Photography: Ivy's Kopiaste.org Brings Us A Lovely Photographic Travelogue to CyprusCuisine: DELICIOUS -- NO-FAIL MODERN CYPRUS EASTER BREAD (“FLAOUNES”)Culture: “Aspects of Armenian Art” exhibition opens at Leventis Municipal Museum in Nicosia

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Obama's Man for Europe Views on Cyprus, Patriarchate, Armenia

(Greek News) - Exclusive: Philip Gordon’s reply to 28 questions by Senator Robert Menendez.

Washington.- By Apostolos Zoupaniotis

Assistant Secretary of State Designate Philip Gordon’s confirmation is expected to move into the Senate floor for a vote very soon, a very well informed Congress source told the Greek News. Gordon’s confirmation although passed through the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee in early April, it was held up by Senator John Ensign, a Republican from Nevada who has co-sponsored a congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide in the past.

Ensign represents the State of Nevada in the U.S. Senate along with Majority Leader Harry Reed, who is expected to have a tough reelection in 2010. Although political pundits and some Armenian Americans were predicting Ensign’s position to force Reed to withhold Gordon’s nomination for some more time, it seems now that the junior senator from Nevada will step back, for unknown reasons, opening the way for a full Senate vote, as soon as the end of the week. According to political sources, Ensign’s hold happened just before Obama’s Armenian Day proclamation and was just a warning to the Obama Administration and the President himself to put pressure on Ankara during its negotiations with Armenia to settle their disputes.

The fact that the Armenian government agreed to the process didn’t leave much alternatives to anyone in the Senate”, the same sources told the Greek News.

Gordon’s position on Cyprus and the Armenian Genocide during his confirmation hearing, on March 26, 2009, left many unanswered questions about his objectivity.

Although he is the translator of the English edition of French President’s Nicola Sarkozy book “Testimony”, he criticized France for criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide. “Genocide Denial” is a crime in many countries, including the United States in the case of the Jewish Holocaust.

Gordon, a former director of the Brookings Institution was author of many pro Turkish books and article. He was very critical of the Greek Cypriot rejection of the Annan Plan and suggest the reward of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

According to figures released by Brookings Institution and provided to the Senate by Philip Gordon, since 2006 Brookings has received $200,000 from the Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association, $200,000 from Sabanci University, $150,000 from the Eksiogullari Group (a construction company in Turkey), and $100,000 from the Dogan Yayin Holding Company, a media-entertainment conglomerate.

Brookings, in a note attached to the spreadsheet listing the donations, said that the "primary funding for the work of Philip H. Gordon in 2006-2007 was provided by the Smith Richardson Foundation. From 2007-2009 primary funding was provided to Mr. Gordon by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, the Carnegie Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Brookings Endowment."

The question about Gordon’s funding was asked by Senator Robert Menendez (D, NJ) along with 27 other questions, seeking clarification on his positions regarding Cyprus, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Turkey’s compliance with the Copenhagen Criteria, the Armenian Genocide and the Turkish-Armenia dispute and Ukraine.

According to sources close to the Greek Lobby in Washington, although during his confirmation hearing he denied to say if he agreed with Obama’s statement about “the Turkish occupation of north Cyprus”, Gordon’s written answers (to Menendez questions) regarding Cyprus and the Ecumenical Patriarchate were satisfactory, reflecting the change of tone in Washington in these issues. But, some of his answers about Armenia left a bitter taste in many Armenian-Americans.

“Greek News” is publishing exclusively all his answers to the questions regarding Cyprus and the Patriarchate and some of his replies to the questions regarding Armenia.

ON CYPRUS

Question: In the case that negotiations between the parties in Cyprus break down in the next four years, what are your views on how one achieves a settlement on Cyprus? Specifically, what role would the United States play in Cyprus negotiations and what would you advocate as a U.S. policy towards Cyprus?

Answer: If confirmed, I will vigorously support the direct negotiations between the parties that began in September 2008 under the United Nations Good Offices Mission, and do everything possible to prevent the breakdown of those talks. The only way to achieve a just and lasting settlement is for the Cypriot parties themselves to negotiate their own solution, with strong support from the international community whenever the parties seek such support. If confirmed, I will continue to support the reunification of Cyprus under a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, which has been the longstanding policy of the United States, supported by United Nations Security Council Resolutions.

