"Turkish Lobby in the U.S. Pulled Ahead Significantly in Recent Years”
“Turkey must attend to any platform that includes Armenian thesis, in order to represent Turkish thesis.”
Prof. Dr. Kamer Kasım, who has studies about Armenian issue and Turkish Armenian relations, officiates as the vice president of International Institute for Strategic Studies and the dean of the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences in Abant Izzet Baysal University. Kamer Kasım underlined the necessity of Turkish thesis supporters in every platform where Armenian issue is argued and he also emphasized that therefore the conferences, meetings and studies would not be one sided and would be qualified academically.
Prof. Dr. Kamer Kasım, mentioned the significance of academic publishing in foreign languages, especially English. He indicated that these publishing must take part in libraries and bookstores and also there must be the studies in an academic level which express Turkish thesis by the researchers. We made an interview with Kamer Kasım in reference to his opinions about Armenian issue and what kind of studies should be done for Turkish thesis.
Historyoftruth.com: First of all, we want to thank you for approving our interview. Can you talk about yourself to our readers in the first place?
Kamer Kasım: I graduated from Faculty of Political Sciences in Ankara University in 1993. I received my master and PhD degrees in Manchester University, England. In 2000, I entered upon the office of International Relations department in Abant Izzet Baysal University. Between the years of 2001 and 2003, I was found as a specialist in the Institute for Armenian Research. Besides, took part in Turkish Armenian Relations National Committee. In 2011, I worked as a lecturer in Michigan State University. In 2014, I worked as a visiting academic in National Chengchi University in Taiwan. I’m working as the vice president of International Institute for Strategic Studies and the dean of the Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences in Abant Izzet Baysal University, at present.
Historyoftruth.com: Can you share your opinions about the defense of Turkish thesis under the title of Armenian issue in 2016?
Kamer Kasım: 2016 was a mobile year in terms of the intense activities of Armenian lobby about Armenian issue. In consequence of the studies made by Turkey, Armenian lobby could not obtain the result that they expected from 2015 activities. The various institutions also should continue their studies rapidly in terms of announcing Turkish thesis in the international arena in 2016. It must be studied that Turkish thesis must be represented in any platform that includes Armenian side. It must be emphasized that the conferences, meetings and studies where Turkish thesis do not take part are academically weak and their academic qualification should be questioned.
Historyoftruth.com: In historical and political context, what are your opinions about the ideal of Big (Combined) Armenia and the essential aims of Armenians?
Kamer Kasım: The Armenian side wants to bring the genocide claims to UN as an ultimate goal. They aim to reach dimension that they can claim compensation from Turkey. Some societies support to follow an irredentist politics against the neighborhood of Armenia in order to enlarge their borders. We can give its example today that Armenian forces occupy Nagorno-Karabakh and the lands of Azerbaijan surround it.
Historyoftruth.com: Do you think that ASALA still exist and do Turkish diplomats in USA still under a threat?
Kamer Kasım: The terror constructions like ASALA can exist in various places as sleeper cells. They watch for an opportunity of the appropriate time and background in order to come into their activities. If the consciousness of the common fight against terrorism exists and as long as terrorism is cursed in the international arena, this type of constructions will refuse to resorting terrorism. If the stability of struggling terrorism disappears, then these groups resort to violence.
Historyoftruth.com: The comments of Pope Francis about 1915 events caused to reactions in Muslim World. What are your opinions and observations about the religious dimension of Armenian issue?
Kamer Kasım: With his efficient position in Christian World, Pope Francis made some statements about 1915 incidents in 12nd April 2015 which would please Armenian side. Naturally, this situation caused to reactions in Islam world. Thereupon this statement, Turkey called Vatican ambassador back in order to hold a consultation. In Armenian issue, which showed up during the fragmentation process of Ottoman Empire, big Christian countries and especially Armenian gangs are responsible from the massacres aimed at Muslims. As a religious leader, Pope Francis should approach this problem poisedly as an accommodationist. This will serve to drop the tension. After the book launch of Historian Rinaldo Marmara under the title of The First Canakkale Victory 1657, Vatican made statements reducing the tension with Turkey. In conclusion, Turkey decided Vatican ambassador to return his duty.
Historyoftruth.com: In what way does the decision of European Court of Human Right effect international social perspective about Armenian accusations?
Kamer Kasım: In Dogu Perincek case which designates the Armenian claims as an international lie, European Court of Human Rights returned an acquittal. This progress that Armenian side was the losing side, doubtlessly gave damage to Armenian thesis as ‘the indisputability of genocide.’ While people who deny Holocaust aimed to Jewish people are punishing in many countries, the court explicitly revealed that the claims of genocide could not be considered in the same category with Holocaust. After this decision, the environments, that desire to punish the encounterers of Armenian claims with some justifications such as denial of the genocide, will step back.
Historyoftruth.com: What must Turkey do in order to strengthen its position in international arena against Armenian accusations? What are your ideas and suggestions about this subject?
Kamer Kasım: First of all, it is significant that academic publishing in foreign languages, especially English must take part in libraries and bookstores and also there must be the studies in an academic level which express Turkish thesis by the researchers. The impartial researchers who search this subject must reach to these academic studies easily. It must be emphasized that the archives are open and Turkey does not hesitate to argue this subject with Armenian side. Turkey must attend to any platform that includes Armenian thesis, in order to represent Turkish thesis. Armenian side covered a distance in order to defend their thesis in the international arena. For this reason, they don’t want to discuss this subject with Turkish side in front of the third party. Because they know that they will lose the background if they take the issue.
