California passes bill banning investment in Turkey over denial of ‘Armenian genocide’

6 June 2017
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The California State Assembly has passed a bill that prohibits two state bodies from making additional or new investments, or renewing existing investments, in Turkey over its denial of the “Armenian genocide,” which refers to the killings of Armenians during the final years of the Ottoman Empire.

According to the Divestment from Turkish Bonds Act, also known as AB 1597, which was passed by the California State Assembly on Thursday, the boards of the California Public Retirement System (CalPERS) and California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) are prohibited from making additional or new investments, or renewing existing investments, of public employee retirement funds in an investment vehicle in Turkey that is issued by the government of Turkey or that is owned, controlled, or managed by the government of Turkey.

The bill requires the boards of CalPERS and CalSTRS to submit reports to the legislature and the governor within a year of the time the federal government issues sanctions against Turkey. The report will detail a list of investments that they have already liquidated and a list of investments that potentially can be liquidated.

“If Turkey continues to fund Armenian Genocide deniers they must be financially punished.” California State Assembly member Adrin Nazarian, who submitted the bill told massispost.com on Thursday.

According to T24 reporter Işıl Öz’s story on Sunday, the bill will affect nearly $500 million in investment from California.

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