WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), in a second communication with the leading Armenian American organizations, articulated the principle behind its opposition to recent efforts by the Turkish Embassy and Consulates in the United States to arrange individual meetings for Armenian American groups with Ecvet Tezcan.
Tezcan is a senior Turkish Foreign Ministry official – from the Directorate of Intelligence and Research – whose record includes aggressive Genocide denial, contrived charges of an Armenian Genocide against Turks, and even Turkish and Azerbaijani land claims on the Republic of Armenia. Over the past week, Turkish government officials in the United States have requested separate private meetings, on short notice, with a number of Armenian American organizations. The Turkish Consul in New York, according to several accounts, has specifically asked that these meetings be held in secret.
“We stand on the principle that the very existence of such meetings, in the absence of full Turkish acknowledgment and acceptance of responsibility for the Armenian Genocide, will only serve the Turkish government’s campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide. We believe that it would be a very serious mistake to accept the invitation to meet with this senior Turkish official,” wrote ANCA Chairman Kenneth V. Hachikian.
“We should not allow ourselves to fall into the Turkish government’s trap. Turkey is, very simply and transparently, trying to use the presence of Armenian Americans at these meetings as props in a staged effort to mislead the U.S. policy community into believing that Armenian Genocide recognition efforts are unnecessary in light of its ongoing “direct dialogue with Armenians,” he added.
The ANCA letter went on to address the “Turkish government’s true motive:” It seeks, at any cost, to deny the Genocide and to escape its present day responsibilities for this crime against humanity. These proposed meetings are merely tactics in the service of its goals.” The letter cited two recent examples of how Turkey has escalated its campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide:
* In Turkey, the Education Minister Huseyin Celik recently issued a decree requiring the teaching of Armenian Genocide denial to the next generation of Turkey’s school children. We have learned that a school teacher in Turkey, Mrs. Hulya Akpinar from the province of Kilis, was fined and arrested simply for questioning school administrators about this policy.
* In Washington, DC, the Turkish Embassy is spending millions of dollars to hire a new public relations firm, the influential Harbour Group. This company joins Turkey’s lobbying team, led by former Congressman Robert Livingston, adding major political horsepower to the Turkish government’s efforts to block the adoption of the Congressional Genocide Resolution.
Several examples of Tezcan’s statements concerning the Armenian Genocide and Armenia are provided below:
1) Tezcan: “Concocted Armenian Genocide”
On February 12, President Aliyev received the Turkish ambassador Gadri Ecvet Tezcan, who congratulated the Azeri president on the occasion of Azerbaijan’s acceptance to the Council of Europe and indicated that Azerbaijan had always been an inseparable part of Europe. The diplomat also expressed his president’s and government’s gratitude for the position Azerbaijan has displayed with regard to the concocted “Armenian genocide.”
AzerNews, Issue No.7 (189), 2001
2) Tezcan: “So-called genocide claims”
Turkish Daily News – How are Turkish-Armenian relations seen in
Tezcan – Turkey acted in an honest way and it took steps due to the magnitude of Turkey regarding its relations with Yerevan. We did not close the doors. Turkey gave its hand to Yerevan as a big state. We want Yerevan to stop its invasion in Azeri lands. The second issue is the so-called genocide claims. And thirdly, the articles of the Armenian constitution that threaten the territorial integrity of other countries should be taken out of the constitution.
Turkish Daily News Interview
25 June 2001, Copyright (c) Turkish Daily News
3) Tezcan: ” Armenians organized genocides against the Turkish
people throughout history and invaded the Turkish lands “
CONFERENCE IN BAKU ON THE “TURKISH-ARMENIAN RELATIONS AND HISTORICAL FACTS”
BAKU, May 1 (A.A) – The second conference on “The Turkish-Armenian Relations and Historical Facts” was held on Thursday in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. Students and scientists from both Turkey and Azerbaijan attended the conference which was organized by the Union of Turkish World Culture and the Baku Social Management and Political Science Institute.
Addressing the opening of the conference, Kadri Ecvet Tezcan, Turkish Ambassador to Azerbaijan, said that the Armenians organized genocides against the Turkish people throughout history and invaded the Turkish lands, noting that world kept silent about these abuses. Remarking that Armenians used the parliaments of several countries where they are living as a minority to issue resolutions concerning the so-called Armenian genocide by using different methods, Tezcan noted that the Armenians should justify for the genocides they committed against the Turkish people.
Anadolu Agency: News in English, May 1, 1998
4) Tezcan: “So-called Meghri region” should be returned to Azerbaijan
The Turkish ambassador to Azerbaijan, Kadri Ecvet Tezcan:
[Tezcan in Turkish, captioned as Turkish ambassador to Azerbaijan] As you know, Turkey is not a cochairman of the Minsk Group, but it is a member of this body. Turkey is closely involved in this [Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict] issue. We are closely involved in this issue, first of all because of Azerbaijan and Turkey’s love for the Azerbaijani people, and second, because of international laws. Turkey cannot accept the occupation of the territories of one country by another one. You asked about the third condition. I cannot imagine Azerbaijan’s Naxcivan separated from the main part of Azerbaijan. Also, everybody remembers that the so-called region of Megri was Azerbaijani land some time ago. This region was given to Armenia during Soviet times and consequently Naxcivan and Azerbaijan were separated. That is why these two parts should be linked if any kind of peace is established. This is our opinion. However, it is another question whether or not the Armenians will accept this. But it is certain that normal relations are not possible with Armenia as long as this country holds the territory of other countries under occupation.
ANS TV, Baku, in Azeri 1000 gmt 13 Jun 01 BBC Mon TCU 130601 bk/za