Question: Would you promote the equivalent of the Annan Plan in the current context if negotiations were not moving forward?

Answer: If confirmed, I will continue to support a resolution of the Cyprus Problem through the reunification of the island into a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. While it is important to build on those areas of convergence reached during four decades of negotiations under UN auspices, the Annan Plan was rejected by Greek Cypriots in a referendum; I respect that democratic decision. The current leaders, Demetris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat are to be commended for taking the initiative in starting negotiations on September 3, 2008 under the auspices of the United Nations Good Offices Mission, and for conducting those negotiations in good-faith. If confirmed, I will support this Cypriot-led process and assist as needed, in consultation with the parties.

ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE

Question: If confirmed, would you urge that the Government of Turkey respect the rights and religious freedoms of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of the Orthodox Christian Church?

Answer: Yes, if confirmed, I will continue to urge Turkish officials to recognize the ecumenical status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, to continue allowing the Holy Synod to select its members regardless of whether they are Turkish citizens, restore confiscated religious property and prevent spurious legal challenges to Patriarchate property, and to reopen the Halki Seminary. The United States considers Ecumenical Patriarch Batholomew a religious leader of global standing, a position with which I agree. Like the administration, I share deep respect for His All Holiness, and concern for the continued existence of the Patriarchate, which for centuries has been a part of the rich tradition of religious diversity exemplified in Istanbul.

Question: If confirmed, would you advocate that the European Union focus on the elimination of all forms of discrimination in Turkey, particularly with regard to the Ecumenical Patriarchate, while continuing accession negotiations?

Answer: Yes. It is the policy of this Administration to promote religious freedom and human rights worldwide, including in Turkey. If confirmed I would strongly support this policy with our friends and Allies in the European Union. Turkey has taken many steps toward improving its overall record on human rights and religious freedom, and has committed to implement further reforms, as desired by Turkish voters and in line with the European Union accession requirements. The United States fully supports Turkey’s accession to the European Union. If confirmed, I will continue to encourage progress on these reforms and will keep the issue of expanding religious freedom in Turkey high on our bilateral agenda, which, in turn, will advance Turkey’s efforts to meet the criteria for EU candidacy.

Question: If confirmed, would you advocate that the Government of Turkey remove an obstacle in its relations with the United States Government by taking positive steps to provide full religious freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate?

Answer: If confirmed, I will continue to urge Turkish officials to respect the ecumenical and legal status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Turkey, continue allowing the Holy Synod to select members who are not Turkish citizens, and to restore confiscated religious property and prevent spurious legal challenges to Patriarchate property. If confirmed, I will call on the Government of Turkey to reopen the Halki Seminary.

The United States Mission in Turkey regularly promotes religious freedom for all faiths and advocates for legal reforms to lift restrictions on religious minorities as part of our efforts to advance human rights. If confirmed, I will continue to support our Mission’s engagement with the Government of Turkey on religious freedom issues, advocate for continued outreach and engagement with Turkish religious leaders, and further our policy of active engagement and consultation with religious minority groups, including those in the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Syriac Orthodox, Protestant, and Jewish communities.

Question: If confirmed, would you advocate that the Government of Turkey recognize the right to the title of `Ecumenical Patriarch,' grant the Ecumenical Patriarch appropriate international recognition and ecclesiastic succession, grant the Ecumenical Patriarch the right to train clergy of all nationalities, not just Turkish nationals; and respect property rights and human rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate?

Answer: If confirmed, I will continue to urge Turkish officials to recognize the ecumenicity of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, reflecting our view of the Ecumenical Patriarch as a religious leader of global significance. If confirmed, I will also urge Turkish officials to reopen the school at Halki to ensure ecclesiastic succession. Just as we encourage the Turkish Government to continue allowing the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Holy Synod to select members who are not Turkish citizens, so do we hope the Patriarchate will have the right to train clergy of any nationality. On Patriarchate property, the recent amendments to the Foundations Law should help advance intensive U.S. efforts to elicit the return of the Buyukada Orphanage and other properties to the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Though the new Foundations Law is a step in the right direction, it does not include a provision for compensating original owners of property seized by the Government of Turkey and then sold to third parties. The law also did not rescind the authority of the government to expropriate property. The 2008 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom underscores the status of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the legal challenges for property ownership and, if confirmed, I will continue to strongly urge the Turkish Government to restore confiscated religious property and prevent spurious legal challenges to Patriarchate property.

