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The United States and the (Non-)Recognition of the Armenian Genocide

Les États-Unis et la (non) reconnaissance du génocide des Arméniens
Julien Zarifian
p. 75-95

Résumés

Les États-Unis n’ont pas encore officiellement reconnu le génocide des Arméniens de 1915. En effet, même si de nombreuses institutions et personnalités américaines l’ont fait, le Congrès, du fait de pressions de l’exécutif, lui-même sous pression de la Turquie, n’a pas encore été en mesure de légiférer sur cette question. Les raisons pour lesquelles certains, en particulier parmi la branche exécutives (présidents et secrétaires d’État inclus) ont bloqué toute reconnaissance officielle par leur pays, sont essentiellementbien que pas uniquement géopolitiques. Leur but principal est de ménager la Turquie, considérée comme un allié de première importance, et donc de préserver ce qu’ils perçoivent comme des intérêts géostratégiques, géoéconomiques et diplomatiques de premier ordre de leur pays.

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Texte intégral

1The genocide of Ottoman Armenians, perpetrated from 1915 to 1917 by the Young Turk Ottoman authorities, has been recognized as an unquestionable fact by the large majority of the world academic and intellectual community. Subsequently, many countries and most Western democracies have also recognized it. Often – but not necessarily – made aware of and sensitive to this tragic historical event by Armenian communities, countries like France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Sweden, Poland, Canada but also Russia, Uruguay, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile, etc., have officially acknowledged that what the Ottoman Armenians experienced was genocide. Some of these countries not only recognized but also condemned these events and their perpetrators, and some, such as Slovakia, Slovenia or Switzerland, even decided to forbid its denial by judicially penalizing Armenian Genocide denial.

  • 1 As several authors explained it, the destruction of Ottoman Armenians and its demographic, economic (...)

2The United States, often viewed as an exemplary democracy that does not hesitate to promote ideals and principles in its foreign policy abroad, is far from having done so. This very point and its reasons have been rarely explored by the academia and the main goal of this article is to establish which U.S. institutions (as well as leading intellectuals and political leaders and organizations) have and have not recognized the Armenian Genocide and why. Indeed, as we will discuss in the first part of this article, although many American leading individuals and local, state, and even federal institutions have recognized the Armenian Genocide as a historical fact – often thanks to the pressure of Armenian Americans , the executive and legislative branches, in spite of significant progress, have not, to this day, recognized it. They do not explicitly deny it, nor they finance and organize denial campaigns, as Turkish or Azeri governments do, but, as in the case of the United Kingdom government for example, refuse to use the word “Genocide” to qualify the events of 1915-1917. This situation is mostly due to a deadlock due to active hindrance from the administration, where different Presidents have continuously made considerable efforts in order to prevent the Congress from legislating on this issue. The second and third parts of this article will focus on the reasons for the above-mentioned deadlock. These reasons are not deep-rooted and “ideological,”1 as it is the case when it comes to Turkish denial. They are mostly geopolitical, and related to the fact that U.S. administrations do not want to upset their traditional ally, Turkey, for whom it is a particularly touchy issue. They are also political and economic.

The recognition of the Armenian Genocide in the U.S.: those who do recognize it and those who do not

Positions taken by the media and among intellectual elites

  • 2 The New York Times: Events of 1915 were not a ‘massacre’, it was genocide”, PanARMENIAN.net, April (...)
  • 3 See, for example: Glenn Kessler, “Campaign Vow to Call Armenians’ Deaths ‘Genocide’ to Be Tested”, (...)
  • 4 O. Faruk Loğoğlu, “To Reconcile Turks and Armenians”, Washington Times, May 2, 2005.
  • 5 Bruce Fein, “Armenian Crimes Amnesia”, Washington Times, October 16, 2007.

3It has taken some time for U.S. media organizations to use the word “Genocide” instead of “events” or “massacres” when they refer to the Armenian Genocide, and some organizations still maintain a rather equivocal stance. However, today, no major American media organization openly denies the Armenian Genocide. Among those that have been unambiguous on the issue, the most important are the New York Times, Associated Press, the Los Angeles Times, and CNN. Some of these titles have even officially recognized the Armenian Genocide by a statement or a declaration.2 However, some others, as the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Huffington Post, or PBS are a bit ambiguous in the sense that they frequently open their columns to journalists and experts who tend to present the Armenian Genocide as an Armenian version of history.3 In a way, they follow the official position of U.S. governments, which we will develop in this paper, and refuse to take a firm stance on the issue. It is not denial, but it is a sort of “in-between” position that does not amount to recognition either. Other media organizations seem to maintain a tougher stance and seem to be closer to revisionism. For example, the very conservative Washington Times has several times published papers on this topic signed by people who openly and vehemently deny the Armenian Genocide, such as Turkish ambassador to the U.S., O. Faruk Loğoğlu4, or by Bruce Fein5, a lawyer and a lobbyist employed by the Turkish lobby group Turkish Coalition of America.

  • 6 Cf., for example: David Holthouse, “State of Denial. Turkey Spends Millions to Cover Up Armenian Ge (...)
  • 7 Yves Ternon, “Freedom and the Responsibility of the Historian. The ‘Lewis Affair’”, in R. Hovannisi (...)
  • 8 Lou Ann Matossian, “Politics, scholarship, and the Armenian Genocide. Perspectives on the ITS Scand (...)
  • 9 126 Holocaust Scholars Affirm the Incontestable Fact of the Armenian Genocide and Urge Western Dem (...)

4As far as scholars are concerned, although a few American historians and researchers, such as Bernard Lewis, Heath Lowry, Stanford Shaw, Edward Erickson, or Justin McCarthy, whose close ties with the Turkish state are often criticized, have opted, or still opt today, for revisionist and denialist positions, most American scholars have recognized the Armenian Genocide. The best example illustrating this tendency is the case of “the 69 American historians” and its aftermath. In 1985, 69 American historians, led by famous British-American scholar Bernard Lewis, signed a petition opposing a congressional resolution aiming at affirming the reality of the Armenian Genocide. These 69 scholars, who, according to several sources received funding from institutions directly linked with Ankara, such as the Institute for Turkish Studies or the Ankara Chamber of Commerce,6 published a full-page advertisement in the New York Times and the Washington Post, sponsored by the Assembly of Turkish American Associations.7 This was an important victory for those who deny the Armenian Genocide in the U.S. However, fifteen years later, Turkey and its supporters tried to set up the same kind of reaction to a new congressional resolution aiming at recognizing the Armenian Genocide, but, this time, it totally failed. According to Şükrü Elekdağ, former Turkish ambassador to the U.S., “the ’69 scholars’ petition had become useless because, with the exception of Justin McCarthy, none of the original signers [of the 1985 petition] were prepared to sign a similar communiqué.”8 In the meantime, in the 1990s and 2000s, renowned Genocide Studies specialists such as Roger Smith, Stephen Feinstein, Herbert Hirsch, Franklin Littell, Samuel Totten, or Helen Fein have clearly concluded that the Armenian Genocide was an incontestable reality. Genocide Studies academic centers, such as the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies of the University of Minnesota, and, even more significantly, the International Association of Genocide Scholars or the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., did the same. In March 2000, 126 major Holocaust and Genocide Studies specialists even signed and published a petition in the New York Timesaffirm[ing] the incontestable fact of the Armenian Genocide and urg[ing] western democracies to officially recognize it.”9 Other famous American academics and intellectuals such as Howard Zinn, Elie Wiesel, Noam Chomsky, or Irving Horowitz have recognized and publicly affirmed that what happened to Ottoman Armenians was genocide.