Historyoftruth.com: On the occasion of last year was the hundredth anniversary of So-called Armenian claims, Armenian Diaspora was very active. In terms of struggling against their claims, what types of situations are waiting us in 2016?
Kamer Kasım: This year, 2016 may not pass as active as the last year, 2015 in terms of Armenian Diaspora’s activities. Armenian Diaspora could not take the result they expected from their activities in 2015. Especially in the ceremonies in Yerevan did not attract attention of Armenians. The invitation for the 100th anniversary of Canakkale Wars of Turkey overshadowed the works of Armenian side in the international arena.
Historyoftruth.com: Can any change in the implementations and enforcements of Armenian government be effective for the relations between Turkey and Armenia? According to you, what kind of solutions and agreements can change the course of these relations?
Kamer Kasım: To evolve Turkish Armenian relations to a moderate point, the steps of Armenia government can effect the process positively. These relations can get better if Armenia avoid from making genocide claims a current issue in the international agenda, if they don’t use this subject in domestic and foreign politics, if they sign a declaration that includes good neighborhood relations and the untouchableness of the boundaries. The normalization of Turkish Armenian relations and opening of the land border are up to the end of the occupation aims at Azerbaijan lands and the solution of Nagorno-Karabakh problem.
Historyoftruth.com: In the last decade, both in the global axis and in comparison with the works of Armenian lobby, what do you think about the changes in the power of Turkish lobby?
Kamer Kasım: The existence of Armenian lobby in America goes back a long way. For this reason, they used their advantages as population and economic power thus far. However, Turkish lobby also pulled ahead with their moves recently. Although American Turkish society has a few number or people and exists in USA recently, consisting of educated people is an important factor that makes it effective.
Historyoftruth.com: What is your opinion about the expectations of Armenian Diaspora in terms of untruthful genocide claims? What do you think about the assumptions intended that Armenian Diaspora achieves economic benefits from these claims?
Kamer Kasım: USA is being in the first place, Armenian Diaspora in other countries use the genocide claims as an identity element in order to keep Armenian society together in the country they are located. On the other hand, this situation turned into an industry in USA. They open research centers, they make movies, they publish books and design t-shirts etc. This construction will be depreciated during the reveal of cogency of Turkish thesis and Armenian claims go for nothing. Removing the concept of Armenian genocide claims completely under the context of Armenians will amount to the end of this industry.
Historyoftruth.com: According to some media statements, Kurdish terrorist organizations used Armenian lands in order to attach Turkish security forces. Do you think that Turkey can perform operations against these terrorist organizations in Armenia as it is in North Iraq and North Syria? What is your opinion about the ideas of this terrorist organization as being an Armenian project and a successor of ASALA?
Kamer Kasım: Every country is under the obligation of the repression of terrorist groups that leak to neighboring countries and the turn away of their entrance. If Armenia does not fulfill this obligation and allow the terrorist constructions in its lands, they will pay its price in the international arena. The terrorist organizations as PKK are convenient to used by other countries and groups. Thereby, Armenia and the terrorist organizations as ASALA may want to exploit from this terrorist organization.
Historyoftruth.com: Can you make evaluations about the point of Turkey and Russia relations from past to present both in the context of Armenian issue and in the global axis?
Kamer Kasım: Turkey-Russia relations are improved under the conditions of conflict and taking parts in opposite blocks. During the period of Cold War, Turkey was the shield country of NATO against the threat of Soviet. The end of this Cold War period give chance to Turkish Russia relations in terms of opening a new age. But the movements of Russia with Cold War logic and centering the security dilemma to its foreign politics blocked the improvement of these relations. At the points of Armenian claims and occupation of Armenia in Azerbaijan lands, Russia that supports Armenian side lost its chance to open a new page in Middle east and Caucasus geography as weighting off its historical charges. This situation caused to continuing the political rivalry and blockage in Turkish Russian relations. When the aggressive policy of Russia in Syria is added to this situation, the tension between their relations became unavoidable.
Historyoftruth.com: The resolution of Srebrenitsa Genocide could not pass through United Nations Security Council because of Russian veto. And also Russia supports Armenian accusations against Turkey. What kinds of lessons should Turkey take from this situation?
Kamer Kasım: The position of Russia about Armenian claims will not change. For this reason, Turkey must strengthen its connections with friendly nations in Middle East and Caucasus. In respect to this, the relations with Azerbaijan are very important. Besides, throughout history, as considering the role of Russia in especially the massacres of Turkistan geography, it is a contradiction that Russia acts comfortable this much about the Armenian issue. 2016 is the 100th anniversary of Urkun Massacre in Turkistan geography that Czarist Russia implemented. This is also mentioned officially in Kirghiz Republic beginning from last year.
Historyoftruth.com: In conclusion, do you want to forward any message to the readers of our news portals?
Kamer Kasım: Turkey must continue to give explicit messages to World public opinion and must not allow the attempts that will abrade its existing position in terms of Turkey Armenia relations. At this point, the supports that will be taken from Turkish and Islamic world are important. It is known as various countries perform as abrasive lobby works in order to normalize Turkish Armenian relations. It is natural that these kinds of lobbying works can be done in democratic countries. It is also significant that these works also be supported with the studies that will be sustained in an academic level.
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