A Joint letter sent to the management of Hyatt Hotels Corporation by the Turkic-American Organizations
On September 20, 2012, Assembly of Turkish-American Associations (ATAA), Azerbaijani-American Council (AAC), the Federation of Turkish-American Associations (FTAA) and the Azerbaijan Society of America (ASA) issued a joint letter regarding the involvement of Hyatt CEO, Mark S. Hoplamazian, in ethnic propaganda campaigns.
September 20, 2012
Attention: Thomas J. Pritzker
Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors
Hyatt Hotels Corporation
71 South Wacker Dr, 12th Floor, Chicago, IL 60606
Re: A joint letter of concern by the Turkic-American community organizations
Dear Mr. Pritzker,
On behalf of the Assembly of Turkish-American Associations (ATAA), Azerbaijani-American Council (AAC), the Federation of Turkish-American Associations (FTAA) and the Azerbaijan Society of America (ASA), together representing over half million Americans of Turkic descent, we express our concern over the involvement of Hyatt CEO, Mark S. Hoplamazian, in ethnic propaganda campaigns. On September 22, 2012, Mr. Hoplamazian will address the 40th anniversary gala of the Armenian Assembly of America (AAA), an Armenian-American lobbying group, as a Hyatt executive. According to the AAA website, Mr. Hoplamazian also serves on the Advisory Board of "Facing History and Ourselves", a non-profit group that "teaches about the Armenian genocide".
As you may know, the allegations of "Armenian genocide" are a subject of political and historical controversy. The World War I-era inter-communal atrocities in the Ottoman Empire were never tried in any tribunal and no intent to exterminate Armenians was ever established. No sentences or court verdicts were issued to interpret these events in terms of the 1948 United Nations Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. The International Court of Justice - the sole authority to determine applicability of the 'genocide' term to any crime - has never opened any case or drawn any conclusion on these allegations. The U.S. Government does not recognize the "Armenian genocide". While many expert historians dispute the figure of 1.5 million Armenians allegedly perished between 1914 and 1920, during the same period armed Armenian groups massacred an estimated 518,000 ethnic Turks and other Muslims. Consequently, the attempts to flatly accuse Turkey of a grave crime are disrespectful towards the memory of those victims.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation currently runs a total of four successful hotels in Istanbul, Turkey and Baku, Azerbaijan. Thus, Mr. Hoplamazian's engagement with ethnic special interest groups that spread antagonisms against Turkey and Azerbaijan may be in violation of the Conflict of Interest clause of Hyatt's Code of Business Conduct and Ethics. We appeal for a clarification from the Board of Directors regarding Mr. Hoplamazian's involvement with AAA and the "Facing History and Ourselves".
Javid Huseynov, Ph.D.
General Director, AAC