State and local institutions and the Armenian Genocide

5In the meantime, many states and local institutions have done the same. At State level, 43 States have recognized the Armenian Genocide to this date.10 They have done so either through legislation of their State Congress or by proclamation of their executive branch, and often by both,11 and in most of the cases this recognition has taken the concrete form of the affirmation of a “State Remembrance Day” dedicated to the commemoration of these tragic events, in general taking place on April 24.12 In some cases, the State Congress has also passed a bill whose goal has been to request the U.S. President and Congress to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Among these many states that have recognized the genocide, there are, first and foremost, the ones where Armenian-Americans are most present, such as California, Massachusetts, Illinois, New York, Michigan, or Florida, and which happen to be most significant in terms of demographic, economic, and political weight; but there are also many where Armenians are very few and whose motivations are likely to be less directly political, and are more related to ideals and humanistic principles. In the end, the only American states that have not recognized the Armenian Genocide are Alabama, Indiana, Mississippi, Iowa, Wyoming, South Dakota, and West Virginia. Among those that have, California, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and New York, are the ones who have made their positions the most clear and, above all, have done so repeatedly. California’s record on this issue is particularly impressive in terms of quantity and frequency. Some Californian resolutions are extremely firm and explicit (mentioning the Young Turk regime as the perpetrator of the Genocide, targeting today’s Turkish denial, etc.), and between 2007 and 2010, during Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mandate as governor, Sacramento even launched not only a day of remembrance, but an entire week dedicated to the Armenian Genocide.

  • 13 International Affirmation of the Armenian Genocide”, Armenian National Institute, http://www.armen (...)
  • 14 Ground-Breaking Ceremony for Armenian Heritage Park to Be Held on Sept. 9”, Armenian Weekly, Septe (...)

6In terms of local powers, several counties in California, such as Los Angeles, Fresno, and San Mateo, are also on the same line, alongside important cities, such as Boston, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, etc.13 In some cases, the recognition has been accompanied by the erection of monuments and memorials commemorating the events, such as in Boston, where a small park, called “Armenian Heritage Park” was inaugurated in 2010, with its own genocide monument.14 At times, these commemorative spaces and monuments are dedicated to Armenian-Americans in general, highlighting their contribution to the country, and sometimes they are also dedicated to other crimes against humanity or Human Rights abuses. Armenians and the Genocide of 1915 are therefore part of the geographical, social, and political landscape in many places all around the U.S.

Genocide recognition at the federal level

  • 15 Although it is often considered that the Democratic Party is more supportive to Armenian-Americans (...)
  • 16 Simon Payaslian, “After Recognition”, Armenian Forum: Journal of Contemporary Affairs, vol. 2, no.  (...)
  • 17 S. Payaslian, “After Recognition…”, art. cit., p. 5.
  • 18 Congressional Bill Tracker”, Internet Site: Real Clear Politics (http://www.realclearpolitics.com) (...)
  • 19 Harut Sassounian, “Sassounian: All 3 Branches of U.S. Government Recognize Armenian Genocide”, Arme (...)
  • 20 Michael Bobelian, Children of Armenia. A forgotten Genocide and the Century-Long Struggle for Justi (...)

7The situation is quite different at the federal level. No legislation has ever been passed by the U.S. Congress in order to affirm the country’s official recognition the Armenian Genocide. However, important advances have been made, mostly in the past three decades. On the legislative side, Congressional Foreign Affairs Committees, once in the Senate in 2007 and once in the House in 2010, have voted non-binding resolutions affirming the reality of the Armenian Genocide. These resolutions were not submitted to a congressional vote, in part due to pressure from the Executive, and also because supporters of the law considered that they had no majority to pass the resolution. Therefore they were never given a chance of being passed. However, these Senate and House Committees’ recognitions of the Genocide are considered as steps forward. In the same vein, some Congressmen, both democrats and republicans,15 tried several times to directly submit such laws to their colleagues’ vote in 1990 – thanks to republican Senator Bob Dole’s efforts , 2000, or 2005. They eventually did not make it mostly because of pressure from the executive, from the Secretaries of State and from the President himself. Before that, since 1965, which coincided with 50th anniversary of the Genocide and the revival of the “Armenian cause” in the then-Soviet Republic of Armenia and in Armenian communities worldwide, several members of U.S. Congress had made significant speeches where they clearly recognized the Armenian Genocide and even, referred to the “Turks” as the perpetrators. For example, as early as 1965, then-congressman Gerald Ford explained: “[…] with mixed emotion we mark the 50th anniversary of the Turkish genocide of the Armenian people. In taking notice of the shocking events in 1915, we observe this anniversary with sorrow in recalling the massacres of Armenians.”16A decade later, on April 8, 1975, the U.S. House of Representatives, after intensive internal politicking, adopted Joint Resolution 148 (H.J. Res. 148), designating April 24, 1975, as a ‘National Day of Remembrance of Man’s Inhumanity to Man.’”17 And it is to note that the administration, led by President Ford who, when he was a congressman was very much in favor of Armenian Genocide recognition, strongly opposed the resolution, which was, in the end, rejected by the Senate. Another resolution, of the same nature, experienced the same fate in 1984-85. The resolution H.J. Res. 247 was passed in the House of Representatives but blocked in the Senate, so it was never adopted18. Another attempt was blocked in 1987. “In addition, the House adopted two amendments on the Armenian Genocide in the 1996 and 2004 Foreign Operations Appropriation Act […]”19 but they were, again, rejected by the Senate. Turkey’s lobbying against these resolutions was already very strong. It was particularly efficient with the State Department, but it also impacted the Congress, as in 1975, when the Turkish ambassador directly met with then-House majority leader Thomas O’Neil, of Massachusetts, who supported the resolution (and who was a close friend of Armenian-American businessman and philanthropist Stephen Mugar, and whose legislative aide was of Armenian background).20

8However, despite this firm and constant blocking from the Executive, we observe that even there, some important progress was made or, at least, that this blocking broke apart on several occasions.

  • 21 President Ronald Reagan, “Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust”, Proclamation 4838, Apri (...)
  • 22 Congressional Records. Proceedings and Debates of the 107th Congree, 1st Session, Volume 147, Part  (...)

