Head of Hudson Institute Eurasia Policy Center Zeyno Baran interviewed by the APA’s US bureau

Head of Hudson Institute Eurasia Policy Center Zeyno Baran interviewed by the APA’s US bureau
# 08 February 2007 09:40 (UTC +04:00)
- Do you believe that Mr.Gul’s visit to the USA may have a positive impact on blocking Armenian Genocide Resolution?
- Yes absolutely. He is discussing the impact of passing such a resolution would have on Turkey-US and Turkey-Armenia relations. He is making a very clear and strong argument in all his meetings that such a resolution would be seen as "punishing Turkey" and lead to further anti-Americanism and further rise of reactionary nationalism. Moreover, the US Congress is not the right place to express opinion on such a historic issue. There are so many other ways the US can be helpful to the two countries address issues of the past. He is reminding the US officials he is meeting with that Turkey has proposed a joint commission with Armenia to discuss these issues.
- How do you see the role of Jew lobby in Washington in blocking this resolution?
- The American Jewish lobby has traditionally supported Turkey on this issue. It is both because they do not believe the events of 1915-16 were genocide, and also because Israel’s close relations with Turkey and not wanting to see Turkey be punished unjustly. That said, this year they are less eager to help as Ankara has hosted the militant wing of Hamas, the rise of anti-Semitism in Turkey and development of Turkey-Iran relations. In the final analysis, however, I believe they will be helpful because if the resolution passes, many Turks will also blame them for not helping, and this can further deteriorate relations between Turkey and Israel.
- Based on your judgment, an adoption of Genocide Resolution by the House of Representatives may kind of psychologically break ice and after it would be easy to reach Senate approval and President’s signature?
- No, even if the resolution were to pass the House, I cannot see the Senate passing it. And I certainly do not see President Bush making such a statement.
- If the resolution will be adopted by the House, may it damage Turkish bid to EU?
- If it passes, because it will lead to rise of anti-Western atmosphere in Turkey, and possible violence, the EU may indeed either put additional requirements or use this as an excuse to further delay serious talks with Turkey on accession. And of course given that in France it is also election period just before April, there may be pressure there to send the resolution to their Senate. /APA/