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08/04/2005
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1) Turkey under Media Scrutiny for Attacks on US Genocide Resolution
2) Turkey, France Clash over Cyprus as EU Talks Loom
3) Secretary Rice Promises Increased US Effort in Karabagh Conflict
4) Two Reported Dead in Turkey Blast

1) Turkey under Media Scrutiny for Attacks on US Genocide Resolution

Major Story in Vanity Fair, Report by Public Citizen Allege Unethical Conduct
by the Turkish Government and its Allies

WASHINGTON, DC (ANCA)--A major news magazine and a leading citizens~R group
this week focused public attention on the unethical conduct of powerful
opponents of legislation recognizing the Armenian genocide.
In its September issue, Vanity Fair published a 10-page story on FBI
whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, who was fired after ~Sshe accused a colleague of
covering up illicit activity involving Turkish nationals.~T According to the
article by contributing editor David Rose, Edmonds claims FBI wiretaps reveal
that the Turkish government and its allies boasted of bribing--with as much as
$500,000--the Speaker of the House of Representatives as part of an alleged
deal to stop consideration of the Armenian Genocide Resolution.
The article cites accounts by Edmonds regarding FBI wiretaps of the Turkish
Embassy and Turkish groups such as the American Turkish Council (ATC) and the
Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), including, ~Srepeated
references to Hastert~Rs flip-flop in the fall of 2000, over an issue which
remains of intense concern to the Turkish government, the continuing campaign
to have Congress designate the killings of Armenians in Turkey between 1915
and
1923 a genocide.~T
Rose is careful to point out that ~Sthere is no evidence that any payment was
ever made to Hastert or his campaign.~T According to the article, ~SHastert~Rs
spokesman says the Congressman withdrew the genocide resolution only
because of
the approach from [President] Clinton, ~Qand to insinuate anything else just
doesn~Rt make any sense.~R He adds that Hastert has no affiliation with the ATC
or other groups reportedly mentioned in the wiretaps.~R~T The full article
can be
read in the September issue of Vanity Fair.
In a separate development, CongressWatch, an arm of Public Citizen, recently
released a 49-page report raising ethical concerns about lobbying by former
Members of Congress. The report includes a 12-page case study of the
Livingston
Group~Rs lobbying efforts for the Turkish Government. The report details the
efforts by Livingston Group founder, former House Appropriations Chairman Bob
Livingston, to secure a ~S$1 billion supplemental appropriation for
Turkey~Edespite that country~Rs refusal to allow US troops to use its soil as a
staging area for the Iraq invasion. He also helped kill an amendment that
would
have formally recognized the Armenian genocide that occurred between 1915 and
1923. Turkey has always opposed this recognition.~T The Livingston Group has
received over $9 million in payments from Turkey. The entire report can be
read
at: www.lobbyinginfo.org/documents/RevolveDoor.pdf
~SThese behind-the-scenes accounts reveal a pattern of patently unethical and
possibly even illegal conduct by the Turkish government and its allies in
their
efforts to oppose the Armenian Genocide Resolution,~T said Aram Hamparian, the
executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America. ~SFacing
growing bipartisan Congressional support for this legislation, these interests
are resorting to increasingly desperate means to avoid the international
isolation that Turkey will face following US recognition of the Armenian
Genocide.~T
In the months leading up the publication of these documents, the ANCA
provided
both Vanity Fair and Public Citizen with background materials, interviews, and
first-hand accounts regarding Congressional efforts to recognize the Armenian
genocide.


2) Turkey, France Clash over Cyprus as EU Talks Loom

ANKARA (Reuters/Bloomberg)--Turkey and France clashed on August 4 over whether
Ankara should recognize Cyprus, a European Union member, before it begins its
own EU entry talks on October 3.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey could not accept any new conditions
for opening the talks and that he was upset by comments from France that
Ankara
must first accept the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government.
"It is out of the question for us to discuss or consider any new conditions
with regards to October 3," Erdogan told reporters in televised comments.
"We are saddened by the statements of the French prime minister and of
President (Jacques) Chirac," he added.
Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said on August 2 it was "inconceivable"
that Turkey start talks with the EU without recognizing one of its 25 member
states, though he did not say if Paris would deploy its veto.
Chirac has not publicly commented on Turkey's EU talks this week, but the
French daily Le Figaro, quoting unnamed ministers, reported that the president
told a cabinet meeting he agreed with his prime minister.
Chirac's office declined to comment on the report. Chirac has traditionally
backed Turkey's EU bid but now faces growing opposition among French voters to
admitting the large, relatively poor, mainly Muslim country into the wealthy
bloc.


