Unit 1: Who
are lobbyists & what motivates
Unit 2: Turkey's image abroad.
Unit 3: History of Turkish communities worldwide & reasons for a weak Turkish lobby.
Unit 4: National & ethnic interests: Anti-Turkey
lobbies, misrepresentation of facts & defamation.
Unit 5: The Turkish lobby dilemma in the
United States as a case study.
Unit 6: Problems encountered by Turkish
lobbies in the EU, Germany, France & worldwide.
Unit 7: Current Turkish lobby
issues & the role of public
Unit 8 What can be learned from powerful
lobbies such as the
Unit 9 New approaches to educating &
informing Turkish lobbying groups.
Unit 10 Media relations, advertising & professional communications
Unit 11 Initiatives for individuals & public
Unit 12 Initiatives for
communities, campaigns, &
Unit 13: Fund-raising, public relations,
& what can be done domestically.
Unit 14: Turkish lobbies undergo
a period of transition: The need to strengthen old &
Unit 15: Long-term strategies & lobbying in
the post-September 11 era.
I. OUTLINE FOR UNIT 4:
National & ethnic interests; Anti-Turkish
lobbies, misrepresentation of Turks and the manipulation of historical
1. Advantages anti-Turkish lobbies have over the
a. Greek lobbying
b. Armenian lobbying activities.
c. Kurdish lobbying activities.
2. Arab and Muslim Americans as an increasingly
active ethnic interest group.
II. EXERCISE, ACTIVITIES & PROJECTS
( See History of Orient www.silkroutes.net
-Study carefully the history and causes of disputes. Be willing to study
explanations from all sides, even when they seem unreasonable or
-What are the sources of stereotypes? How are stereotypes reinforced?
-Compare public relations activities with deliberate image tarnishing?
-Define & give examples of defamation & anti-defamation groups (ex: Italians
associated with mafia & crime).
● See Jewish Anti-Defamation League
● See American Arab Anti-Discrimination
● See Muslim Public Affairs Council
When we judge people and
groups based on our prejudices and stereotypes and treat them differently,
we are engaging in discrimination. Explain how discrimination may take many
forms (ex: racism, selective employment, housing, education...)
●Have you ever had positive
encounters with lobbyists regarding Turkey?
●Have you ever had negative encounters with anti-Turkish lobbies and their
●Do foreign governments or political parties coordinate with ethnic lobbies in
order to influence U.S. and European decision-making?
●How can U.S. foreign policy be manipulated?
●Do you need a large, wealthy and well-educated Diaspora to be successful?
●Are there signs that ethnic lobbying is becoming a dangerous force that can
undermine U.S. interests?
●Is it possible that in the future some ethnic or racial groups in the U.S. may
demand that greater attention be paid to their ancestral
IV. BACKGROUND MATERIAL
Greek, and Armenian lobbies, which strive to influence U.S. foreign policy,
stand out as the most effectively organized. Because lawmakers are not policy
experts, they can be influenced by the information these lobbies provide. Known
as ethnic lobbies, or ethnic interest groups, these lobbies try to pressure the
U.S. government to favor various nations of their origin. While the
Jewish/pro-Israel lobby has recently worked on passing legislation in Turkey's
interests, the Greek-American and Armenian-American lobbies have had tremendous
success in shaping U.S. policy against Turkey (see Unit 8 What can be learned
from powerful lobbies such as the Jewish/Pro-Israel lobby).
When Turkish-Israeli relations improved after
the mid-1990's, Turkey was able to get support from some powerful circles of the
Jewish/pro-Israel lobby. Turkish-American Jewish relations already had a warm foundation
in the 1980's upon which ties were built. The Jewish/pro-Israel lobby, and its
many allies, supported Ankara on issues related to Azerbaijan, the Baku-Ceyhan
pipeline, the importance of secularism, Turkey's EU membership, allegations of
an Armenian genocide, and on business relations. Despite the good feelings
between the Jewish/pro-Israel lobby and Turkey, cooperation was limited due to
various factors, including the desire of the Jewish/pro-Israel lobby not to come
into conflict with the anti-Turkish lobbies. Turkey's harsh reactions to the
excessive violence used by Israel against the Palestinians, has been a
reason for the cooling of relations. Other lobby allies for Turkey have been
some geo-political strategists,
military contractors, and NATO policymakers, due to the fact Turkish-U.S.
relations have been built upon common security needs.