9First of all, one U.S. President, Ronald Reagan, while he was in office, used the word “genocide” to qualify what had happened to Armenians in 1915. He pronounced the “G” word, as it is often referred to, in a public speech in April 1981, on the occasion of the Genocide Remembrance Day.21 Before and after him, Presidents delivered public messages where  although they did not use the word “genocide” they recognized the terrible and unjust sufferings of the Armenians, and used different strong expressions to refer to it. President Carter went as far as explaining “[…] there was a concerted effort made to eliminate all the Armenian people, probably one the greatest tragedies that ever befell any group.”22

  • 23 Turkey gives muted reaction after Clinton visits Yerevan memorial”, Hürriyet, Tuesday, July 6, 201 (...)
  • 24 Official: Armenian genocide resolution unlikely to get full House vote”, CNN.com, March 6, 2010.

10Then, on the side of the State Department – which ordinarily firmly opposes any recognition , some positive moves have been recorded too, particularly these past few years. In 2005, a U.S. ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, publicly referred to the Armenian Genocide while he was giving talks in American universities and Armenian-American centers. However, it is to note that, the year after, in 2006, the State Department recalled him from his position. In July 2010, Secretary Clinton – who had recognized the Armenian Genocide before she became Secretary of State , opted for a quite ambivalent posture. While she was in Yerevan for an official visit, she went to the Dzidzernakapert Genocide Memorial. Although the State Department explained that Mrs Clinton went there in the framework of a “private” visit, she was accompanied by U.S. ambassador to Armenia, Marie Yovanovitch, and laid a wreath of flowers in the memorial, with her name and position mentioned on the wreath…23 However, a few months earlier, Secretary Clinton had personally opposed the March 2010 House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee resolution and explained on this occasion: “[…] we’ll work very hard to make sure it does not go to the House floor.”24

  • 25 ANCA condemns Sec. Clinton’s comments on Armenian Genocide”, Armenian Reporter, January 31, 2012.
  • 26 Statement of President Barack Obama on Armenian Remembrance Day”, The White House, Office of the P (...)

11President Obama’s position has also been quite ambiguous, to the great displeasure of Armenian-Americans who had hoped that, as promised during his 2008 presidential campaign, he would have recognized the Armenian Genocide. He and his Vice-President Joe Biden were considered quite close to Armenian-Americans. President Obama, had formally recognized the Genocide when he was a Senator, as had Joe Biden. He even explained, in January 2008, that “America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President.”25 But then, when he became President, he chose (as many other U.S. presidents before him) not to use the “G word” in his April 24 statements. Although he explained in these statements that “[he] ha[d] consistently stated [his] own view of what occurred in 1915, and [his] view of that history has not changed […]”,26 he used the term “Medz Yeghern”, meaning “great crime” in Armenian, and sometimes used by Armenians to refer to the Genocide of 1915, instead of “genocide.”

“Moral” justifications or mere excuses? A first range of reasons why the executive refuses to recognize the Armenian Genocide

The “this is not our business” argument

  • 27 Condoleezza Rice, No Higher Honor. A Memoir of my Years in Washington, New York: Crown Publishers, (...)
  • 28  Armenia: Condi in the Crosshairs”, Eurasianet.org, November 11, 2011.
  • 29 Matt Lewis, “Should the United States Recognize Armenian Genocide?”, Politics Daily, March 3, 2010.

12The reasons why the executive branch has always both refused to recognize the Armenian Genocide and many times prevented the Congress to adopt a resolution recognizing it, are related to Turkey. It is a fact that most – not to say all – top U.S. political leaders have recognized the Armenian Genocide before they became in charge of a position in the administration. We can therefore assert that there is nothing “ideological” in the blocking of recognition on the part of the executive: U.S. officials who refuse that their country officially recognizes the Armenian Genocide do not believe that what happened to Ottoman Armenians in 1915-1917 was not genocide. The reasons of the executive refusal are solely or almost mainly related to geopolitics and economics. However, although they do not deny this geopolitical aspect that will be developed further on in this paper, U.S. officials tend to present other ranges of arguments to justify their refusal. They, in particular, insist on the fact that acknowledging an historical fact is the business of historians and not the one of a political institution. It is, for example, an argument that Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice developed in her last book, No Higher Honour, in describing her efforts, back in 1991 when she was working in the White House with George H. W. Bush, to defeat a Congress resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide. She explained: “It was not that anyone denied the awful events or the tragic deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Armenians. But it was a matter for historians – not politicians – to decide how best to label what had occurred.”27 This argument is highly problematic, mostly because the Armenian Genocide is no longer a disputed historical question, and has been recognized as an indisputable reality by all credible specialists and scientific associations, including, as mentioned above, the International Association of Genocide Scholars. It is therefore strongly criticized by many observers and by Armenian-Americans, who also note that this argument is often put forward by Turkish officials, and therefore regret what is perceived as an alignment of Washington with Ankara’s denialist stance. Some also clearly accused Condoleezza Rice of being a denier of the Armenian Genocide and, as Harout Sassounian, publisher of Los Angeles-based California Courier, did in a quite vehement way, of behaving as “‘a spineless official of a banana republic’ by allegedly caving in to Turkish interests.”28 In the meantime, it is interesting to note that the “this is not our business argument” might also have pragmatic roots. Indeed, the U.S. executive might fear that, if the U.S. opens historical files that concern other nations, other nations might do the same with sensitive files that directly concern U.S. history, such the Native American issue. This potential threat is often raised by Turkey, but also by American political actors.29

“Reconciliation” between Turks and Armenians and/or between Turkey and Armenia as a major objective of the U.S.

  • 30 Rice: U.S. should not be involved in ‘genocide’ dispute”, Today’s Zaman, March 22, 2007.
  • 31  Mark Landler and Sebnem Arsu, After Hitch, Turkey and Armenia Normalize Ties”, New York Times, Oc (...)
  • 32 Turkey decided to close its border with Armenia in April 1993, in solidarity with Azerbaijan which (...)

13Another argument put forward by U.S. officials, particularly over the past few years, is that recognizing the Armenian Genocide will not help any “reconciliation” or rapprochement process, between Turks and Armenians and/or between Turkey and Armenia, and could even hamper it. This stance was implied several times by U.S. officials, but this is probably, again, Secretary Rice who developed it in the most explicit terms. In March 2007, she explained: “What we’ve encouraged the Turks and the Armenians to do is to have joint historical commissions that can look at this [the events of 1915], to have efforts to examine their past, and in examining their past to get over it. […] I don’t think it helps that process of reconciliation for the United States to enter this debate at that level.”30 This argument could seem quite central because the reconciliation between the two people and/or the two countries has been a real objective of the U.S., particularly in the past decade, under the presidency of George W. Bush and even more under the first Barack Obama administration.31 The U.S., which clearly regrets the non-existence of official relations between Armenia and Turkey and pushes Turkey to open its border with Armenia,32 was firmly involved in the process of rapprochement between Ankara and Yerevan that led to the signature of protocols between the two countries in 2009. However, the major problem of this argument is that the fact that the U.S. did not recognize the Armenian Genocide did not prevent this 2008-2010 process, as well as other “reconciliation” attempts between the two sides, from failing: the protocols have never been ratified neither by Armenia nor by Turkey and, today, the process is at a standstill. Moreover, this argument is quite problematic to many observers, particularly to Armenian-American ones, because it is again an argument initially emanating from Turkish officials.

