Bryza Confesses his Love for Turkey, Confirming his anti-Armenian Bias

Harut Sassounian


It appears that my prediction about Matt Bryza leaving the State Department and working as a lobbyist is coming true. After his brief stint as Ambassador to Azerbaijan came to a premature end, Bryza disclosed to the Turkish Hurriyet newspaper last week that he will be “advising people, government, and private sector on major investment projects.”

It remains to be seen whether Bryza’s planned activities fall within the legal definition of “lobbying” and “advocacy” on behalf of third parties, such as Turkish and Azeri entities, given the restrictions imposed by U.S. law on former government officials. Depending on the specific type of activity, there is either a one or two-year ban. However, in the case of “very senior officials” such as Bryza, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, there is a lifetime ban. He would certainly be prohibited from having contact with former State Department colleagues on behalf of other parties, regarding official matters with which he was involved as a government employee.

In his interview with Hurriyet, Bryza validates in his own words the accusation that he was biased and unprofessional, while acting as the American Co-Chair of OSCE’s Minsk Group of mediators on the Karabagh (Artsakh) conflict. At the time, he was repeatedly criticized for being anti-Armenian, pro-Azerbaijani and pro-Turkish. Senators Barbara Boxer and Robert Menendez, who placed a hold on his nomination as Ambassador to Azerbaijan, and the Armenian National Committee of America, which objected to Pres. Obama’s ill-advised decision to send Bryza to Baku without Senate confirmation, are now fully vindicated.

In the past, Bryza’s apologists used the convenient excuse that as a government official, he had no choice but to support the President’s position on the Armenian Genocide and related issues. Yet, now that he is a free man, why does he continue to parrot those same Turkish-inspired, anti-Armenian slogans? Could it be that Bryza, in and out of government, has been trying to ingratiate himself to his future paymasters? Otherwise, why would he give Hurriyet the standard Turkish line that politicians and parliaments should not get involved in acknowledging the Armenian Genocide? To score points with Turkish and Azeri officials, Bryza angrily lashes out at the ANCA: “The organization that blocked me will keep bringing up this issue forever. But it’s not up to governments but to people to make their own determination on how to characterize it…. Turkey has the ability to influence that debate in a significant way…. The radicals that blocked me hate that. They don’t want to have an open debate; an open dialogue is their enemy.”

While applauding the more open attitude among some Turks toward a discussion of the Armenian Genocide, Bryza finds as “legitimate” the Turkish official view that “this should not be recognized politically as genocide. It’s not the business of any politician in any country to characterize these events as genocide or not as genocide. It has to be up to societies — not to others — to have a decision taken based on a political calendar. To me, that’s dishonest.”

Bryza then takes his pro-Turkish bias a little too far by revealing his denialist views: “Truth is on everyone’s side, especially on Turkey’s side. The debate about this [Armenian Genocide] issue is really one-sided right now. Anybody who voices a different view is attacked as a genocide-denier, which immediately means you are against human rights. If you believe there was a genocide committed, you can equally argue looking from a narrow definition of the word that genocide was committed to many others, against Turks or Muslims in eastern Anatolia. Let’s have a dialogue of the multiple atrocities [against] many groups. Let’s talk about it all. Let’s be fair and not forget the suffering of others.”

Finally, Bryza seems to have fulfilled his life-long dream of living in Istanbul. During his 2005 visit to Ankara, after a U.S. Embassy official introduced him to local journalists as “an old friend of Turkey,” Bryza unabashedly declared: “I am thrilled to be back in Turkey. Turkey in many ways feels for me like a second home…. I can’t spend enough time in your beautiful country. I hope to be back soon and often.” In a column I wrote at the time, I expressed the hope that “Bryza would soon realize his wish and retire in Turkey permanently.” Now, his wish has come true! Hurriyet reported last week that after leaving Baku last month he had settled in Istanbul. “You can’t imagine how happy I am to be in Istanbul…. Look at me, I am married to a Turkish woman,” Bryza exclaimed!