TURKEY – EU

Question: Is it your view that the Government of Turkey should move expeditiously to meet the criteria set forth by the European Council in Copenhagen?

Answer: Any country seeking membership in the European Union must conform to the conditions established by the European Council in Copenhagen. Turkey has taken many steps towards improving its overall human rights and religious freedom record, and has made a commitment to implement further reforms desired by the people of Turkey and in line with the European Union accession process. The United States supports Turkey’s accession to the European Union. As it fulfills the EU’s accession criteria, Turkey will become an even stronger and more valuable partner of the United States and the entire Euro-Atlantic community. If confirmed, I will continue to encourage progress on these reforms and will keep the issue of expanding religious freedom in Turkey high on our bilateral agenda.

ON ARMENIA

Question: Does your record also include speaking out to have Turkey come to terms with its legacy of genocide and its denial of genocide? Have you spoken out to ensure that Turkey open the border with Armenia, which it has illegally kept closed for the last 15 years and is required under treaty obligations? If so, please provide documentation of such writings.

Answer: I have repeatedly encouraged Turkey to come to terms with its past and allow for an open and honest internal dialogue by expanding freedom of expression, especially on this particular issue. I have also advocated that the United States and Europe actively encourage Turkey to normalize its relations with Armenia, re-open the border, and allow open dialogue about the mass killings and forced exile of 1915. Turkey and Armenia have sought U.S. support for their reconciliation efforts, and following the lead of the President, if confirmed, I will give mine fully. Resurrecting Turkey-Armenia relations and reconciling with both peoples’ shared past is critical to fostering peace and stability in the Caucasus region and beyond.

In my monograph Winning Turkey, I wrote that:

The West should “press Turkey to repair its relations with the Republic of Armenia and to allow open debate within Turkey.”

“Although such a sensitive matter must obviously be handled by the Turks and Armenians themselves, their American and European friends should actively encourage a solution, which should begin with Turkey’s allowing more open research and debate about the subject. Turkey’s contention that ‘history should be left to the historians’ is fine as far as it goes, but it would be more convincing if Turkey actually did that, rather than prosecute historians and others who reach the conclusion that genocide took place. This is another reason why Article 301 should be repealed.”

“…the Erdogan government needs to be more vocal in its support for freedom of speech on the Armenian question. […] It is also time for the Turkish government to take more constructive and creative steps toward political and psychological reconciliation with Armenia. […] Ankara and the Turkish public need to understand better the trauma of 1915 for the Armenian people and the Armenian diaspora.”

In that study and in public interventions in Turkey, I have suggested that Turkey offer “an olive branch to Armenia in the form of a presidential letter of sympathy to commemorate the tragedy” which would “bring a human dimension to relations between Ankara and Yerevan.”

I also called in Winning Turkey for an acceleration of diplomatic efforts “to resolve the bilateral conflict between Turkey and the Republic of Armenia, which has for too long blocked peaceful developments in the Caucasus and complicates Turkey’s accession to the EU.”

I wrote that “The United States should encourage Turkey to pledge now that if Armenia shows a real commitment to a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Turkey would reestablish diplomatic relations with Armenia, end its blockade, and open the land border between the two countries. Such steps not only would be in the interest of both countries but also could create the climate for a long-term solution in Nagorno-Karabakh as well as much better relations and open trade between Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.”

Question: Given some of your public statements, how can you assure me that you will be sensitive to preventing future genocides and combating denial of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey?

Answer: I have strongly encouraged Turkey to come to terms with its history and believe that an honest dialogue within Turkey on historical events would help facilitate Turkish democracy and reconciliation both within Turkey’s borders and in the region. Such a dialogue would help promote prosperity, peace, and stability in the region and would contribute to a full understanding of these terrible events. If confirmed, I will continue to strongly support this effort, and in particular will emphasize its importance to bilateral relations.

The Obama Administration is fully committed to preventing genocides. If confirmed, I will work diligently with my interagency colleagues, this committee, our European allies, and our partners to prevent genocide anywhere in the world.