The “U.S. recognition would not serve the interests of Armenia” argument

  • 33 “Reconnaissance du génocide arménien par le Congrès américain : Ankara menace de prendre des sancti (...)
  • 34 Obama Administration Urges Congress to Wait on Genocide Resolution”, AP, March 4, 2010.
  • 35 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Remarks With Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian”, Pre (...)
  • 36 Former U.S. Secretaries of State oppose Armenian Genocide Resolution”, PanARMENIAN.Net, September  (...)
  • 37 Congressional Records, Proceedings and Debates of the 107th Congress, 1st Session, Volume 153, Part (...)
  • 38 Is there life on the Armenian-Turkish border?”, Georgia Times, May 30, 2012.
  • 39 The Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs had a meeting with the Armenian Diaspora in Chicago”, Pre (...)

14In the same vein, U.S. officials tend to say, or at least to imply, that U.S. recognition of the Genocide would not serve Armenia’s interests because it would hamper the – today rather hypothetical – reconciliation process and also because Ankara could take negative measures in reaction to it. This idea clearly emanates from Turkey, where officials have already threatened Armenia of sanctions if the U.S. recognized the Armenian Genocide33, but it has also been mentioned by American authorities. On March 2010, Secretary Clinton justified its pressures on House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee’s chairman, Democratic Representative Howard Berman, by indicating that the adoption of a resolution recognizing the Genocide by this Committee would jeopardize reconciliation talks between Turkey and Armenia;34 reconciliation was presented as extremely positive for Armenia and for its population in particular.35 In 2007, eight former Secretaries of States, Madeleine Albright, James Baker III, Warren Christopher, Laurence Eagleburger, Alexander Haig Jr., Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and George Schultz, urged House then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi to prevent a resolution recognizing the Genocide from being discussed in the House.36 They explained: “We understand the Administration continues to urge the Turkish government to reexamine its history and to encourage both Turkey and Armenia to work towards reconciliation, including normalizing relations and opening the border. There are some hopeful signs already that both parties are engaging each other. We believe that a public statement by the U.S. Congress at this juncture is likely to undermine what has been painstakingly achieved to date.”37 This argument could be valid, and one can indeed assume that Armenia would benefit from a rapprochement with Turkey, particularly from an economic point of view (although some disagree and are doubtful38). In the meantime one can also assume that Turkey would find ways to sanction or put pressure on Armenia if the U.S. Congress recognizes the Armenian Genocide, and that, therefore, the recognition of the Armenian Genocide could have negative impacts on the Republic of Armenia. However, on the one hand it is not certain at all and it is difficult to predict Ankara’s reaction to a U.S. recognition of the Genocide of 1915. It might very well be a mistake to over-estimate this reaction. On the other hand, the main limit of this argument is that the Armenian authorities, at least from the beginning of President Kocharian’s mandate in 1998, have always been in favor of international recognition of the genocide39 and clearly explain that, no matter the potential international reactions, it is, if not a priority, a significant point in their agenda.

Geopolitics and the non-recognition of the Armenian Genocide by U.S. administrations

Strategic and historical reasons: preserving the “special relationship” with Turkey

  • 40 Rice appeals Congress to drop Armenia ‘genocide’ bill, China View, October 25, 2007.
  • 41 Philippe Marchesin, “Géopolitique de la Turquie à partir du Grand échiquier de Zbignew Brzezinski”, (...)
  • 42 George S. Harris, “Turkish-American Relations Since the Truman Doctrine”, in Mustafa Aydin and Cagr (...)
  • 43 Cf., for example: Bernard Lewis, “Why Turkey Is the only Muslim Democracy”, Middle East Quarterly, (...)
  • 44 U.S. Interests and Turkey”, A briefing by Marc Grossman, 
March 13, 2000, Philadelphia (Middle Eas (...)
  • 45 Department of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Background Notes on Turkey, May 2009, (...)
  • 46 Ibidem.
  • 47 M. Bobelian, Children of Armenia…, op. cit., p. 170.

15Although these different reasons should not be neglected, the main reasons of the non-recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the U.S. Executive branch are geopolitical. Turkey has been a strategic ally of the U.S. for several decades and Washington, as explained for example by Secretary Rice in 2007, has traditionally considered that it was risky and useless to weaken relations with Ankara by recognizing the Armenian Genocide.40 The geostrategic location of Turkey has always been viewed as one of major importance in Washington, particularly during the Cold War,41 but also after the end of bipolarity.42 Despite chronic difficulties in that field, Turkey is also commonly perceived as a model of democracy, in itself,43 and for the Middle East.44 Since its integration within NATO in 1951, it has been considered a pillar of the organization and is described, in the “Background Notes” of the State Department, as the “organization’s vital eastern anchor, as it controls the straits leading from the Black Sea to the Aegean and shares a border with Syria, Iraq, and Iran.”45 In the meantime, the same “Background Note” explains that “NATO’s Air Component Command Headquarters is located in Izmir and NATO’s Rapid Deployable Corps-Turkey is headquartered in Istanbul […]”, and that “[…] Turkey has made important contributions to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, commanding ISAF four times (2002, 2005, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011). Turkey currently commands Regional Command Capital and has set up two Provincial Reconstruction Teams, in Wardak and Jowzjan Provinces, with approximately 1,700 troops stationed in Afghanistan. Turkey also provides approximately 400 troops to the NATO mission in Kosovo. In Libya, Turkey played an active role in NATO’s Operation Unified Protector to protect civilians in 2011. Turkey agreed in 2011 to host a radar as part of NATO’s missile defense architecture.”46 This military cooperation is perceived as essential by the U.S. executive branch, and particularly by the Defense Department, which happens to be one of the main opponents of Armenian Genocide recognition by the U.S., because of Turkey’s threat to lower or stop its military cooperation with the U.S. For example, in 1985, Ankara’s “[…] vow to close air bases and suspend intelligence collection imparted a dose of credibility to these threats.”47

16In a more directly bilateral vein, we can add that Turkey, which has received the huge amount of approximately $26,5 billion in U.S. foreign aid (including 14 billion in military assistance),48 is also a quite significant economic partner. The U.S. is among the first trade partners of Turkey. In 2011, it was the fourth Turkish partner in terms of imports.49 All important economic indicators (bilateral trade, imports, exports, bilateral direct investments, etc.) seem to follow a positive dynamic and the U.S. Department of Commerce has identified Turkey as a “priority market for U.S. business development” (no European country has recently been thus qualified).50 Moreover, the U.S., particularly under President Clinton, have contributed in making Turkey a pivotal country in the field of energy (oil and gas). Indeed, the construction of the BTC (Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan) and BTE (Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum) pipelines, finished in the 2000s, that cross Turkish territory for several hundreds of kilometers, have made Turkey a central country for the transportation of Caspian and Central Asian oil to European markets.

