Analysis No : 2021 / 13
3 min read

In our previous articles, we discussed why Hampig Sassounian should not be released within the framework of the law. In addition to the legal argument, we highlighted that Sassounian's release threatened public security. If it had not been a politicized issue by the United States, the decisions to be made on this issue would have been clear. However, the issue’s justice-related dimension was left aside, and instead, actions were taken based on political concerns.

When we look at the trial process even after removing elements such as nationality, name, and gender, the influence of law in this issue should not change. It is clear that Sassounian harbors obvious grudge and anger. Even when this issue is evaluated solely in this sense, it can be stated the release of the aforementioned will cause deep wounds in US jurisprudence. Not only will the Turkey-US relations be affected, but the US citizens trust for the prosecution process will also be shaken. In fact, there have been many US citizens who expressed this concern under the statement of US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Twitter. The release of a murderer/terrorist who shows no sign of remorse will clearly reinforce this person’s conviction that it is permissible to use violence.

Articles have been penned in the US press that seem to be on the side of law yet are in favor of terrorist Sassounian’s release. One of these articles have been penned by Harut Sassounian from The California Courier, who stands out with his articles against Turkey. Although the author advocates for the release of terrorist Sassounian, he has also felt the need to emphasize that they have no connection with each other besides a similarity in last names.

Sassounian states in his article that "violence cannot be justified regardless of the reason" and writes that Consul General Arıkan cannot be held responsible for the so-called genocide. The author Sassounian does not consider Turkey’s legal justifications to be convincing. However, this shows that he does not know or is not concerned with the US law. Since, even if there are contradictory expressions, the statement presented by the Governor takes precedence over other factors. In addition, there is actually no contradictory statements here. Governor Newsom submitted to the court the San Quentin State Prison’s report on mental health as evidence. According to the report, it is stated that the release of the murderer Sassounian will pose a threat to public security. However, it is seen that the judge disregarded such an important justification[1]. Since the US Judge did not enforce the law of his own country, it can be considered natural that the author of The California Courier does not find the reasons and evidence "convincing" and does not respect the US law.

In his column, Harut Sassounian clearly asserts that there are valid grounds for the Armenian terror and states that the Armenians may feel regret for the killing of a Turk if Turkey accepts the so-called genocide. The phrase, "a Turk", used here is extremely shallow. In California alone, four Turkish diplomats were brutally murdered. In addition to the attacks on the Turkish consulate building, numerous Turkish people were subjected to the attacks of ultra-nationalist Armenians. The professors who defend Turkey’s thesis on the Armenian question were subjected protests by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF/Dashnak Party) and insulting slogans were shouted against Turkey and Atatürk. Especially in California, anti-Turkish hostility is at a high level. This hate-mongering needs to be curbed. These and similar decisions will open the door to the further encouragement of the Dashnaks. The California Governor's return from this wrong decision, which hurt the honor of the Turks living in California while backing the Armenians there, is important within the framework of respecting his own country’s legal system.


Photograph: Harut Sassounian - Home | Facebook


[1] Hazel Çağan Elbir, “The Sassounian Question Prior To 24 April - The US Applies Double Standards”,, March 23, 2021,

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