Turkish Americans prepare ‘master plan’ for 2015
Tolga Tanış WASHINGTONThe largest Turkish group in the United States has prepared a plan to counter efforts by Armenian lobby groups on the eve of centennial anniversary of the 1915 events.
Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their forebears were killed in 1915 and 1916 by the forces of the Ottoman Empire.
Turkey disputes the figure, arguing that only 500,000 died and denies this was genocide, ascribing the toll to fighting and starvation during World War I.
The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), a Washington-based group founded in 1979, has prepared a “master plan” to “respond to the Armenians’ claims on every front.”
The Turkish campaign, which will include “both proactive and reactive responses,” will be introduced to all Turkish groups that will be invited to Washington in September.
“Proactive” measures include the forming of “activist committees” who will visit lawmakers in each state, conduct social media campaigns, keep in touch with traditional media outlets, prepare online courses and organize countrywide networking meetings for Americans.
One part of the initiative consists of the organization of at least 20 “day-long conferences” in partnership with local universities and with the participation of famous Turkish-Americans like Dr. Mehmet Öz and Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent.*
“Reactive” responses will include immediately countering when the claims from Armenians are published or featured in panels, conferences and exhibitions organized by the Armenian lobby groups. The ATAA will request from the writers and publishers to include the Turkish claims in their books or documentaries based on the Armenian claims.
Another aspect of the Turkish campaign will focus on Capitol Hill. The ATAA will cooperate with PaxTurcica for a joint educational program for the members of Congress. Members of the U.S. Congress will be instantly informed when they are presented with an anti-Turkish bill.
Meanwhile, “ghost websites” that have been set up by the Armenian lobby to manipulate search engine results on the web will be countered more effectively, according to the ATAA document.
The Turkish-American community will also hold a fundraising event for every such event that the Armenian lobbies organize in the U.S.
*: The two individuals whose names are mentioned in the article above (Dr. Mehmet Oz and Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent) are two prominent figures on a long list of accomplished Turkish Americans who will be invited to speak at community events. They have no knowledge of or involvement in ATAA's plans.