Questions for the Record Submitted to Assistant Secretary - Designate Philip Gordon by
Senator Robert Menendez (#4C)
Senate Foreign Relations Committee
March 26, 2009

Question: A 1951 U.S. Government filing with the United Nations stated that “The Genocide Convention resulted from the inhuman and barbarous practices which prevailed in certain countries prior to and during World War II, when entire religious, racial and national minority groups were threatened with and subjected to deliberate extermination. The practice of genocide has occurred throughout human history. The Roman persecution of the Christians, the Turkish massacres of Armenians, the extermination of millions of Jews and Poles by the Nazis are outstanding examples of the crime of genocide.” Do you agree with this U.S. Government filing?

Answer: The United States has long acknowledged the horrific tragedy that 1.5 million Armenians suffered mass killings and forced exile by the Ottoman Empire. I, too, recognize and mourn the loss of so many innocent lives. This tragedy should be the focus of an open and honest dialogue among civic leaders, scholars, and the societies at large. If confirmed, I would strongly support Turkey and Armenia’s reconciliation efforts, including confronting their shared history. I believe the United States must do all it can to prevent such tragedies from ever happening again.

Question: In October 2006, you published “Why France Shouldn't Legislate Turkey's Past,” in regard to the French push to pass a law that punishes the denial of the Armenian Genocide. You wrote that this vote in Parliament “is a dangerous step down a slippery slope,” adding that “the new French legislation is just the latest illiberal policy in Europe masquerading as liberalism.” How do you seek to reconcile your criticism of France with the blind eye you turn towards Turkey?

Answer: I have stated with regard to the proposed French legislation in question that it is dangerous to criminalize the free expression of views. I also strongly believe in, and have publicly called for, a more open debate about the past in Turkey. I have encouraged Turkey to repeal article 301 of its penal code, which can be used to constrain free expression, and I have supported an open dialogue between Turkey and Armenia. If confirmed, I would continue, along with the Administration, to strongly encourage Turkey to come to terms with the dark periods in its history.

Question: Do you agree with the characterization by President Bush on April 24, 2004, when he stated “On this day, we pause in remembrance of one of the most horrible tragedies of the 20th century, the annihilation of as many as 1.5 million Armenians through forced exile and murder at the end of the Ottoman Empire.”?

Answer: Yes. I acknowledge and mourn as historical fact what President Bush described as one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century, the mass killings and forced exile of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire.

Question: Do you agree that the use of the words “ethnic cleansing” would include the deliberate inflicting on a group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part?

Answer: I do not believe that there is a universally accepted definition of “ethnic cleansing” under international law. In the Bosnia v. Serbia case, the International Court of Justice described the phrase “ethnic cleansing” as being in practice used “by reference to a specific region or area, to mean rendering an area ethnically homogenous by using force or intimidation to remove persons of given groups from the area.”

Question: Do you acknowledge and agree with the following facts of the events that occurred between 1915-1923 as reported by American officials at the time?

1. Where U.S. Ambassador Morgenthau wrote on July 16, 1915, “it appears that a campaign of race extermination is in progress under a pretext of reprisal against rebellion.”

2. Where U.S. Consul in Aleppo, Jesse Jackson, reported to Ambassador Morgenthau on June 5, 1915, "It is without doubt a carefully planned scheme to thoroughly extinguish the Armenian race."

3. Where U.S. Consul in Harput, Leslie Davis reported to Ambassador Morgenthau on July 24, 1915, “It has been no secret that the plan was to destroy the Armenian race as a race, but the methods used have been more cold-blooded and barbarous, if not more effective, than I had at first supposed."

4. Where U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1916-1917, Abram I. Elkus, telegrammed the Secretary of State on October 17, 1916, "In order to avoid opprobrium of the civilized world, which the continuation of massacres would arouse, Turkish officials have now adopted and are executing the unchecked policy of extermination through starvation, exhaustion, and brutality of treatment hardly surpassed even in Turkish history."

Answer: I acknowledge the fact of the mass killings and forced exile of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire. I do not dispute that Ambassador Morgenthau, Ambassador Elkus, and other diplomats during that time period reported on what they described as an attempt to destroy the Armenian population.

Question: Would you agree that Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, of which the United States has both signed and ratified, where it states:
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;

(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;

(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Answer: Yes, that is what Article II says

Question: Do the events that occurred during the period of 1915-1923 meet the definition under Article 2 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide?

