Hurriyet / Turkish Daily News
Feb 13 2009


LAWMAKERS' REPORT TURKEY MUST ADDRESS JEWISH CONCERNS AFTER DAVOS



The U.S.-Jewish lobby may back Armenian efforts to have the 1915
killings recognized as genocide as a result of the public
confrontation between the Turkish prime minister and Israeli president
in Davos, lawmakers have warned the government in a report.

"Turkey must eliminate the Jewish community's concerns at once," said
the report, obtained by the Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

The Ruling Justice and Development Party's, or AKPs, Cuneyt Yuksel and
Suat Kynyklyoethlu, and the Nationalist Movement Party's, or MHP,
Mithat Melen, were in the United States between Jan. 29 and Feb. 6 to
lobby against any genocide resolutions. Following their talks with
U.S. officials, as well as a roundtable meeting with representatives
from 10 Jewish organizations, the AKP deputies drafted a report
emphasizing the "Jewish lobby-Armenian alliance" and submitted it to
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoethan.

The report included a host of other topics relating to Turkey, ranging
from Turkish-Armenian relations to the Israeli offensive in Gaza and
the Davos summit, as well as Turkey's bid to join the European Union,
and further reaching topics such as terrorism and international
security.

[HH] U.S. Jewish lobby concerned after Davos

The deputies warned that the heated panel debate with Israeli
President Shimon Peres in Davos, which ended when Erdoethan walked off
stage after being interrupted by the moderator, drew the Jewish lobby
in the United States closer to Armenian lobby groups.

At the meeting in Washington, Jewish organizations raised concerns
over rising anti-Semitism in Turkey, the damage to Turkey's mediator
role in the region and the situation of Turkish Jews connected to the
strong condemnation by Turkish leaders of the Israeli operation in
Gaza. In defense, the Turkish lawmakers clearly expressed that
anti-Semitism was a crime against humanity and that the Jewish
citizens were under state protection just like each and every citizen
of Turkey, read the report.

The deputies highlighted a campaign prepared to be launched by four
congressmen in the U.S. House of Representative in support of the
Armenian thesis and warned, "Armenians believe an opportunity to pass
the draft resolution has emerged after Davos."

[HH] Lobby in Washington, report urges deputies

The report called for lobbying activities and encouraged deputies to
visit Washington more frequently.

Referring to the new process in Turkish-Armenian ties, the report said
a solid stage reached after efforts for normalization of ties with
Yerevan would be the most important advantage for Turkey, urging the
government to make public its will to improve neighborly relations.

"It must clearly be expressed that the passage of the genocide
resolution will be an untimely act not only for Turkey but also in
terms of positive developments in Turkish-Armenian ties," it read. The
report also suggested that the government meet with American Jewish
organizations to demonstrate it takes their concerns into account.

The deputies also drew attention to the beginning of a new process in
Turkish-U.S. relations with new President Barack Obama taking office
in Washington, stressing Obama's vision, especially toward the Middle
East, overlapped with Turkish interests.

The deputies also noted they had invited Obama to a meeting of the
Alliance of Civilizations set for Istanbul on April 6-7.