554) Acknowledgement Of Armenian Allegations Is A Serious Threat To Turkish-u.S. Relations

WASHINGTON D.C. - ''Acknowledgement of allegations regarding the so-called Armenian genocide in the United States will be a serious blow to Turkish-U.S. relations,'' retired... Ambassador Gunduz Aktan affirmed on Friday.

Aktan, currently in the United States to give a series of conference pertaining to Armenian allegations, took the floor at a meeting organized by the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA).

''If U.S. Congress acknowledges allegations regarding the so-called Armenian genocide and if U.S. President George Bush uses the word 'genocide' (in his speeches) this will definitely have a political impact on our relations. This will constitutes a serious threat to the bilateral relations,'' Aktan indicated.

''Acknowledgement of the allegations by the parliaments and heads of state does not have a legal liability. For example those allegations were acknowledged in France but later forgotten,'' Aktan said, yet noted that ''the actual problem is political and psychological.''

Recalling that he was one of the members of the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Committee, Aktan said it was impossible to convince the Armenians that a genocide hadn't been committed.

Aktan said genocide had been defined by law, noting that the issue could be discussed before a court.

Comparing the Armenian allegations and Holocaust from some specific points of views, Aktan said, ''Jews were killed because they were Jews. Nobody in Turkey was against Armenians. Jews did not collaborate with the enemy and/or reclaim territory from Germany.''

Meanwhile retired Ambassador Omer Lutem indicated that convincing particularly the Armenian Diaspora seemed impossible, stating that the idea of genocide claim was deepened during the term in office of Armenian President Robert Kocarian.



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