Essel says that she herself is on record as acknowledging that the genocide is historical fact yet she justifies that she attended the event because she does not discriminate against supporters. Also attending the event were leaders of the Azerbaijani community who lead an effort in the State Legislature - and defeated by Essel's opponent Paul Krekorian - to condemn the Armenian government. The event was promoted on local Turkish and Azerbaijani websites showing videos denying the holocaust, praising Essel and condemning Krekorian.
Though the Armenian Genocide is less known by Americans than the slaughter of six million Jews by the Hitler regime in Germany, it is rated as a holocaust on the same level and is viewed as so by Holocaust scholars and organizations such as the Simon Wiesenthal Center. For Essel to attend this event it is truly on par with a politician attending an event sponsored by the Institute for Historical Review, a prominent Holocaust denying organization.
We can accept her at her word that she acknowledges the Armenian Genocide. However for a politician in a city and council district with a significant Armenian community - or any community for that matter - Essel's attendance at the Assembly of Turkish American Associations was an extraordinary poor choice.