Answer: I acknowledge and mourn the mass killings and forced exile of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire. I feel very strongly about the great suffering experienced by the Armenian people both at that time and today as they remember this dark chapter in their history, mourn the loss of so many innocent lives, and rightfully expect their pain and loss to be acknowledged and the victims to be honored. It is the prerogative of the President to determine the policy on how the Administration characterizes these tragic events. If confirmed, my focus will be on promoting Turkish-Armenian reconciliation and as part of this an open and honest dialogue about the tragic events of 1915.

Question: How does the non-use of the genocide term, as you have advocated, advance U.S. efforts to promote Armenian-Turkish reconciliation?

Answer: I believe the United States should strongly support Armenian-Turkish reconciliation and avoid steps that could derail that process or discourage either party from participating in the ongoing dialogue. Ultimately, Turkey and Armenia are the owners of their historical reconciliation process, and I have been encouraged by the bold steps taken recently in this direction by Turkish and Armenian leaders to reconcile their countries with each other and with their shared and painful past. I also believe the steps Turkey and Armenia are taking towards normalizing relations and opening their border will foster a better environment for confronting their shared tragic history. Turkey and Armenia have sought U.S. support and encouragement of their reconciliation efforts, and following the lead of the President, if confirmed, I will give mine fully.

Question: Do you believe there can be reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia without an acknowledgment of the genocide by Turkey?

Answer: The Turkish and Armenian governments have already started taking courageous steps toward reconciliation, including by Armenian President Sargsian and Turkish President Gul, who met in Yerevan at President Sargsian’s invitation to attend a World Cup qualifier soccer match on September 6, 2008. I welcome the efforts by individuals in Armenia and Turkey to foster reconciliation and peace, and to come to terms with their shared past. I look forward to full normalization of Armenia-Turkey relations, after which genuine reconciliation – including through an open and honest dialogue of the tragic events of 1915 – can occur. If confirmed, I will strongly support ongoing efforts between Turkey and Armenia to open their border and re-establish diplomatic relations.

Question: Would you visit with government officials from Nagorno-Karabakh, if they requested such a meeting?

Answer: As Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States has played an active and important role in efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The U.S. Co-Chair, in addition to trips to Yerevan and Baku, often travels to Stepanakert to meet with de facto N-K authorities. The Obama Administration has stated that it is committed to achieving a breakthrough on Nagorno - Karabakh, and I look forward to assisting in this important effort if I am confirmed.

QUESTION: Would you permit USAID personnel, who are not Armenian nationals, to visit Nagorno-Karabakh?

ANSWER: As the United States continues to work toward a settlement of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, the United States Government is striving to use their assistance to address the genuine humanitarian needs of the residents of Nagorno-Karabakh in a spirit of cooperation and friendship. What matters most is that we design and implement these programs properly, to have the greatest possible positive impact in addressing urgent needs. At this sensitive point in negotiations on a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict under the OSCE’s Minsk Group, the Administration believes it is prudent to avoid significant changes in the modus operandi of our assistance efforts, especially in ways that might incorrectly imply that the United States has formally recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as a government, which neither the United States, Armenia, or any other country has done. That said, U.S. assistance to Nagorno-Karabakh, focused on improving the conditions of those living in the area, is essential to building trust and confidence in our negotiating efforts. U.S. assistance is doing critical work in demining and providing potable water to the residents there. United States-based NGOs have traveled to Nagorno Karabakh to provide humanitarian assistance. Additionally, as you noted, USAID personnel visit Nagorno-Karabakh to oversee and evaluate projects, conduct needs assessments, and consult with both “officials” and ordinary residents.

Question: Would you advise President Obama to in any way weaken or retreat from his clear pledge to the American people to recognize the Armenian Genocide? Why or why not?

Answer: If confirmed, I would advise President Obama to do everything possible to encourage Turkey to come to terms with its history and honor the victims of these horrendous events, and to help Armenia and Turkey come to terms with their shared and painful past. I will faithfully support whatever policy is decided by President Obama. If confirmed, I will strongly encourage Turkey and Armenia to deepen their efforts in this regard, and to normalize their relations and reopen their border.

