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Turkey urges US to resist 'anti-Turkey lobbying' groups

December 13, 2019 at 9:05 pm

President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump hold a joint press conference following their meeting at the White House in Washington, United States on 13 November, 2019 [Halil Sağırkaya/Anadolu Agency]

A top Turkish official on Friday urged “reasonable statesmen” to push back lobbying groups in Washington which damage Turkish-US ties for the sake of “narrow domestic political interests”, reports Anadolu Agency.

“US foreign policy must find a way to escape sacrificing US national interests for narrow domestic political interests,” Fahrettin Altun, Turkish communications director, said on Twitter.

“Anti-Turkey lobbying fringe groups cheer such steps for ideological reasons while they don’t care about US interests being damaged by alienating Turkey,” Altun added.

“US will isolate itself globally if it allows these groups to determine foreign policy,” he warned.

“Turkish-American relations will survive their attacks but only if reasonable statesmen rise and take a stance emphasizing the value of a mutually respecting relationship,” he added.

On Thursday, Altun warned that recent US moves – a bill to place sanctions on Turkey and a resolution on Armenian allegations over the events of 1915 – jeopardize relations with Turkey.

Turkey’s position on the events of 1915 is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

READ: Turkey’s ruling party slams US move on Armenian events

Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as “genocide” but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to examine the issue.

On Friday, the ruling party and several opposition parties in Turkey’s parliament issued a resolution condemning the US Senate resolution.