In Transparent Attempt to Disguise Genocide Denial, TUSIAD Claims that Armenian Genocide Recognition would "Shatter" Progress toward Armenian-Turkish Reconciliation

July 10, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC – The leading Turkish business association today called on Members of Congress to oppose legislation rededicating the American people to the aims of the Genocide Convention, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association (TUSIAD) argued that the adoption of the Genocide Resolution (S.Res.164 in the Senate and its H.Res.193 in the House of Representatives) would “deeply damage U.S.-Turkey relations.” This legislation, which cites the Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust among the genocides of the 20th Century, would commemorate the 15th anniversary of U.S. implementation of the Genocide Convention. TUSIAD charged that the adoption of this measure would “hijack the term ‘genocide’ and distortedly apply it to the tragic events of 1915 that took place in the Ottoman Empire.”

Consistent with its track record as a vocal denier of the Armenian Genocide, TUSIAD said that it rejects the “label of genocide for the events of 1915,” noting that it “is unacceptable in terms of the legal definition applied to the term; the historical record that is currently available; and the biased historical perspective of its proponents. Favoring the recognition of so called-“Armenian genocide” would be a serious blow to US-Turkey partnership at a time when it is needed the most.”

Despite the overwhelming evidence documenting the Armenian Genocide and the fact that all scholars of the subject, save those directly under the influence of the Turkish government, agree that the Armenian Genocide was a clear instance of genocide, under the Genocide Convention and other instruments of international law, TUSIAD argues that, “”A policy decision should not be considered nor should it be upheld without taking into account the in-depth analyses of expert historians. Any decision taken with no detailed investigation would mean ‘execution without trial.’ Pronouncing a judgment deduced from unconfirmed allegations and assertions, before reaching an objective conclusion based on extensive research and analysis, would be contradicting the very elements of American democracy.”

Commenting on recent strains in U.S.-Turkish relations, TUSIAD claimed that the adoption of the Genocide Resolution, “would inevitably jeopardize the future of U.S.-Turkey relations. Turkey is a key ally of the United States. Their alliance is based on a long-standing partnership that took decades to develop and nurture. As the partnership is currently undergoing such a critical juncture, this is the time to exert greater efforts to improve the ties and avert initiatives that would do otherwise. Favoring the recognition of the so-called ‘Armenian genocide’ would have a negative impact on the future joint initiatives of the two allies in the Caucasus, Iraq, and the broader Middle East.”

TUSIAD closed its argument by noting that, “Such attempts would also shatter any hopes of developing relations between Turkey and Armenia. Citizens of Armenia and Armenians residing in Turkey have maintained harmonious relations with the people of Turkey. The approval of such amendments will only ignite tensions between the two peoples and harm their reconciliation efforts.”

“We are deeply troubled – although not surprised – by the hateful strain of genocide denial that runs throughout TUSIAD’s statement,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “What is new is TUSIAD’s transparent effort – after year of venomous anti-Armenian attacks – to misrepresent itself as a friend of Armenians, couching its denial campaign in terms of promoting improved Armenian Turkish relations. Rather than resorting to such twisted and ultimately futile tactics, TUSIAD, the Turkish government and its diminishing circle of allies should come to terms with the fact that meaningful Armenian-Turkish relations can only be built upon full Turkish recognition and acceptance of responsibility for the Armenian Genocide.”

TUSIAD maintains offices in Washington, DC, Istanbul, and Brussells. For more information about the organization, visit: www.tusiad.org

In a related matter, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported on July 9th that “Turks living in the United States are making telephone calls, sending facsimile messages, letters and e-mails to U.S. officials against the so-called Armenian genocide resolution.”


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th Street, NW, Suite 904, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 * Email.anca@anca.org
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