Question: Then Senator Obama urged U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide on numerous occasions:
• On July 28, 2006, in a letter to Secretary Rice concerning the firing of US Ambassador to Armenia John Evans, he wrote, “The occurrence of the Armenian genocide in 1915 is not an ‘allegation,’ a ‘personal opinion,’ or a ‘point of view’ . . . . [I]t is a widely documented fact.”

• On April 28, 2008, in a Senate floor statement in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide, he stated, “It is imperative that we recognize the horrific acts carried out against the Armenian people as genocide and I will continue to stand with the Armenian American community in calling for the Government of Turkey to acknowledge it as such.”

• On January 19, 2008, Obama stated that “America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides.”

Do you disagree with any of the above statements? If so, please explain?

Answer: Policy on this issue is determined by the President, and, if confirmed, I have a duty to faithfully represent the policy of the President. I recognize the mass killings, ethnic cleansing, and forced exile of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire. I feel very strongly about the great suffering experienced by the Armenian people both at that time and today as they remember this tragic chapter in their history. I fully respect that the Armenian-American community and the Armenian people want their pain and loss to be acknowledged. If confirmed, I will do everything I can to encourage Turkey to come to terms with this dark chapter in history, including through an open and honest dialogue with Armenia and within Turkey on these events. These efforts would help facilitate reconciliation, economic prosperity, peace, and stability in the region and would help encourage a full understanding of these terrible events. If confirmed, I am committed to do everything possible to ensure such horrors never recur.

Question: Do you dispute that U.S. diplomats serving in the Ottoman Empire during the Armenian Genocide documented a systematic, government-sponsored campaign "with intent to destroy, in whole or in part" the Armenian population?

Answer: No. I have read many of the historical records from 1915-1916 related to U.S. diplomatic reporting on these events, and I do not dispute that Ambassador Morgenthau, Ambassador Elkus, and other diplomats during that time period reported on what they described as an attempt to destroy the Armenian population.

You have written articles opposing resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide. If the Republic of Turkey ended its denial of the Armenian Genocide, would you no longer counsel against using the term “Armenian Genocide?” Why or why not?

Answer: I recognize and mourn the mass killings, ethnic cleansing, and forced deportations that devastated over one and a half million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire. The United States considers these events to be one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th Century, the “Great Calamity” as many Armenians refer to it. It is the prerogative of the President to determine the policy on how the Administration characterizes these tragic events.

I have encouraged Turkey to come to terms with its past and if confirmed will continue to do so. That will not be easy, just as it has not been easy for the United States to come to terms with dark periods of our own past. I firmly commit to supporting Turkish-Armenian reconciliation, if I am confirmed. I believe a successful reconciliation will not only need to include normalization of relations and reopening the border, but also an open and honest dialogue about the tragic events of 1915. Turkey and Armenia have asked for U.S. support and encouragement of their efforts, and following the lead of the President, if confirmed, I will give mine fully.

Question: Who was responsible for the death of over 1.5 million Armenians during WWI?

Answer: This administration, like those before it, does not deny the facts –1.5 million Armenians were murdered, starved, or deported by civilian officials and soldiers of the Ottoman Empire, some of whom were sentenced to death for committing these crimes. The United States mourns this terrible chapter of history and recognizes that it remains a source of pain for the people of Armenia and of Armenian descent, and all those who believe in the dignity and value of every human life.

Question: Despite the painful and ongoing legacy of the Armenian Genocide, and the continued illegal, Turkish blockade, Armenia has, repeatedly, offered to open diplomatic and economic relations with Turkey without preconditions. Do you believe Turkey should accept Armenia’s offer to establish full diplomatic and economic relations without preconditions?

Answer: Turkey and Armenia have sought and received strong U.S. support for their reconciliation efforts, and, if confirmed, I will give mine fully. I welcome these efforts by individuals in Armenia and Turkey and look forward to the realization of a fully normalized Armenia-Turkey relationship. If confirmed, I will strongly support ongoing efforts between Turkey and Armenia to open their border and re-establish diplomatic relations. I am encouraged by the positive developments toward normalization, including commercial flights, considerable trade, and rapid visa issuance, as well as the courageous steps by Armenian President Sargsian and Turkish President Gul to improve bilateral relations, including through their historic meeting in Yerevan last September. The Administration welcomes the plans of both presidents to meet again in Ankara this October, and hope that by then, the Turkey-Armenia border will be reopened.

