Turkish Americans prepare ‘master plan’ for 2015
The 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 âmaster planâ to ârespond to the Armeniansâ claims on every front.â
The Turkish campaign, which will include âboth proactive and reactive responses,â will be introduced to all Turkish groups that will be invited to Washington in September.
âProactiveâ measures include the forming of âactivist committeesâ 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 âday-long conferencesâ in partnership with local universities and with the participation of famous Turkish-Americans like Dr. Mehmet Ãz and Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent.
âReactiveâ 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.