Turkish-Israeli relations and U.S. non-recognition of the Armenian Genocide

  • 51 Elise Ganem, L’axe Israël-Turquie: vers une nouvelle dynamique proche-orientale, Paris: L’Harmathan (...)
  • 52 Ofra Bengio, Professor at Tel Aviv University, author of: The Turkish-Israeli Relationship, Changin (...)
  • 53 Joshua Walker, “Turkey and Israel’s Relationship in the Middle East”, Mediterranean Quarterly, vol. (...)
  • 54 J. Walker, “Turkey and Israel’s…”, art. cit., p. 80.
  • 55 Philip Robins, Suits and Uniforms, Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, Seattle: University o (...)
  • 56 Resources on Faith, Ethics, and Public Life”, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, (...)
  • 57 Frédéric Encel, “Causes, déroulement et conséquences de la rupture israélo-turque”, Hérodote, no. 1 (...)

17This geopolitical centrality of Turkey, from a U.S. point of view, has affirmed itself throughout the second half of the 20th Century also thanks to its potential role in the Middle East and particularly due to its relation to Israel. Ankara is an historical ally of Tel Aviv and it is even commonly considered as its only real regional ally. It has recognized the State of Israel as early as 1949 (de facto) and 1950 (de jure),51 being the first country of the world whose majority of the population is Muslim to do so, and it is still, to this date, one of the only Muslim countries to have done so. Turkey has always maintained – except, as will be developed in the next subpart, in very recent years – a strong political and diplomatic relationship with Israel. The central aspect of this dynamic relationship between the two non-Arab countries of the Near East, is the strategic and military one. The first main step of the rapprochement, in the 1950s, was the “Peripheral Alliance” or “Phantom Pact”, between both countries and Iran. As Joshua Walker, researcher and Senior Advisor at the State Department, explained in 2006: “While almost fifty years have passed since the Phantom Pact was forged, there is still no agreement on what the exact nature of the alliance was. Given that the peripheral alliance was secret and has remained so until this day, there are no open archives or signed documents outlining the scope of the alliance. As a result, the best that can be gleaned from the secret relationship between Turkey and Israel at this time is a series of understandings that were reached between the leaders of each country and the recollection of these leaders. Bengio52, in her description of the alliance, outlines the highly strategic nature of the Turkish-Israeli relationship. Military cooperation between Turkey and Israel was first initiated during this time, along with intelligence sharing that included biannual meetings between the heads of military intelligence.”53 The next major step of this rapprochement is the signature, in 1996, of the “Strategic Agreement” whose importance has been noted by many observers, but whose exact terms remain, as the “Phantom Pact,” quite secret. “However, many public pronouncements and subsequent points have been made about the alignment. Of the points that were made public, they include such topics as joint naval and air operations, mutual sharing of seaports, and permission for the Israeli Air Force to train over Turkish airspace. Furthermore, this arrangement was intended at the time of signing to be very much directed toward a partnership in combating terrorism. The agreement also allowed Turkey to obtain more influence in Congress through access to Israel’s main Jewish lobby groups and the ability to procure additional weapons from Israel.”54 This process of geopolitical rapprochement, considered highly strategic in Israel, has been shaped concurrently to U.S.-Israeli and U.S.-Turkish rapprochements, in the Cold War context. It has been perceived, particularly in Arab countries, as a way of promoting Israeli interests, but also American ones.55 It has been strong, it has lasted quite long, but has started to deteriorate with the arrival of the AKP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, for “Justice and Development Party”), an “Islamically-inspired democratic party,”56 in power in Ankara since 2002, whose major goal, particularly under the guidance of minister of foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoğlu, has been to gain influence in the Middle East.57

Turkey and today’s situation in the Middle East

  • 58 Lale Kemal, “Turkish-Israeli military ties will not resume soon”, Today’s Zaman, April 17, 2013.

18In the 2000s, onwards, the geopolitical reorientations implemented by the AKP, whose practical vectors have been attempts of rapprochement with Arab countries and Arab people of the region, have cooled off Turkish-Israeli relations. The most symbolic manifestation of this deterioration was the Gaza Flotilla affair of May 2010, “[…] when Israeli soldiers killed eight Turkish activists and one Turkish American aboard a Gaza-bound protest ship […],”58 could have lowered the geopolitical importance of Turkey from an American point of view. It has, apparently, not. It arguably hampered U.S.-Turkish relations, but it did not significantly damage them.

  • 59 Ali Aslan, “‘Shared Vision Document’ Period in U.S.-Turkey Relationships”, Today’s Zaman, July 6, 2 (...)
  • 60 Bush vows help for Turkey against PKK terrorists”, Today’s Zaman, November 6, 2007.

19In 2002, the refusal by Turkish authorities to join the U.S.-led coalition to fight Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the refusal that U.S. troops use Turkish territory to launch attacks on Iraq clearly disappointed the Bush administration. It was a very negative signal sent by Ankara and it likely broke the climate of great trust between both diplomacies. However, it is to note that Turkey succeeded in maintaining its geopolitical and military importance, notably by allowing the U.S. to deploy anti-ballistic missiles on its soil, and by opening its military airports to U.S. aircrafts. In the meantime it did not reduce its commitment to its firm involvement in NATO, and the strategic relations between both countries slowly re-improved. In 2006, the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs signed a “Shared Vision Statement,” “[…] that emphasizes their common views on development of democracy and shared values.”59 President Bush tried to reassure Ankara concerning the fate of Iraq, and, notably in 2007, showed strong support to Turkey in its fight against PKK Kurdish rebels. He labeled the PKK as being an “enemy.”60 In the meantime, the Turkish President visited Washington several times between 2005 and 2010.

  • 61 Then-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan several times criticized Israeli leaders (Shimon Peres and Beny (...)
  • 62 Stephen Cook, “How Do You Say Frenemy in Turkish?”, Foreign Policy (online version), June 1, 2010.
  • 63 Scheherazade Rehman, “Could Turkey Be a Super Power?”, U.S. News, November 6, 2012.
  • 64 Second set of NATO Patriot missiles in Turkey go active”, Reuters, January 29, 2013.
  • 65 Lale Kemal, “Turkish-Israeli military ties will not resume soon”, Today’s Zaman, April 17, 2013.
  • 66 Turkey Dismisses Reported Military Cooperation with Israel”, Xinhua, April 22, 2013.
  • 67 Elise Ganem, “La détérioration du partenariat israélo-turc”, in Firouzeh Nahavandi (ed.), Turquie, (...)

