NTV MSNBC, Turkey
Sept 27 2007
NEW YORK - Turkey's Prime Minister has used a meeting with representatives of the US Jewish community to reject allegations that the Ottoman Empire committed an act of genocide against its Armenian citizens in 1915.
Meeting with representatives of groups including the Conference of Presidents, the Appeal of Conscience, the Foundation, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Congress, and Bnai Brith International in New York late Wednesday Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the genocide claims as baseless. The allegations were not supported by any scientific or historical grounding.
"The Prime Minister also recalled Turkey's call to Armenia to establish a joint commission to study historical facts, and stated that Turkey expected the Jewish community to confirm its support against the "baseless allegations," a statement issued after the meeting said.
Following the meeting, Abraham Foxman, the National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), said that at times there could be disagreement between friends, referring to the League having accepted the events of 1915 as being tantamount to genocide. However, Foxman said that the issue should not be the subject of a resolution of the US Congress.
"We believe that a matter between Turkey and Armenia related to history should be tackled between the two parties, not in the US Congress or the parliament of any other country," he said. "This is not a political matter and those in the Congress are not historians."
"I believe that we should focus on the future, not the past. If the Jewish community, the United States and the Congress are willing to assist they should bring together Turkey and Armenia for the grandchildren of the two parties."