Monday, October 08, 2007

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan Calls President Bush On Genocide Bill

MEMRI, DC - Oct 7, 2007
Source: All Turkish dailies and TV channels, October 6, 2007
Plastering the Armenian genocide for reasons of self interest is downright immoral. I hope USA will not subject its moral fortitude to the whim of Turkish nationalist genocide deniers. I have more respect for a little nation that stands up against deniers than those large nations who deny the Armenian genocide. Greatness is not measured in power.
In a phone call to the U.S. President, PM Erdogan told him that the strategic partnership between the two countries will be harmed if the U.S. Congress passes the bill on Armenian “genocide”. Erdogan said that this bill will not serve the interests of Turkey or the U.S.; and will hurt the chances for developing any relations between Turkey and Armenia. It was reported that President Bush told PM Erdogan that he understood him, that he too was concerned about the resolution and that he and his team would work hard to prevent its passage.

It is unclear how much influence the Bush administration will have in the Congress now dominated by Democrats who are more submissive to the demands of the Armenian Diaspora.

Turkey is a key NATO ally of Washington that supports the U.S. needs in the region, in Iraq and Afghanistan.

There have been warnings voiced among Turkish political circles that Ankara could consider shutting down Incirlik air base to U.S. use, as well as its borders with Iraq, cutting the supply lines and causing serious problems for the U.S. military fighting in Iraq.

PM Erdogan also placed calls to President Clinton and to Israel’s President Shimon Peres, to ask for Israel’s support. Peres in return reiterated that his country will continue to support Turkey's position.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

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