PanARMENIAN.Net - Under pressure from the Los Angeles City Council, the California Legislature and the Armenian-American community, Mercury Public Affairs announced on Friday, October 23 that it has severed its business relationship with the government of Turkey and scrapped a $1 million contract.
On Tuesday, Councilmember Paul Krekorian wrote a letter, co-signed by all of his colleagues on the Los Angeles City Council, to Mercury's president, demanding that the firm cease its work on behalf of Turkey. Krekorian's letter stated that he and the other signatories will "never have any dealings whatsoever with any firm that gives support to a client that commits genocide or denies the truth of genocide. Period."
The demands were in response to the brutal and unprovoked invasion of the Republic of Artsakh (formerly Nagorno-Karabagh) by Azerbaijan, with the full support of its close ally Turkey. Azerbaijan's attack, which continues unabated despite international calls for a cease fire, has included the destruction of civilian targets using Turkish weapons. Turkey has also provided operational support to Azerbaijan's aggression, and has sent thousands of mercenaries into the conflict from Syria and Libya.
"I applaud and respect Mercury for taking this very meaningful step today," said Krekorian. "Mercury has done the right thing by choosing not to do business with a government that is the perpetrator of the first genocide in modern history, one of the worst abusers of human rights in the world, and a bellicose imperialist that threatens world peace with its lust for conquest."
Krekorian also welcomed the news that two other international public affairs firms, DLA Piper and the Livingston Group, recently cut their business ties with Azerbaijan. "I hope other firms will soon follow Mercury's lead. Any firm that chooses to continue to give advice and comfort to the dictators of Turkey and Azerbaijan will be held accountable for assisting their war crimes and their attempts to destroy the Armenian people."
Azerbaijan, with help from Turkey and Syrian and Libyan mercenaries deployed by Ankara, started a war against Karabakh (Artsakh) in the morning of September 27. The Armenian side has reported deaths and injuries both among the civilian population and the military. Foreign and local journalists too have been injured in Azeri shelling of towns and villages.