20Then, whereas the cooling of Turkish-Israeli relations could have seriously damaged the U.S.-Turkish partnership, Ankara succeeded, on the one hand, in not totally hampering its relation with Israel, and, on the other hand, affirmed itself on the U.S. and western “side” on the “Arab Springs” and particularly on the Syrian crisis. The deterioration of the Turkish-Israeli relationship posed a clear problem to U.S. administrations. The anti-Israeli attitude of Turkish leadership61 and the Gaza Flotilla affair and its diplomatic consequences – Israeli ambassador in Ankara was nothing less than expelled by Turkish authorities – disappointed people in Washington and, at least in a first phase, made U.S.-Turkish relations tense and ambiguous. In 2010, Stephen Cook, senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, qualified the U.S. and Turkey as “frenemies” (a contraction of “friends” and “enemies”).62 However, despite these unquestionable difficulties between Washington and Ankara, Turkey maintained its geopolitical significance, from a U.S. point of view, in the confusing Middle-Eastern context consecutive to the “Arab Springs” that began in 2010. It reappeared as a model of democracy in the region and was sometimes referred to as an example for Tunisian, Egyptian, Libyan, Yemenite, Syrian, etc., people who rebelled against the authoritarian regimes of their countries.63 And while, gradually, in 2010, 2011, and 2012, Islamic leaders were imposing themselves at the head of Tunisia, Libya, or Egypt, the Turkish case seemed even more accurate to many people in the U.S. as, since 2002, this is an Islamic leadership (the AKP one) that rules the country, and it has not totally destroyed neither democracy nor the Turkish-Western relationship. In the meantime, Ankara’s opposition to Bashar Al-Assad’s regime in Syria brought its diplomacy closer to those of the main Western powers, including the U.S. It showed the U.S. again that, despite the end the Cold War, despite its new ambitions in the Middle East and the relative cooling of its relations with Israel, Turkey remained an important regional ally. This new rapprochement was symbolized, in early 2013, by the installation on Turkish soil of new U.S. batteries of air defense missiles, namely Patriot ones (in addition to Germany and the Netherlands).64 In the meantime, Ankara and Tel Aviv succeeded quite well in restoring their relationship. Although the level of confidence is not as high as it used to be, and although it is clear that the AKP leadership in Ankara wants to maintain its pro-Palestinian official stance, both countries have apparently reached a new modus vivendi over the past few months. In March 2013, Israel, apparently strongly pushed by the U.S. to do so,65 officially apologized for the Gaza Flotilla affair. Prime Minister Erdoğan accepted these apologies and, soon after that, rumors that military cooperation was starting again spread.66 It is quite likely that in the future, the relationship between the two countries will continue to improve, because it is still perceived of strategic importance in Ankara and even more in Tel Aviv, without, however, reaching the levels of the 1990s and early 2000s, and will be treated with more “discretion” than in the past.67

*

  • 68 Joint Press Conference by President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey”, May 16, 2013, The (...)

21Even when its relations with Israel or with the U.S. were not as high as they could be, Turkey succeeded in maintaining its geopolitical importance for the U.S. As President Obama explained in May 2013, commenting on Prime Minister Erdoğan’s official visit to Washington: “This visit reflects the importance that the United States places on our relationship with our ally, Turkey, and I value so much the partnership that I’ve been able to develop with Prime Minister Erdogan.”68 Turkey is still perceived as an indispensible Middle-Eastern and Eurasian ally by the U.S. leadership and also by most of the intellectual community in Washington; and this despite the recent clear cooling of U.S.-Turkish and U.S.-Israeli relations. It may even appear that Turkey does gain further importance when its partnership with the U.S. is, or seems to be, threatened. We can assume that it will remain the same in the future, except if Ankara clearly decides to put an end to its cooperation with the West, which is quite unlikely at this stage.

22In any case, it seems to be essential for the U.S., and for Israel as well, to do the maximum to maintain this relationship with Turkey, relationship which has proven to be, these past few years, rather fragile. For this reason, and for a few others developed in this paper, it is quite difficult for U.S. administrations to recognize the Armenian Genocide and not to attempt to block such a recognition, which is vehemently opposed by Turkey, in the U.S. Congress when it is to be discussed by U.S. Congressmen. However, the executive branch of the U.S. power is more and more isolated on this issue. An impressive number of American leading personalities, and private and public institutions, including Congress Committees, have recognized the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian community of the U.S. strongly lobbies to push their country to recognize the historical event that is central to their identity. Even on the executive side, a President (Ronald Reagan) and an ambassador to Armenia (John Evans) have used the word “genocide” to discuss the elimination of Ottoman Armenians in 1915-1917, and most of the Presidents and Secretaries of State (including Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, etc.) have explicitly recognized it before they took office. The forces that oppose the recognition, led by Turkey, are still strong, and they might succeed in maintaining the status quo on this issue for some time. However, if Armenian-Americans, and other Americans individuals and groups pushing for recognition, maintain their pressure on the U.S. authorities, we can assume that the executive branch will, at some point, cede. Such a recognition would likely anger Turkish authorities, but one could wonder if U.S. administrations have not overestimated this anger and, in more general terms, if the geopolitical consequences of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide would be so terrible for U.S. foreign policy.

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Bibliographie

Bengio Ofra, The Turkish-Israeli Relationship, Changing Ties of Middle Eastern Outsiders, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, 264 p.

Bobelian Michael, Children of Armenia. A forgotten Genocide and the Century-Long Struggle for Justice, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009, 308 p.

Encel Frédéric, “Causes, déroulement et conséquences de la rupture israélo-turque”, Hérodote, no. 148, 2013, pp. 68-82.

Ganem Elise, L’axe Israël-Turquie: vers une nouvelle dynamique proche-orientale, Paris: L’Harmathan, 2005, 242 p.

Ganem Elise, “La détérioration du partenariat israélo-turc”, in Firouzeh Nahavandi (ed.), Turquie, Le déploiement stratégique, Bruxelles: Bruylant, 2012, pp. 89-116.

Harris George, “Turkish-American Relations Since the Truman Doctrine”, in Mustafa Aydin and Cagri Erhan (eds.), Turkish-American Relations: Past, Present and Future, London: Routledge, 2003, pp. 66-88.

Hovannisian Richard (ed.), The Armenian Genocide: History, Politics, Ethics, New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1992, 386 p.

Hovannisian Richard, “Denial of the Armenian Genocide in Comparison with Holocaust Denial,” in Richard Hovannisian (ed.), Remembrance and Denial. The Case of the Armenian Genocide, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1999, pp. 201-236.