GORDN’S/BROOKINGS FINANCIAL COMPENSATION

Philip Gordon Payments Received from EUR Countries 2006-2009

Payee Country Date Amount Purpose

Encompass Publications Belgium 11/08 $400 article
Encompass Publications Belgium 9/08 $400 article
Encompass Publications Belgium 7/08 $400 article
Financial Times UK 7/09/08 $500 oped
US-Spain Chamb Commerce Spain 6/05/08 $2,500 speech
Foreign Policy France France 5/15/08 $10,000 speech
Encompass Publications Belgium 5/08 $400 article
Encompass Publications Belgium 3/08 $400 article
Encompass Publications Belgium 1/08 $400 article
Financial Times UK 1/04/08 $500 oped
Financial Times UK 12/05/07 $500 oped
Encompass Publications Belgium 11/07 $400 article
Encompass Publications Belgium 09/07 $400 article
Norwegian Foreign Ministry Norway 08/07 $2,500 report
Encompass Publications Belgium 07/07 $400 article
Financial Times UK 7/25/07 $500 oped
Encompass Publications Belgium 05/07 $400 article
Encompass Publications Belgium 03/07 $400 article
Encompass Publications Belgium 01/07 $400 article
French Foreign Ministry France 2006 $7,000 translation

Corporate Donors with Foreign Addresses

Constituent Name Country Date Fund Description Cash Received Reference

Eksiogullari Group Turkey 3/5/2008 Turkey 2007 $75,000.00 Supported research activities and conferences of Brookings Turkey project
Eksiogullari Group Turkey 9/29/2008 Turkey 2007 $75,000.00 Supported research activities and conferences of Brookings Turkey project
Hedef-Alliance Holding Turkey 1/17/2007 Turkey 2007 $30,000.00 Support for Turkey 2007 initiative (project run by former Ambassador Mark Parris)
Nurol Turkey 2/6/2008 Turkey 2007 $30,000.00 Support for Turkey 2007 initiative (project run by former Ambassador Mark Parris)
Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association Turkey 3/8/2007 Turkey 2007 $25,000.00 Support for Turkey 2007 initiative (project run by former Ambassador Mark Parris)
Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association Turkey 6/8/2007 Turkey 2007 $25,000.00 Support for Turkey 2007 initiative (project run by former Ambassador Mark Parris)
Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association Turkey 10/5/2007 Turkey 2007 $25,000.00 Support for Turkey 2007 initiative (project run by former Ambassador Mark Parris)
Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association Turkey 4/22/2008 Turkey 2007 $25,000.00 Support for Turkey 2007 initiative (project run by former Ambassador Mark Parris)
Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association Turkey 7/8/2008 Turkey 2007 $25,000.00 Support for Turkey 2007 initiative (project run by former Ambassador Mark Parris)
Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association Turkey 2/27/2009 Turkey 2007 $25,000.00 Support for Turkey 2007 initiative (project run by former Ambassador Mark Parris)
Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association Turkey 2/6/2009 Turkey 2007 $50,000.00 Support for Turkey 2007 initiative (project run by former Ambassador Mark Parris)
Dogan Yayin Holdings/Hanzade Dogan Turkey 2/16/2007 CUSE $30,000.00 Support for Turkey 2007 initiative (project run by former Ambassador Mark Parris)
Dogan Yayin Holdings/Hanzade Dogan Turkey 2/16/2007 $70,000.00 Membership on Brookings' international advisory committee
Sabanci University Turkey 6/27/2006 CUSE $2,500.00 honorarium to Strobe Talbott for participation as judge in research award
Sabanci University Turkey 9/12/2008 Turkey Sabanci Lect T2 $9,673.21 travel costs for Sabanci delegation
Sabanci University Turkey 6/27/2006 Turkey Project $45,530.81 travel, conference, and administrative costs for annual Sabanci lecture
Sabanci University Turkey 7/5/2007 CUSE - France Activities $49,588.75 travel, conference, and administrative costs for annual Sabanci lecture
Sabanci University Turkey 11/25/2008 Turkey Project $85,000.00 travel, conference, and administrative costs for annual Sabanci lecture

*** NOTE: Primary funding for the work of Philip H. Gordon in 2006-2007 was provided by the Smith Richardson Foundation. From 2007-2009 primary funding was provided to Mr. Gordon by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, the Carnegie Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Brookings Endowment.

No comments: