Turkey reacts to new Armenian resolution initiative in US

Turkish FM said hopes the U.S. resolution on Armenian allegations will not be put to vote, as Turkey's Embassy in Washington D.C. started to take action

Turkey reacts to new Armenian resolution initiative in US

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Saturday that he hopes the U.S. resolution on Armenian allegations regarding the incidents of 1915 will not be put to vote in House of Representatives.

The House may vote next week on the resolution which could damage relations between Turkey and United States. Davutoglu phoned his U.S. counterpart Hillary Clinton on Friday and requested from the U.S. administration to become part of an effort to defeat the resolution.

"I hope such a wrong move will not be made," Davutoglu reaffirmed on Saturday.

Turkey had recalled its ambassador to the United States after the Foreign Relations Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution on March 4 that supported Armenian allegations regarding the incidents of 1915. Ambassador Namik Tan returned to Washington one month later.

Davutoglu said Turkish Embassy in Washington and the government have had contacts with U.S. officials to avoid the resolution. U.S. officials pledged to step in to stop the resolution, he said.

"I have asked an active struggle against the resolution. Because this issue is turning into a point which could have effects on the future of Turkish-U.S. relationship and its nature. Everybody should act responsibly on this matter. It is not true to revive historical issues like the sword of Damocles swinging on Turkish-U.S. relations," Davutoglu said.

"Ms. Clinton said she would exert all efforts possible. Now, we will see what is going on," he said.

Asked what Turkey would do in case the House voted the resolution, Davutoglu said, "the whole world would see it. But I hope such thing will not happen."

Uphill struggle before voting

Turkey's Embassy in Washington D.C. started to take action against the information that Armenian resolution may be voted in U.S. House of Representatives.

The Embassy is closely following the developments on the issue and gets move within the scope of a strategy prepared together with lobby company working for Turkey.

The Embassy staff had talks with the high ranking U.S. executives in White House, National Security Council, and departments of State and Defense.

Turkish Embassy officials also talked to high ranking executives of Democrat and Republican Party in the Congress underscoring that the resolution may damage Turkish-U.S. relations.

Turkish-U.S. Friendship Group in the Congress prepared a letter against the resolution, calling on many Congress members close to Turkey to become a part of efforts against the resolution.

The Embassy continuously gives information to Turkish-U.S. institutions and representatives of kinsmen groups about the developments.

Turkish institutions in the United States asked Turkish society living in the country to oppose the Armenian resolution which would possibly be voted in the House of Representatives.

Joint statement

Turkish-American Associations Assembly Chairperson Gunay Evinch (Ovunc) and President of the Federation of Turkish American Associations (FTAA) issued a joint statement and said this was an anti-Turkish and Muslim resolution. Evinch and Boztepe called on Americans who are friends of Turks and Turkish society living in the United States to call Congress members and come out against the resolution.

Evinch and Boztepe wanted them to tell in their messages to the Congress members that this resolution was not a constructive approach towards solution of the problem and would be to legalize history on a controversial issue.

The resolution calling on the United States to recognize 1915 incidents as "genocide" has not been put onto the agenda on Friday but there is still a possibility for the resolution to be discussed as the U.S. Congress extended its working time.
It is not yet known how long U.S. House of Representatives, which recessed till Tuesday, would continue to work.

The Armenian resolution is not binding even if it is voted and accepted in the House of Representatives. It is only recommendatory. U.S. President Barack Obama and the state do not have to abide by this recommendation even if it is accepted.

Turkey's Ambassador in Washington D.C. Namik Tan said efforts would continue against this initiative, adding he believed common sense would prevail in the end.

"The parliamentarians in the U.S. administration and the Congress who are acquaint to the importance of Turkey-U.S. relations are aware of the dimensions of the damage this resolution would have on our bilateral relations," Tan said.

Chairman of Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) Lincoln McCurdy called on Congress members to oppose the Armenian resolution in case it is brought to the agenda of the Representatives Assembly as it may have irreparable damages on Turkey-U.S. relations.

McCurdy said in a written statement that possibility of the resolution, calling on the United States to recognize 1915 incidents as "genocide" to be voted in the Representatives Assembly, caused "big anger" in the Turkish-U.S. society.

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Last Mod: 19 Aralık 2010, 13:11
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