Logoglu: No Turkish institution in US works against Turkey

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chairman, Faruk Logoglu, has reacted to reports published in pro-government newspapers about the Turkic American Alliance (TAA), saying Turkish institutions in the US work towards lobbying for Turkey’s interests rather than against them.

Pro-government dailies linked the Hizmet movement, a faith-based group inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen, with the passage of an “Armenian genocide” resolution at the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution on Thursday commemorating the “Armenian genocide” and clearing the way for the resolution to get a vote on the Senate floor. US Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Mark Kirk introduced the resolution on April 3.

The pro-government Sabah daily claimed on Sunday that the “parallel structure” (in reference to the Hizmet movement) funded Menendez’s election campaign. The Yeni Şafak daily wrote on Saturday that Menendez attended a TAA gala meeting, which has ties with Hizmet, one day before the resolution was adopted at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 10, suggesting that the Hizmet movement was behind the preparation of this resolution against Turkey’s interests and using an American senator to that end.

Sabah claims that Menendez has received $9,500 in total from two schools, one law firm and one computer company that the daily claims have close ties to Gulen.

“It is impossible for me to accept that any Turkish institution or civil society organization would support the Armenian arguments. All the institutions play their part,” said Logoglu, adding that the allegations against the TAA do not reflect reality.

Logoglu, referring to the TAA, noted there should be cooperation between the government and Turkish institutions to work for Turkey’s cause.

“I am concerned that Turkey’s interests will be harmed due to the rift between the Cemaat [the Hizmet movement] and the government,” said Logoglu.

Saying that every April the Armenian claims come onto the agenda in the US, Logoglu noted that difficult days are awaiting Turkey regarding the Armenian issue.

“Currently, the Armenian issue is a political one for Armenians; however, if they are successful in getting the US Congress to make a decision in favor of their cause, they will take the political issue to a legal level, such as by demanding land and compensation,” said Logoglu.

Lawyer denies donation for senator linked to ‘genocide’ resolution

Meanwhile, a US-based Turkish lawyer who was accused over the weekend by a pro-government daily of “treachery” for donating some $4,000 to Menendez in 2011 and 2012, has rejected the accusation that the donation was made in exchange for support for the Senate resolution on the alleged Armenian genocide.

“Our effort here is to [be able to] to go to this senator and tell him about the Turkish arguments,” Remzi Guvenç Kulen of the Kulen law firm said in a statement. Kulen, who says he has been a licensed lawyer in the US for 14 years, added that he has made donations to support not just Menendez but another senator of his district, Cory Booker, as well. Other US politicians he has supported include President Barack Obama, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Rep. William Pascrell, according to the statement.

“You may not change the ideas of Menendez but stating that you are Turk living in his district, conveying your ideas to him is so important,” Kulen said, adding the firm’s aim is to convey Turkey’s account of the 1915 events.