ISTANBUL (Marmara)–The Istanbul-based Marmara Armenian daily newspaper reported Thursday that Turkish public opinion has been focused on the pending resolution in Congress recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
Marmara quoted the Turkish Anatolia news agency as reporting that the Pentagon has warned US House Speaker Dennis Hasterst and other Congressional leaders that the passage of H.Res 398 would greatly impact US-Turkish relations and would hinder chances of relations between Turkey and Armenia. The Defense Department officials–reportedly also said that the resolution would negatively effect the outcome of the ongoing Karabakh conflict talks.
Anatolia said that the Pentagon allegedly warned Congressional leaders that it would behoove the Congress to not sacrifice US-Turkish relations for a domestic matter which has been raised by the Armenian-American lobby.
A hearing was scheduled to be held Thursday at the House Sub-Committee on International Operations and Human Rights–during which historical revisionist Justin McCarthy of the University of Louisville (Ky.) and Robert Melson of Purdue University were expected to testify. Also presenting a viewpoint at the hearing was the US State Department.
The hearing was to be chaired by sub-committee chairman Rep. Christopher Smith (R-NJ)–who has been deemed an "anti-Turk" by the Anatolia news agency.
Meanwhile at a press conference in New York–Turkish foreign minister Ismail Cem said that while until now the issue of the resolution was being led by the Armenian-American lobby–today the Armenian government was heading the fight in Congress.
Cem criticized Armenian president Robert Kocharian for his remarks last week at the UN Millennium Summit–at which time Kocharian urged Turkey to "come to terms" with history.
"Turkey is a large country–and–at the end of the day–it is not affected by such resolutions," Cem told the press conference.
"It is a shame that such resolutions take away such valuable time from our Embassy personnel," Cem added.