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  1. 4 Ambassador Evans said:

    I am upset about our officials n Yervan which make the opposition politicians to meet ‎people like Bryza (and the likes form Europe) and to be forced to complain about the situation ‎in country and so on

    Who knows: most probably a disputable and highly anti Armenian US politician on pay roll ‎of foreign organizations was assigned the task to deal with Armenia, Armenian Genocide and NKR issue. Mr. Turkifyied B. might have even some very special friends in Istanbul and Tel Aviv… That is way he ‎was so bored in Baku as US Ambassador (blind on both eyes) , where there exists a Nazi like ant-Armenian state ‎ideology and mass valuation of human rights. Fro Mr. B not a reason to remained Baku of its fascist ‎ideology! .. ‎

  2. Viguen Krikoryan said:

    Just look at Bryza’s eyes to figure out that he is also on Turkey’s payroll. Pretty soon Hillary Clinton will also join this band wagon joining Gebhart and Condilica Rice. What a shame to see these political figures to sell their souls and principles to make few bucks under the table. History of mankind will remember them as unprincipled opportunists disguised as public servants.
    Long live the memory of those public figures who fight for just causes.

    • Grish Begian said:

      Hillary, Bill, Monica, Bryza, Zeyno Baran and Mr, Accordion will be on payroll of Turkish government…these newly “Oral office” players will enjoy Turkish bath and massage, while enjoying Bill’s “Moon River” melody with his newly polished sexophone…what a romantic group, Viguen!!

  3. Raffikian said:

    Smart move Bryza’s action against the Armenian Genocide, he got a well paying job working for Turkey by using American tax payer’s money and the Armenian Genocide $$$$$$$$

  4. bayrakiniyakan said:

    who said that no monkeys exist in politic ,or in the diplomatic world , Bryza is the prefect sample , the US is on front-line to produce and represent them to the world in solving many conflicts of the world ,Thank You America !! lol lol lol

  5. Peter Musurlian said:

    I think Matthew says and does a lot of Pro-Turkish things to impress a girl: his Turkish wife.

    Matt Bryza. What a sorry excuse for a diplomat. And, considering how high he rose at the State Department, the (apparent) systemic recklessness of the hiring practices there…must be examined.

  6. Hrant K. said:

    When the grandson of Jemal Pasha( One of the 3 Major perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide by the Young Turks/Doenmes ) goes to Yerevan and places a wrath at the Dzidzernagapert Genocide Memorial, Mathew Bryza
    and his likes become so irrelevant, that they’re not even worth being mentioned. I wonder, what and how history and Genocide Scholars will judge our Secretary of State, our Vice Pres. and our Honorable President, for their
    deceptive statements and misconducts regarding the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide after entering office? President Nicolas Sarkozy will teach them a good ethical lesson, now that he is officially running a second term reelection campagn in France!!! Yes the French are “Free” and the Deceivers are “fried” by Turkish pressures and Azeri “Oil & PetroDollars” . Hence “Freedom Fries” are really “French” as President George W. Bush had labelled them! Honest Citizens get deprived of their basic human rights and Hostile and Unreliable Allies are being honored and respected. This is how bad our Chief Executives and ” the Donkey Party Apparatus” have lowered their standards and norms!!
    Lack of Integrity and Honesty will lead them to Dispair and Zero Support eventally!!! Our Forefathers would be
    so disappointed…! But then again, better late correction than never !!!

  7. Arman said:

    ..Bryza angrily lashes out at the ANCA: “The organization that blocked me will keep bringing up this issue forever….”
    I want to remind Bryza that the organization that blocked him is not the ANCA…..the organization that blocked him is the United States Senate. Let him “lash out” at the Senate all he wants.

  8. Alex Postallian said:

    It proves what a snake he was,and how stupid and enept our state dept in selecting him.He was suppose to be impartial in his position.Now, he can join his brothers the gooble,goobles and become a LIAR like them,and pick up the putrid smell,in his proper enviorment.