Kévorkian Raymond, Le Génocide des Arméniens, Paris: Odile Jacob, 2006, 1007 p.

Lewis Bernard, “Why Turkey Is the only Muslim Democracy”, Middle East Quarterly,
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Marchesin Philippe, “Géopolitique de la Turquie à partir du Grand échiquier de Zbignew Brzezinski”, Études internationales, vol. 33, no. 1, 2002, pp. 137-157.

Payaslian Simon, “After Recognition”, Armenian Forum: Journal of Contemporary Affairs, vol. 2, no. 3, 2001, pp. 33-56.

Rice Condoleezza, No Higher Honor. A Memoir of my Years in Washington, New York: Crown Publishers, 2011, 1858 p.

Robins Philip, Suits and Uniforms, Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003, 404 p.

Ternon Yves, “Freedom and the Responsibility of the Historian. The ‘Lewis Affair’”, in Richard Hovannisian (ed.), Remembrance and Denial. The Case of the Armenian Genocide, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1999, pp. 237-248.

Walker Joshua, “Turkey and Israel’s Relationship in the Middle East”, Mediterranean Quarterly, vol. 17, no. 4, 2006, pp. 60-90.

Zarifian Julien, Les États-Unis au Sud Caucase post-soviétique (Arménie, Azerbaïdjan, Géorgie), Paris: L’Harmattan, 2012, 272 p.

Zarifian Julien, “Les États-Unis, la Turquie et le problem arménien”, Hérodote, no. 149, 2013, pp. 53-65.

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Notes

1 As several authors explained it, the destruction of Ottoman Armenians and its demographic, economic, and political consequences, have played a central role in the making of modern Turkish identity. (Cf. Raymond Kévorkian, Le Génocide des Arméniens, Paris: Odile Jacob, 2006, pp. 9-10). Although Turkish denial also has political and geopolitical reasons, official and vehement denialist policies in Turkey have built a deeply and widely spread perception according to which: 1) Turks could not have done such a bad thing as genocide; 2) if massacres took place, it was because Ottoman-Armenians were a threat to the Turkish-Ottoman state and it was therefore a necessity for which today’s Turkey should not be blamed (Cf. Richard Hovannisian, “Denial of the Armenian Genocide in Comparison with Holocaust Denial,” in Richard Hovannisian (ed.), Remembrance and Denial. The Case of the Armenian Genocide, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1999, pp. 201-236).

2 The New York Times: Events of 1915 were not a ‘massacre’, it was genocide”, PanARMENIAN.net, April 7, 2007; “Associated Press Never Wrote of Armenian Genocide in Quotes”, PanARMENIAN.net, November 14, 2006; “ANCA-WR Applauds Los Angeles Times for Editorial in Support of Armenian Genocide Recognition”, ANCA, Press Release, March 22, 2006.

3 See, for example: Glenn Kessler, “Campaign Vow to Call Armenians’ Deaths ‘Genocide’ to Be Tested”, Washington Post, March 20, 2010; “Turkey and Armenia Take a Step Toward Rapprochement” (Editorial), Washington Post, October 14, 2009; Paul Farhi, “PBS Panel on Armenian Genocide Stirs Protest”, Washington Post, February 16, 2006; Alessandra Stanley, “A PBS Documentary Makes Its Case for the Armenian Genocide, With or Without a Debate”, New York Times, April 17, 2006, Norman Stone, “Armenian story has another side”, Chicago Tribune, October 16, 2007, Bruce Fein, “Lies, Dam Lies, and Armenian Deaths”, Huffington Post, June 4, 2009.

4 O. Faruk Loğoğlu, “To Reconcile Turks and Armenians”, Washington Times, May 2, 2005.

5 Bruce Fein, “Armenian Crimes Amnesia”, Washington Times, October 16, 2007.

6 Cf., for example: David Holthouse, “State of Denial. Turkey Spends Millions to Cover Up Armenian Genocide”, Intelligence Report, Issue 130, Summer 2008.

7 Yves Ternon, “Freedom and the Responsibility of the Historian. The ‘Lewis Affair’”, in R. Hovannisian (ed.), Remembrance and Denial..., op. cit., p. 241.

8 Lou Ann Matossian, “Politics, scholarship, and the Armenian Genocide. Perspectives on the ITS Scandal”, Armenian Reporter, July 19, 2008.

9 126 Holocaust Scholars Affirm the Incontestable Fact of the Armenian Genocide and Urge Western Democracies to Officially Recognize it”, New York Times, June 9, 2000.

10 International Affirmation of the Armenian Genocide”, Armenian National Institute, http://www.armenian-genocide.org/current_category.11/affirmation_list.html.

11 Genocide Recognition by U.S. States, ANCA Internet site, http://www.anca.org/genocide/states_map.php, (not dated, but copyrighted in 2009).

12 April 24, 1915 being commonly considered the starting point of the Armenian Genocide, when Ottoman authorities arrested and then deported about 250 Armenian leaders in Constantinople. It has become the commemoration day of the Armenian Genocide.

13 International Affirmation of the Armenian Genocide”, Armenian National Institute, http://www.armenian-genocide.org/current_category.99/affirmation_list.html.

14 Ground-Breaking Ceremony for Armenian Heritage Park to Be Held on Sept. 9”, Armenian Weekly, September 1, 2010.

15 Although it is often considered that the Democratic Party is more supportive to Armenian-Americans and to their efforts to push the U.S. to recognize the Armenian Genocide, both Democrats and Republicans have been, over time, involved in the political process for a recognition.

16 Simon Payaslian, “After Recognition”, Armenian Forum: Journal of Contemporary Affairs, vol. 2, no. 3, 2001, p. 38.

17 S. Payaslian, “After Recognition…”, art. cit., p. 5.

18 Congressional Bill Tracker”, Internet Site: Real Clear Politics (http://www.realclearpolitics.com), http://dyn.realclearpolitics.com/congressional_bill_tracker/bill/98/hjres247/.

19 Harut Sassounian, “Sassounian: All 3 Branches of U.S. Government Recognize Armenian Genocide”, Armenian Weekly, June 5, 2012.

20 Michael Bobelian, Children of Armenia. A forgotten Genocide and the Century-Long Struggle for Justice, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009, pp. 169-70.

21 President Ronald Reagan, “Days of Remembrance of Victims of the Holocaust”, Proclamation 4838, April 22, 1981.

22 Congressional Records. Proceedings and Debates of the 107th Congree, 1st Session, Volume 147, Part 5, April 24, 2001 to May 8, 2001, United States Government Printing Office, 2001, p. 6091.

23 Turkey gives muted reaction after Clinton visits Yerevan memorial”, Hürriyet, Tuesday, July 6, 2010.

24 Official: Armenian genocide resolution unlikely to get full House vote”, CNN.com, March 6, 2010.

25 ANCA condemns Sec. Clinton’s comments on Armenian Genocide”, Armenian Reporter, January 31, 2012.

26 Statement of President Barack Obama on Armenian Remembrance Day”, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, April 24, 2009, April 24, 2010, April 24, 2011, April 24, 2012, and April 24, 2013.

