The recognition of the World War I-era killings of Armenians as
genocide by the national Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has shocked
Turkey, which is now trying to overcome this by taking compensatory
measures. The ADL is an advocacy group aiming to stop the defamation
of the Jewish people.
Experts and advisors to the government cabinet held a meeting with
diplomats at the Foreign Ministry yesterday to determine a strategy
that will win back the hearts of Jewish Americans, the Turkish Daily
A similarly strategic meeting is expected to be held in the coming
days by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan. He might try to engage
in phone diplomacy to convince the Jewish lobby, according to the
`The strategy is to convince the ADL first, and if we cannot do that
then Turkey will try to counter the Jewish lobby in the U.S. This
cannot be a blank acceptance for Turkey,' said a Turkish diplomat.
`We were not expecting such a decision. Last week, they fired the
director who used [the term `genocide']. What I understood is that
after the director was fired, a discussion started in the ADL. We were
in contact with the ADL two days ago,` said an expert on
The decision might negatively influence Jewish votes in the
U.S. Congress since there are more than 100 Jewish Americans in the
House of Representatives, the expert said.
`We will try to establish a connection with the ADL again and will try
to convince them first,' said a person who attended the meeting.
`If they insist on defining the period as genocide, then Turkey will
take necessary steps against that. Of course we will not identify the
Turkish Jewish community with the American Jewish one. We will also
get in contact with Israel to understand the reasons behind the
decision,' added the source.
Since the Jewish lobby is seen as an important political tool for
Turkey's policies in Washington, Ankara avoids making non-diplomatic
statements in reference to the Jews.
Ankara fears that the U.S. will recognize the events of 1915-1919 as
genocide, and is also concerned about its impact on bilateral