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      Turks Scare Themselves

Turks Scare Themselves   25/08/2005

Turks Scare Themselves by Claiming
Armenians Spend Millions on Lobbying

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier

Hundreds of Turkish “scholars” are hired by various centers, institutes and
foundations in Turkey to write and publish articles and books on Armenian
issues, in general, and the Armenian Genocide, in particular.

Almost all of these centers, funded directly or indirectly by Turkish
governmental sources, have been set up to produce anti-Armenian propaganda
which is translated into dozens of languages and mailed to libraries,
parliaments, scholars and journalists around the world.

Despite the millions of dollars spent on this propaganda war, the Turkish
government is apparently not satisfied with the results. Foreign Minister
Abdullah Gul announced last month that Ankara was devoting even more
resources to this campaign in order to flood the world with revisionist
materials on the Armenian Genocide.

One of these Turkish propaganda mills, appropriately located in Ankara, is
called the Institute for Armenian Research (Ermeni Arastirmalari Enstitusu),
a division of the Center for Eurasian Strategic Studies. This so-called
Institute has been publishing a periodical since 2001 that is exclusively
dedicated to denigrating Armenians.

Last week, Fatma Sarikaya, a Board member of the Turkish Forum, translated
into English and posted on the Forum’s web site a summarized version of an
article on the Armenian-American lobby, written by Dr. Senol Kantarci, a
researcher at the Institute for Armenian Research. The article was
originally written in Turkish and published in the Institute’s periodical in
2001, under the title: “The Armenian Lobby: The Creation of the Armenian
Diaspora in America and the Lobby’s Activities.”

While Kantarci’s Turkish article remained unknown and unread, Sarikaya’s
English translation attracted widespread attention after it was posted on
several Turkish and Armenian web sites. Her version had a more sensational
title: “Money spent by the Armenian Lobby in America: In 1994 alone, the
Armenian Assembly of America spent $7,000,000, most of it on lobbying the
Congress.”

Not surprisingly, the article contains many historical and factual errors
that even a high school student, let alone a “researcher” with a Ph.D.,
would not make. Before refuting the ridiculous Turkish claim that
Armenian-Americans spend astronomic sums to lobby Congress, let’s focus on
some of the other assertions made by the author.

Kantarci wrote that Armenian students started arriving in America as early
as 1840. He said that these young men were “raised with hate for the Turks.
Though small in number, this elite group of Armenians was very effective in
creating anti-Turkish sentiments in America.” Kantarci is trying to make the
point that Armenians have been campaigning in America against Turkey for 165
years. What he does not say is why these young Armenians from Turkey were so
anti-Turkish? What had the Turks done to them and their families, even
before the Genocide, to cause them to have such intense feelings against
Turks?

To justify the advances scored by Armenian political activists in recent
years and excuse the Turkish setbacks, Kantarci wrote: “Hundreds of Armenian
lobby groups were founded in America. The total number is staggering when
considering they all have branches in all corners of the land. Excluding the
religious groups, the number of Armenian establishments is 1,046. With the
religious groups this number reaches 1,228. The aim of all these
establishments is making anti-Turkish propaganda....”

Kantarci further claimed that, while the Armenian population in America is
estimated between 800,000 and one million, “their representation in Congress
is far beyond proportion.” This is obviously false, as there are no
Armenian-Americans at all in the Senate and only two House members are
partly of Armenian origin.

After misstating the names and activities of many Armenian-American
organizations, Kantarci made his biggest mistake by claiming: “In 1994
alone, the Armenian Assembly of America spent $7,000,000 - most of it on
lobbying the Congress.”

The claim that Armenians spend huge sums to lobby Congress completely
freaked out some Turks. For example, one Turk after reading Kantarci’s
article, wrote on a Turkish web site that even though he loves eating
basturma very much, he would be forced to give it up, because most of the
basturma sold in the U.S. is made by Armenians. He said he feared that a
part of the money he pays to the Armenian shop owner for the basturma would
go towards Armenian lobbying efforts.

Kantarci’s reported lobbying figures are completely false. The Armenian
Assembly and all other Armenian groups collectively do not spend even a tiny
fraction of the $7 million claimed in his article.

According to the publicly available figures for the latest three years of
tax returns of the Armenian Assembly, the organization has spent on
legislative lobbying just $30,000 in 2003; $27,000 in 2002; and $100,000 in
2001. For the year 1994, the Assembly informed this writer that it had spent
a total of $272,000 on governmental, legal and lobbying efforts. One can
safely assume that less than $100,000 of that amount may have been spent
strictly on lobbying the Congress. This is a far cry from the $7 million
claimed by this Turkish “scholar.”

The facts clearly point out that Armenians spend very little on lobbying. On
the contrary, it is the Turkish government that spends millions of dollars
to hire the best American lobbying firms that money can buy. When a country
is trying to cover up a massive crime like genocide, it does need to spend
millions of dollars. Even then, as the Turks found out, it is a total waste
of their money. You cannot hide a genocide, no matter how much money you
spend!

But when you have the truth on your side, as Armenians do, you don’t need to
spend millions on lobbying!




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