Turkey believes Obama to be advised not to use “genocide” term

Turkey believes Obama to be advised not to use “genocide” term

Turkey believes aides of U.S.-president elect Barack Obama would advise him to refrain from using "genocide" in defining the 1915 incidents. The impression came after Turkish officials held their first contacts with the new administration.

Haberin Devamı

A delegation from the Turkish Foreign Ministry had paid a recent visit to Washington to hold a series of talks with the teams of U.S. president-elect Barack Obama and his Foreign Minister Hilary Clinton, Hurriyet daily reported on Thursday. 

 

According to the report, the Turkish delegation got the impression that his team would advise Obama to refrain from using the term of “genocide” to describe the 1915 incidents in the U.S: President’s commemoration message to be issued on April 24.

 

The Turkish side delivered a message to the new administration. “Bringing the Armenian claims (regarding the 1915 incidents) to Congress would not only hurt seriously Turkish-American relations but also the new period of dialogue started between Yerevan and Ankara. Such a situation would have a negative reflection on the cooperation of the two countries on resolving regional issues, including Iraq,” Hurriyet quoted the Turkish delegation as informing the officials from the new administration.

 

Haberin Devamı

Obama had promised to back the Armenian claims regarding the 1915 incidents during his presidential election campaign. However many experts and observers believe he is likely to join his predecessors who refrained from following through on the issue when elected given Turkey’s strategic role in U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

 

The incidents of 1915 is a highly sensitive issue for Armenia as well as Turkey. Around 300,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks, died in civil strife that emerged when Armenians took up arms, backed by Russia, for independence in eastern Anatolia.

 

However Armenia, with the backing of the diaspora, claims up to 1.5 million of their kin were slaughtered in orchestrated killings in 1915. The issue remains unsolved as Armenia drags its feet in accepting Turkey's proposal of forming a commission to investigate the claims.

 

Haberin Devamı

Turkey hopes the new dialogue established with Armenia would contribute to the solution of the issue regarding the 1915 incidents.

 

TURKISH DELEGATION’S VISIT

Hurriyet said the Turkish delegation consisted of Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan and Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu.

 

The delegation’s visit and meetings, the first contact between two countries since the U.S. presidential elections, came on Dec. 8-9. The Turkish officials held talks with the aides of Obama, as well as Clinton.

Haberin Devamı

 

The sides also discussed the fight against the PKK terror organization which has bases in northern Iraq, the report added.

 

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