Turkey is making the right moves on Armenia
By Senem Caglayan

The New Anatolian / Ankara
3 June 2005

The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) supports Turkey's
recent conduct towards the Armenians, said Vural Cengiz, chairman of
the ATAA, late on Tuesday.

At a press conference Cengiz said that the Armenian diaspora, with its
90-year claim of "genocide," is not only damaging Turkey but Armenia as
well. "By bringing the controversial Armenian problem to the agenda
of the European Union as a precondition for Turkey's membership,
Armenia is losing the chance to become an EU neighbor," Cengiz charged.

"We support the new undertakings taken by the Turkish ruling and
opposition parties because the fight against the controversial Armenian
problem needs a comprehensive government strategy," he asserted.

He maintained that any recognition of the Armenian "genocide" by the
U.S. Congress is bound to two conditions, saying, "The first one is
the weakening of bilateral relations between Turkey and the U.S.,
and the second is for the U.S. to start to believe Turkey is no longer
important to them."

He described the Armenian pressure for recognition of their claims
as a political issue rather than a historical one, and called on the
Armenians to open their archives, as Turkey has.

He highlighted that the ATAA is the largest Turkish lobby in the
U.S., and said that if the Armenians don't respond positively to the
constructive, confidence-building activities of the Turks, then they
will organize similar activities themselves and call on the Armenians
to account for the killings of Turkish diplomats, the invasion of
Azerbaijani territory, and killings in the Balkans.

Asked about the postponement of last week's Armenian conference,
Cengiz said the ATAA is concerned because the conference was planned to
discuss the views of just one side and might have endangered Turkey's
national security. "If Christian and Muslim lives have equal value
then both sides of the issue should discussed at the same time,"
he concluded.