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JOURNAL NUMBERS

Armenian Lobby: The Formation of the Armenian Lobby in the United States and Lobby Activities (English Summary of the Turkish Article)

Dr. Şenol KANTARCI*
Armenian Studies, Issue 1, March -April - May 2001

 .C À="justify">At 1830 the USA has signed its first commerce treaty with the Ottoman Empire and obtained "the most favored nation" status with this treaty. While trading with the Ottomans, Americans have chosen Armenians as brokers. Within time the number of the Armenians that were trading on behalf of the Americans have increased. Among a few took American citizenship.

The American missionaries have first arrived to Anatolia by 1820’s and they have chosen the Armenians as their "target" community. Some of the Armenians went to America for education and later on settled there. They all had in common extreme Turkish hostility. Armenian traders who have migrated to America displayed also anti-Turkish activities. The Armenians who have settled down in America during the years 1890-1900 are thought to be approximately 12.000. Shortly after, the Armenian Revolutionary Parties became active in America. In 1903 there were 36 Dashnak committees at the USA. By 1914 this figure went up to 77. From 1887 until the present, there has been 1228 Armenian organizations established in America among which 182 are churches. Almost all of them besides the activities for the preservation of their Armenian identity, displayed also Turkish hostility.

The Armenians who had settled in America had been successful in short time in their anti-Turkish policy. The first draft resolution that has been against the Ottoman Empire was handed in to the senate by 1894. Ever since then those activities continued and has reached its peak during World War I and in the afterwards.

The reason for the Armenians not having many lobby activities until 1965 is due to the fact that Turkey became an ally of America after World War II and had participated to the Korean War.

On 1965 the Armenian propaganda restarted. The years between 1973-1985 is the Armenian terrorism period during which Turkish diplomats were assassinated.

In 1984 some of the Armenian organizations at America have founded the Armenian Assembly of America. Meanwhile the political parties such as the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Hunchakian Social Democratic Party are continuing to carry out their activities. Today in America there are approximately 800.000 Armenians.

At present the Armenian lobby’s activities at the American Congress is concentrating on three fields: recognition of the Armenian "genocide" by the American Congress, financial aid to Armenia by the United States and sanctions to Azerbaijan and to Turkey. The Greek lobby helps the Armenians with their activities against Turkey. However Turkey’s strategic importance limits the Armenian achievements.

Armenians are trying to receive compensation from Turkey and for this they are following the tactics that the Jews applied for the holocaust victims.

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- Armenian Studies, Issue 1, March -April - May 2001
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ERAREN - Institute for Armenian Research

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