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    Armenian outrage at attempt to name US housing complex "Ataturk"

    Hürriyet Haber
    15.09.2005 - 11:18 | Son Güncelleme:

    An attempt by a Turkish contractor to have a housing complex being built named "Ataturk" has sparked outrage in the US Armenian community. Engin Elitok, who arrived in the US from Turkey 23 years ago, quickly built up his construction and contracting business, becoming later one of the leading figures in the Virginia business world. His first attempt at complimenting Ataturk in his work came in 1998, when he led a successful battle to have a street in one of his complexes named after the former Turkish leader: "Ataturk Way".

    Elitok is working now on a housing complex in the luxurious sector, with houses in his designed community selling for around 2 million dollars. When news spread that he was naming one of his housing complexes "Ataturk," Elitok began receiving threatening phone calls. One of the people who has called Elitok is reportedly Vertanes Kalaychian, an Armenian priest who referred to Turks as "butchers" in a speech before the US Congress. In a message left on Elitok's phone machine, Kalaychian said that the move to name the housing complex "Ataturk" was an agressive one, and that Elitok should pass up on such a move. Pressure put on Virginia's Fairfax County Municipality by Armenian groups has resulted in a move by the country to stop Elitok from progressing with his plans unless he changes the name on the housing complex.


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