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U.S. in War of Words With Turkey

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  • Bruce Tefft
    http://www.aina.org/news/20070429191425.htm U.S. in War of Words With Turkey _____ Posted GMT 4-30-2007 0:14:25 _____ WASHINGTON -- Turkish lawmakers are
    Message 1 of 1 , May 1 5:46 AM
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      http://www.aina.org/news/20070429191425.htm

      U.S. in War of Words With Turkey
      _____

      Posted GMT 4-30-2007 0:14:25
      _____


      WASHINGTON -- Turkish lawmakers are threatening to cut off essential supply
      lines to U.S. forces in Iraq if Congress officially blames Turkey for the
      Armenian genocide of 1915, Turkish and U.S. officials tell the Daily News.

      "It's not subtle. They outright threaten to do it, and even have soldiers
      calling congressmen saying, 'You're going to cut us off if you do that,'"
      said Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), co-chairman of the bipartisan
      Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.

      Armenian-Americans have long lobbied for official recognition of the
      atrocities committed in Turkish Armenia during World War I, but it's likely
      the resolution may finally come up for a House vote because of the backing
      of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

      "It would be an insult to Turkey, and it would not be helpful," warned
      Egeman Bagis, a member of the Turkish parliament and foreign policy adviser
      to Prime Minister Recep Erdogan.

      Egeman pointed out that "at least 60% of the supplies that go to U.S. forces
      in Iraq now pass through Turkey." Asked whether NATO member Turkey would
      actually cut off those supply lines, he said, "It could happen."

      But the Armenian movement is growing. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
      didn't wait for Congress, proclaiming last week "Days of Remembrance of the
      Armenian Genocide."

      Egeman insists Turkey will open its archives to show it was not genocide,
      but scholars and many European nations agree that a half-million Armenians
      perished under orders from the Ottoman Empire.

      About two dozen countries recognize the Armenian genocide, according to the
      Armenian National Institute. Every time the issue comes up, Turkey threatens
      to cut off relations or trade. It made similar threats to Canada and France
      when they officially recognized the genocide, but relations have since
      normalized.

      "Genocide is a universal problem that is not going away. If you don't
      remember genocide, it emboldens the perpetrators, and it occurs again and
      again," said George Shirinian, director of the Zoryan Institute for
      Contemporary Armenian Research and Documentation.

      By Kenneth R. Bazinet
      www.nydailynews.com


      C 2007, Assyrian International News Agency. All Rights Reserved. Terms of
      Use. <http://www.aina.org/terms.html>


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