27 Condoleezza Rice, No Higher Honor. A Memoir of my Years in Washington, New York: Crown Publishers, 2011, pp. 1519-20.

28  Armenia: Condi in the Crosshairs”, Eurasianet.org, November 11, 2011.

29 Matt Lewis, “Should the United States Recognize Armenian Genocide?”, Politics Daily, March 3, 2010.

30 Rice: U.S. should not be involved in ‘genocide’ dispute”, Today’s Zaman, March 22, 2007.

31  Mark Landler and Sebnem Arsu, After Hitch, Turkey and Armenia Normalize Ties”, New York Times, October 10, 2009.

32 Turkey decided to close its border with Armenia in April 1993, in solidarity with Azerbaijan which was loosing the war over the Nagorno Karabakh region, against Karabakhi Armenians supported by the Republic of Armenia. See Emil Danielyan, “Turkey ‘nearly opened Armenian border in 2003’”, EurasiaNet.org, February 4, 2005.

33 “Reconnaissance du génocide arménien par le Congrès américain : Ankara menace de prendre des sanctions contre l’Arménie”, AP, October 16, 2007.

34 Obama Administration Urges Congress to Wait on Genocide Resolution”, AP, March 4, 2010.

35 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Remarks With Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian”, Presidential Palace, Yerevan, Armenia, June 4, 2012.

36 Former U.S. Secretaries of State oppose Armenian Genocide Resolution”, PanARMENIAN.Net, September 27, 2007.

37 Congressional Records, Proceedings and Debates of the 107th Congress, 1st Session, Volume 153, Part 19, October 1, 2007 to October 16, 2007, p. 27175.

38 Is there life on the Armenian-Turkish border?”, Georgia Times, May 30, 2012.

39 The Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs had a meeting with the Armenian Diaspora in Chicago”, Press Release, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia, May 19, 2012.

40 Rice appeals Congress to drop Armenia ‘genocide’ bill, China View, October 25, 2007.

41 Philippe Marchesin, “Géopolitique de la Turquie à partir du Grand échiquier de Zbignew Brzezinski”, Études internationales, vol. 33, no. 1, 2002, p. 141.

42 George S. Harris, “Turkish-American Relations Since the Truman Doctrine”, in Mustafa Aydin and Cagri Erhan (eds.), Turkish-American Relations: Past, Present and Future, London: Routledge, 2003, p. 68.

43 Cf., for example: Bernard Lewis, “Why Turkey Is the only Muslim Democracy”, Middle East Quarterly, March 1994, pp. 41-49.

44 U.S. Interests and Turkey”, A briefing by Marc Grossman, 
March 13, 2000, Philadelphia (Middle East Forum, Summary account by Assaf Moghadam, http://www.meforum.org/184/us-interests-and-turkey).

45 Department of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Background Notes on Turkey, May 2009, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3432.htm.

46 Ibidem.

47 M. Bobelian, Children of Armenia…, op. cit., p. 170.

48 Department of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Background Notes on Turkey, May 2009, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3432.htm.

49 Turkey, CIA World Factbook, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/tu.html.

50 Fact Sheet on U.S. – Turkish Economic and Commercial Cooperation, 2011-2012”, U.S. Department of Commerce, http://export.gov/turkey/build/groups/public/@eg_eur/documents/webcontent/eg_eur_051341.pdf.

51 Elise Ganem, L’axe Israël-Turquie: vers une nouvelle dynamique proche-orientale, Paris: L’Harmathan, 2005, p. 16.

52 Ofra Bengio, Professor at Tel Aviv University, author of: The Turkish-Israeli Relationship, Changing Ties of Middle Eastern Outsiders, London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

53 Joshua Walker, “Turkey and Israel’s Relationship in the Middle East”, Mediterranean Quarterly, vol. 17, no. 4, 2006, pp. 71-72.

54 J. Walker, “Turkey and Israel’s…”, art. cit., p. 80.

55 Philip Robins, Suits and Uniforms, Turkish Foreign Policy Since the Cold War, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2003, p. 130.

56 Resources on Faith, Ethics, and Public Life”, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs, Georgetown University, http://berkleycenter.georgetown.edu/resources/organizations/justice-and-development-party-turkey.

57 Frédéric Encel, “Causes, déroulement et conséquences de la rupture israélo-turque”, Hérodote, no. 148, 2013, p. 70.

58 Lale Kemal, “Turkish-Israeli military ties will not resume soon”, Today’s Zaman, April 17, 2013.

59 Ali Aslan, “‘Shared Vision Document’ Period in U.S.-Turkey Relationships”, Today’s Zaman, July 6, 2006.

60 Bush vows help for Turkey against PKK terrorists”, Today’s Zaman, November 6, 2007.

61 Then-President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan several times criticized Israeli leaders (Shimon Peres and Benyamin Netanyahu in particular) and policies towards the Palestinians (“Erdogan Anti-Israel Talk Negates Mediator Role in Gaza Conflict”, Bloomberg.com, November 12, 2012). More recently, in June 2013, “Erdogan […] reportedly implied that Israel was delighted by the [strong anti-governmental] protests [in Place Taksim in Istanbul,] roiling his country.

62 Stephen Cook, “How Do You Say Frenemy in Turkish?”, Foreign Policy (online version), June 1, 2010.

63 Scheherazade Rehman, “Could Turkey Be a Super Power?”, U.S. News, November 6, 2012.

64 Second set of NATO Patriot missiles in Turkey go active”, Reuters, January 29, 2013.

65 Lale Kemal, “Turkish-Israeli military ties will not resume soon”, Today’s Zaman, April 17, 2013.

66 Turkey Dismisses Reported Military Cooperation with Israel”, Xinhua, April 22, 2013.

67 Elise Ganem, “La détérioration du partenariat israélo-turc”, in Firouzeh Nahavandi (ed.), Turquie, Le déploiement stratégique, Bruxelles: Bruylant, 2012, p. 115.

68 Joint Press Conference by President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey”, May 16, 2013, The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/05/16/joint-press-conference-president-obama-and-prime-minister-erdogan-turkey.

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Julien Zarifian, « The United States and the (Non-)Recognition of the Armenian Genocide », Études arméniennes contemporaines, 1 | 2013, 75-95.

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Julien Zarifian, « The United States and the (Non-)Recognition of the Armenian Genocide », Études arméniennes contemporaines [En ligne], 1 | 2013, mis en ligne le 01 décembre 2014, consulté le 18 novembre 2017. URL : http://eac.revues.org/361 ; DOI : 10.4000/eac.361

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Julien Zarifian

Maître de conférences en civilisation américaine, université de Cergy-Pontoise

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