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Alliance no reason to compromise U.S. values

The recent article in Vail Trail by Peter Leslie completely misses the point on HR 106. Peter Leslie and many others claim that Turkey is an important ally, and it’s been one for a very long period of time. Well, let’s just for the sake of an argument take a look and see if indeed that is the case and review Turkish-American relations over the past 50 years.

According to Wikipedia: Turkish-American relations in the post-WWII period evolved from the Second Cairo Conference in December 1943 and Turkey’s entrance into World War II on the side of the Allies in February 1945, as a result of which Turkey became a charter member of the United Nations. Difficulties faced by Greece after the war in quelling a communist rebellion, along with demands by the Soviet Union for military bases in the Turkish Straits, prompted the United States to declare the Truman Doctrine in 1947. The doctrine enunciated American intentions to guarantee the security of Turkey and Greece, and resulted in large-scale U.S. military and economic support. After participating with United Nations forces in the Korean War, Turkey joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1952. The friendliness of Turkey toward the United States has declined over the past five years. A June 2007 survey found that only 9 percent of Turkish citizens have a favorable opinion of the United States, the lowest percentage out of all 47 countries surveyed, below the Palestinian territories (13 percent have a favorable view of the U.S.) and Pakistan (15 percent). Turkey views the Iraq war as a significant threat because northern Iraq acts as a safe-haven for a Kurdish terrorist group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Furthermore, Turkey views the destabilization of Iraq as a possible impetus for Kurds to claim their independence from Turkey, Iraq and/or other Middle Eastern countries with significant Kurdish populations. In October 2007, the quality of the Turkish-American relationship was further degraded by attempts in the U.S. House of Representatives to pass a bill condemning the Armenian Genocide, perpetrated from 1915-1917 by the Ottoman Empire, and naming it as a “genocide.”

The point is that regardless of how “good” or “bad” an ally is, one can not compromise our ideals, spirit, beliefs and everything we stand for, and cave in to political pressure of history revisionists. In a way it’s like breaking a moral code.

Finally, I’d like to quote former California State Assembly member and State Senate candidate Carol Liu in her recent correspondence to the Chairman and Ranking members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “United States cannot, even by omission, condone the continued misrepresentation of history. The foreign policy of the United States must not be based on fear [a reference to Turkish threats against America] but rather on the honest affirmation of our own ideals.”

Armen Avoyan

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