PRESSURE

Maintaining pressure on Ankara, French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy
repeated Villepin's criticism on August 4.
"Not wanting to recognize one country in the Union while wanting to join [is]
not acceptable," Douste-Blazy told Le Monde newspaper in an interview.
"We would like there to be an extensive discussion on this question within
the
EU," he added.
Ankara recognizes only a breakaway Turkish Cypriot enclave in northern
Cyprus.
The island has been split along ethnic lines since Turkish troops invaded in
1974 after a brief Greek Cypriot coup backed by the military junta then ruling
Greece.
France can block the start of talks--as can Cyprus--as the 25 EU states must
approve a negotiating mandate unanimously before they can begin. Villepin said
France would decide its position after talks among EU foreign ministers in
September.
Turkey cleared the last formal hurdle to the start of its entry talks last
Friday by signing a protocol extending its customs union to new EU members
including Cyprus.
However, Ankara also issued a declaration making clear the signing did not
mean a change in its stance over the island, whose Greek Cypriot government is
viewed in Brussels as the sole legitimate authority.
Turkey says recognition can come only after a comprehensive peace settlement
on the Mediterranean island.
Ankara believes it has done all it can reasonably be expected to do about
Cyprus by backing a UN-brokered peace deal last year which Turkish Cypriots
also endorsed in a referendum. The plan was not supported by the Greek
Cypriots.
Despite the latest French comments, Erdogan said he was confident Turkey
would
begin entry talks on schedule.
"We will start the negotiations on October 3. We think only of the
negotiations," Erdogan said.
The talks are expected to last many years and Turkey is not expected to join
the EU before 2015 at the earliest.

NOT EUROPEAN ENOUGH

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the current EU term president, advocates
Turkish membership in the EU while politicians including Germany's Christian
Democrats and Nicolas Sarkozy, leader of Chirac's ruling party, say it is not
European enough to join in terms of geography, history and culture.
Turkey won a date to start the accession process with the EU after its
parliament passed laws strengthening the nation's democracy. A latest draft
law
on foundations has loopholes that fail to guarantee religious freedoms for
non-Muslims in Turkey, European Commission spokesman Amadeu Altafaj told a
Brussels press conference.
While the legislation doesn't pose a new barrier to the start of EU
membership
talks, the commission has "expressed some concerns about the implication of
this law on the non-Muslim community," Altafaj said. Turkey has promised to
overhaul the law when parliament reconvenes in October, he added.


3) Secretary Rice Promises Increased US Effort in Karabagh Conflict

WASHINGTON, DC (Combined Sources)--During his meeting with US Secretary of
State Condoleeza Rice on Tuesday, Azerbaijan~Rs Foreign Minister Elmar
Mammadyarov discussed the Karabagh conflict, with Rice promising to boost US
effort to make the regulation process more effective.
Secretary Rice stressed that the US position on Azerbaijan's territorial
integrity is unchanged. Mammadyarov was reportedly satisfied with the talks.
The meeting also focused on bilateral and economic cooperation. Expressing
satisfaction with the progress of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and
Baku-Tbilisi-Erzrum projects, Rice commended Azerbaijan's leadership in the
implementation of such global projects.
Mammadyarov also met with Minsk Group's US co-chair Steven Mann. The
conversation focused on the Karabagh peace talks on the eve of an unofficial
CIS summit in the Russian town of Kazan, where the Armenian and Azeri
presidents are expected to meet.
Addressing representatives of the US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce in the
Washington based Azerbaijan Trade and Cultural Center on Wednesday, the Azeri
foreign minister stressed the strategic importance of the
Kars-Akhalkalak-Tbilisi-Baku railway for the South Caucasus. Mammadyarov noted
that not only would the railway promote economic development in the region,
but
would improve direct communication between Europe and Central Asia.
During his visit, Mammadyarov held meetings at the Pentagon and National
Security Council, and also met with representatives of the National Democratic
Institute, International Republican Institute, International Foundation for
Election Systems (IFES), and non-governmental organizations. According to
Azertag newspaper, Mammadyarov spoke of the pre-election situation in
Azerbaijan during the round table discussion.


4) Two Reported Dead in Turkey Blast

ISTANBUL (CNN)--A couple leaving a wedding party was killed and five people
were injured early Thursday when a trash bin exploded in the Pendik
district of
Istanbul, according to Turkey's state-run news agency Anatolia.
The cause of the explosion, which occurred about 12:15 a.m., was not
immediately known. No claim of responsibility had been issued early Thursday.
The man and woman, Eda and Hatica Muslu, were getting into their car when the
explosion occurred, according to the DAWN news network.
Police, firefighters, and ambulance workers were at the scene, sifting
through
the wreckage of destroyed cars and helping the injured.
On August 2, two explosions in trash bins wounded six people in the southern
Turkish city of Antalya, a popular tourist resort, CNN Turk reported.
Police said the first blast went off in a trash bin, wounding two municipal
workers and a passerby. About five minutes later, another blast wounded two
tourists and a resident of Antalya.
Authorities have not explained the cause of the explosions, but bombs have
been placed in trash cans in the past.
Turkey has suffered a series of bomb blasts in recent months, mostly
blamed on
militant Kurdish separatists.
Islamic militants and far-left radicals have also been behind bomb attacks in
Turkey in the past, including in Istanbul.
Five people were killed last month when a bomb struck a minibus in the
popular
Aegean resort of Kusadasi, an attack claimed responsible by Kurdish militants.


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