comes to the Armenian genocide.”

To Americans of Armenian descent, Oz is a famous Turkish American who has, over his long public career, seemed uncomfortable condemning the atrocity that is as important to them as the Holocaust is to Jews, NBC News writes.

“For the better part of the last 100 years, we have been trying to wrestle the memory of the Armenian genocide out of Turkey’s grip,” said Aram Hamparian, the executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America. “So when somebody is running for office who is close to the leader of that country, who has served in the military of that country — that’s a three-alarm fire.”

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