Turkish FM expects 'no negative comments from U.S.'

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Davutoglu says Turkey took necessary precautions to counter lobby that wants the U.S. to recognize so-called Armenian genocide.

Davutoglu says Turkey took necessary precautions to counter lobby that wants the U.S. to recognize so-called Armenian genocide.

ANKARA - Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu expects no negative comments from the U.S. or the president of the United States on the upcoming anniversary of the so-called "Armenian genocide."

Davutoglu answered journalists' questions Thursday before leaving for Japan for a nuclear weapons meeting.

Asked about whether Barack Obama will make a statement that will "irritate" Turkey on April 24, the anniversary of the so-called "Armenian genocide," Davutoglu said he expects no negative comments. 

Since World War I, the Armenian diaspora claims that the events of the era constituted a “genocide.” The Turkish government completely rejects this charge. 

"There has been an attempt in the U.S. Senate, the Foreign Relations Committee, from anti-Turkey lobbies," Davutoglu said. "I have talked with Mr. Kerry about the situation and he understood our concern." 

- Leaked recordings

Davutoglu also answered a question whether any other recordings were found in the Foreign Ministry building after the leakage scandal.

An investigation is ongoing into a leaked conversation between him and top security officials who were recorded discussing a possible military operation in Syria. The story made headlines after the secret discussion was uploaded to YouTube.

"No other recordings have been found yet," said the foreign minister. He added that if any other recordings are found, the ministry will take the necessary precautions and will impose sanctions.

"Anybody who tries to mess with Turkey's reputation will get its response," Davutoglu added.

- Turkey-Israel relations

Davutoglu said recent talks with Israeli officials have been promising and a final settlement can be reached about the compensation that Israel is expected to pay to the families of the Mavi Marmara martyrs. Israeli commandos killed eight Turkish nationals and an American of Turkish origin in international waters when they attacked the Mavi Marmara, a ship in a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid and construction materials to the Gaza Strip, which is under an Israeli blockade.

The event caused international outrage and soured Turkish-Israeli ties. Since then, Turkey has received an apology from the Israeli government and the two states are looking to normalize relations with a deal involving compensation for the victims’ families.

- Turkish schools abroad

Davutoglu refuted allegations that the Turkish government ordered the closing of the Turkish schools abroad, which are reportedly linked to Gulen movement. 

"It is our duty to protect Turkey's reputation from those who try to use their reputation from these schools for a smear campaign against Turkish government," he said.

- Nuclear weapons meeting in Japan

Turkey's foreign minister will attend a meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative in Hiroshima, Japan, on April 11 by a dozen non-nuclear countries.

Davutoglu will also hold talks with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida to discuss bilateral relations and exchange opinions on regional and international issues. 

The  Disarmament Initiative is a group of 12 non-nuclear-weapon states that Japan and Australia initiated in 2010 to lead international efforts in nuclear disarmament.

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