A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Congressional resolution on Armenian 'genocide' souring Turkish-US relationship

His Excellency Nabi Sensoy, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey [Turkish Embassy, Washington DC]: "House Resolution 106 on Armenian genocide allegations was introduced by five Representatives on January 30, 2007 at the 110th Congress 1st Session. The phrasing of the resolution implies acceptance, as an established fact, of the existence of the 'genocide' and its scale, a matter that the Turkish side maintains is a subject open to query. The Armenian claims, to this date, have never been historically or legally substantiated. Indeed, it is precisely because the accusers have not been able to establish the crime based on international law or on irrefutable evidence, that they seek to manipulate foreign parliaments to provide legislative validation to their claims. There is no doubt that the introduction and consideration of Armenian resolutions have become a major sour point in the Turkish-US relationship and that to dwell on a one-sided picture of the past will not help improve America's ties with its key Atlantic-Middle Eastern ally.

Many governments, including that of the US, have not called the Armenian incidents of 1915 genocide. If H.R. 106 is adopted, Turkish-US relations could be ruptured by what would prove to be the most devastating nonbinding legislation ever devised. Turkey's geopolitical importance for the US continues, and may yet increase. Serving as a bridge between the West (including NATO) and the Moslem world, maintaining very good relations with Israel, and providing military bases for current and potential future US operations in the fight against terrorism, Turkey is a friend and partner for the US in a wide geography from Europe and the Balkans to the Caucasus and Central Asia. Most recent developments in the Middle East reinforce Turkey's value as an interlocutor for the American administration. The oil and gas reserves of the Caspian countries, as well as Turkey's growing economic and demographic importance in the region, add further inducements to these political and security considerations."

Opinions expressed in JURIST Commentary are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of JURIST's editors, staff, donors or the University of Pittsburgh.

Support JURIST

We rely on our readers to keep JURIST running

 Donate now!

About Professional Commentary

Professional Commentary is JURIST's platform for newsmakers, activists and legal experts to comment on national and international legal developments.

Hotline welcomes submissions, inquiries and comments at professionalcommentary@jurist.org.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.