Turkey and United States Conspire to Issue April 24 Statements

Harut Sassounian


While it is not surprising to learn that Turkey and the United States have coordinated their official declarations on the Armenian Genocide, recent revelations have confirmed their shameful behind-the-scenes schemes.

In a speech delivered in Australia late last year, former US Ambassador to Armenia John Evans revealed for the first time that the State Department regularly conferred with the Turkish Embassy in Washington on the content of the US President’s annual April 24 statement on the Armenian Genocide.

This clearly reflects the degree of collaboration between Turkey and the United States on the genocide issue, and even more appalling, American officials’ succumbing to the gag rule imposed by a denialist regime!

The American-Turkish collusion on the Armenian Genocide issue was recently corroborated by Deniz Kahraman in the Aydinlik Turkish newspaper, revealing that the two governments jointly drafted the statement that Prime Minister Erdogan issued on April 23, 2014. He offered condolences to Armenians, Turks, and others who died from various causes during World War I, thus equating the deaths of Turkish soldiers with Armenian Genocide victims.

Basing his information on unnamed diplomatic sources, Kahraman wrote that the White House had been fully aware of the content of Erdogan’s statement in advance of its release. In fact, the Turkish Prime Minister’s text was prepared with U.S. input and finalized by officials in both countries. It appears that the initial text was prepared by the Turkish Foreign Ministry, after which the White House made some modifications, “based on U.S. sensitivities” on this issue. On April 21, the Turkish Foreign Ministry forwarded the final text to Prime Minister Erdogan’s office which released it to the public on April 23.

Kahraman also revealed that in return for accepting U.S. modifications of Erdogan’s statement, Washington offered to block the pending Armenian Genocide resolution in the Senate, after its adoption by the Foreign Relations Committee in early April.

Aydinlik reported that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has personally followed since last year the Armenian Diaspora’s preparations for the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Turkey is reportedly evaluating its countermoves, which include convincing the Armenian government to revive the comatose Armenian-Turkish protocols, while simultaneously energizing the mediating efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group to resolve the Karabakh (Artsakh) conflict through public diplomacy.

According to Aydinlik, Ankara is evaluating its plans on how best to counter Armenians who are pursuing their demands from Turkey through three separate channels: “legal, political, and public opinion.” Kahraman reported that a serious political rift emerged last June between Turkey and the US, after which Washington started pressuring Turkey to take more resolute steps on the Armenian Genocide issue and normalize relations with Israel. To appease the United States, the Turkish Prime Minister issued a statement on April 23, on the eve of the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Aydinlik also reported that the decision of the European Court of Human Rights in favor of Turkish denialist Dogu Perincek had strengthened Ankara’s hand in international circles. However, Washington wanted Turkey to be more accommodating on the Armenian Genocide issue. That is why Turkish and US officials orchestrated the release of a public statement by Erdogan on April 23, right before President Obama’s own statement on April 24.

It is therefore not surprising that State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki had high praise for Erdogan’s April 23 statement, describing it as a positive step that would pave the way for improved relations between Armenia and Turkey. Unbeknownst to the public, the State Department was in fact praising a statement that it had helped draft.

While Turkey and the United States are playing a dishonest game of publicly supporting each other’s privately orchestrated statements on the Armenian Genocide, Foreign Minister Davutoglu let the cat out of the bag by announcing in Parliament that Erdogan’s April 23 message of condolences was part of the Turkish campaign to undermine Armenian efforts to commemorate the Centennial of the Genocide.

Finally, I wish to remind all those who have wrongly claimed that Erdogan’s April 23 message was an unprecedented pronouncement by a Turkish leader, almost 90 years ago, on June 22, 1926, President Kemal Ataturk made a truly bold statement in an interview with the Los Angeles Examiner: “These leftovers of the Young Turk Party who should have been made to account for the lives of millions of our Christian subjects who were ruthlessly driven en masse from their homes and massacred….”

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  1. jda said:

    someone with experience should send a foia request to the President and the state department.

  2. Garo Yeghichian said:

    This is ashamed and disgusting in the USA History and the Obama Administration.

  3. Fredrick Fuller said:

    It is about time to say the emperor has no cloths on. . .

  4. Hagopian hagopian said:

    I feel like spitting on any individual who still supports this
    Administration. Your just an accomplice to the denial I te Armenian Genocide.

  5. zarkim said:

    Armenian Genocide.
    With all due respect, Mrs Clinton and Mr Obama come from different backgrounds. They hardly know their own short history (Accurately), let alone, Armenian’s long one.
    French Government is the best judge. They were there and saved many Armenian lives (Ask Charles Aznavour). English would certainly know the real story, but do not count on these pirates to tell the truth (They did not get where they are by being truthful). Australians (Under British, English) were fighting the Turks at the same time in Gallipoli, but “LANDED ON THE WORNG BEACH, as they say” (English Officers made a mess and cost many Australian lives). So English Government was there too!
    The aim of this protocols and other initiatives is not necessarily to achieve peace but to advance US interests. US need Turkey more!

  6. GeorgeMardig said:

    What can the world expect from a country that lies and doesn’t respect it’s president’s mediated treaty brokered by President Woodrow Wilson

  7. Baron's said:

    If what you claim can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt, then you should release this info to International News Media and file a complaint with international bodies

  8. Joe said:

    Armenia is going to have to work Armenian issues. The diaspora is going to have to get serious about helping Armenia.

    Expecting the USA to right the wrongs of 1915 seems naive. The United States can be expected to pursue the advancement of its own perceived interests. It may be the just course for the USA to take up redress of Armenian grievances but its not going to happen unless it also serves US interests.

    Turkey is a nation that is influential in world forums, has a large economy, and can project force in an area that the US perceives as a source of threat to the safety of the US homeland and the US economy. Turkey has the ability to support US interests. International Relations is a quid pro quo marketplace. I suspect the asking price for Turkish support of the US agenda includes the US not being an advocate for Armenian issues. It seems that is a price the US is quite willing to pay. I don’t say that as a critical value judgment. The first order of business for US foreign policy is advancing US interests.

    Nothing is going to change unless ANCA can convince the US leadership that holding down energy costs in the US economy–or keeping Americans safe from Islamic terrorism is solidly dependent on Genocide recognition and reparations.

    The most direct route to winning recognition and reparations is to build a strong Armenia. An Armenia that has influence, an Armenia with a strong economy, and yes the ability to project force in its region.

    Otherwise, the next generation of Armenian leadership-similar to today’s leadership- will be lamenting that the US or some other nation did not do enough for Armenian interests.

  9. Hratch said:

    What I don’t understand is why would the 100 year anniversary be any more important than say the 90th or 80th or any previous decade? It is not like some time bomb is set to go off in 2015. It is not like there is a treaty that is due to expire. Why should Turkey be scrambling any more than usual? And if 2015 is no more or no less important, then why would the US be so involved with the drafting of this statement? Are we making more of this than it is actual perceived by the international community?

  10. zohrab said:

    Usa is also a genocidal country expert in how they killed their indegenous people so really they dont care turkey is normal to them never trust them