WASHINGTON—The largest Turkish lobbying group in the United States has prepared a plan to counter efforts by Armenian-Americans on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, Hurriyet Daily News reports.
April 24, 2015, will mark the one hundredth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, in which 1.5 million Armenians were massacred or exiled from their historic homeland. Turkey denies that a genocide ever took place and has routinely campaigned heavily against efforts to bring recognition to the Armenian Genocide in the United States and abroad.
The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), a Washington-based group founded in 1979, has prepared a “master plan” to “respond to the Armenians’ claims on every front.”
The Turkish campaign, which will include “both proactive and reactive responses,” will be introduced to all Turkish groups that will be invited to Washington in September.
“Proactive” measures include the forming of “activist committees” who will visit lawmakers in each state, conduct social media campaigns, keep in touch with traditional media outlets, prepare online courses and organize countrywide networking meetings for Americans.
One part of the initiative consists of the organization of at least 20 “day-long conferences” in partnership with local universities and with the participation of famous Turkish-Americans like Dr. Mehmet Öz and Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent.
However, in an editorial note in its report, Hurriyet Daily stresses that neither Dr. Oz nor Muhtar Kent are involved in or have knowledge of the ATAA’s plans.
“Reactive” responses will include immediately countering when “claims from Armenians are published or featured in panels, conferences and exhibitions organized by the Armenian lobby groups.” The ATAA says it will request from writers and publishers to include Turkish claims in their books or documentaries based on the Armenian claims.
Another aspect of the Turkish campaign will focus on Capitol Hill. The ATAA will cooperate with PaxTurcica for a joint educational program for the members of Congress. Members of the U.S. Congress will be instantly informed when they are presented with an anti-Turkish bill.
The Turkish-American community will also hold a fundraising event for every such event that the Armenian lobbies organize in the U.S.