The ethnic interest groups which have repeatedly harmed the development of
Turkish-U.S. relations are the Greek-American, Greek Cypriot-American,
Armenian-American, and emerging Kurdish lobby. Human rights lobbies have also
been involved in anti-Turkish lobbying activities,
and have sought to block arms sales and pressure the U.S. to encourage Turkey to
These lobbies are guided by powerful
organizations such as the American Hellenic Institute Public Affairs Committee,
American Hellenic Institute, American Hellenic Educational Progressive
Association, the Armenian Assembly of America, the Armenian National Committee
of America, and the American Kurdish Information Network.
Greek and Armenian lobbies are especially powerful in New York, New Jersey, and
The material and information that is presented to lawmakers by anti-Turkish
lobbies is not verified, although the interests of the American people should
require all information be subject to verification. The same is true for EU
lawmakers and European interests. It is also not possible to ensure that
lawmakers have information from a variety of objective and unbiased sources. Furthermore,
investigations are not regularly conducted to determine if deliberate attempts
have been made to mislead lawmakers. In order to protect the public interest, no ethnic
group or lobby should be allowed to misrepresent the facts with impunity.
Investigations could discourage the use of disinformation, and reveal strategies
that may be employed at the local, state, and federal levels. The lack of public
interest and lack of media attention to such matters allows decision-makers to be
knowingly, or unknowingly, manipulated by inaccurate information and propaganda.
In the eyes of the Turkish lobby and Turkey, lawmakers appear
tolerant to disinformation, and to the selective manipulation of historic
Successful efforts of the Greek lobby were
evident in the instrumental role they
played in the placement of an embargo on Turkey after the 1974 intervention in
Cyprus. The Armenian lobby succeeded in the early 1990's when Armenians pushed
to pass legislation against Azerbaijan to ban U.S. aid. It has also been very
successful at gaining recognition of the so-called Armenian genocide from
various state legislatures. Further areas of success are evident in the fact
that Armenia is one of the highest economic aid recipients (of per capita
economic assistance). The Jewish/pro-Israel lobby's success is
also evident, with Israel being the largest single recipient of
American foreign assistance.
One of the troubling
developments in U.S. policymaking is that with more and more ethnic groups
learning how to play the fund-raising and lobbying game, policymaking is
becoming increasing complicated by narrower considerations (for further reading:
The Politics of Minority Coalitions,
Edited by Wilbur Rich, Greenwood Publishing, USA, 1996). It is also frustrating
for some groups, including those in government, when there is inconsistency
of policy application. One example is granting China
most-favored nation status despite human rights violations. Other examples
include the increasing demands placed on U.S. authorities by millions of illegal
immigrants who have been violating laws (but nonetheless, who receive health
care, and education for their children).
Friends of Turkey have often asked
why ethnic groups whose ancestors lived during the troubled times of the Ottoman
Empire, display such hostility against present-day Turkey, and why historical facts are
distorted. The answer is hard to give, but the Turkish lobby should make a
greater effort to point out the reasons behind campaigns to tarnish the Turkish
people. Worldwide studies should be produced by Turkish
lobbies to understand how creating an enemy out of the Turkish people can keep certain ethnic groups
united, and remove their fear of survival as a political force. The perpetuation
of anti-Turkey hatred is also a way
of socializing the next generation of Armenian-Americans and Greek-Americans,
and ensuring that nationalistic sentiments from their homeland are felt in U.S.
bilateral relations and in U.S. foreign policy. It is however unfortunate that the
hatred that is transmitted for these purposes is internationally divisive,
and for America is genuinely un-American.
The misrepresentation of Turks in America is also due to a lack of understanding
of Muslims. There are approximately 7 to 10 million Muslims in the
U.S. About half the 2.5 million Arab population in the U.S. is Christian. But
despite this large figure and mixture of Muslim and Christian Arabs, Americans
are not well-informed about Arabs and the Islamic religion. Although the Arab-Muslim community is
not that well-organized, Arab-Americans as an ethnic group are increasingly
trying to better educate the American people, provide accurate information, and
improve the image of Muslims. The Turkish lobby can cooperate and form
coalitions with some Arab-Muslim organizations in order to advance common
objectives. Below are some objectives and activities of Arab-Muslim American
●Protecting the rights of people of Arab descent.
●Promoting and defending the Arab-American heritage.
●Serving the needs of the Arab-American community.
●Voter mobilization and education; information for government, educational
institutions, and the media on the policy concerns of Arab-Americans and on
U.S.-Middle East relations.
●Arab American electoral participation, and voter registration.
●Arab American civil and political rights.
●Counter-terrorism policies, proposals, surveillance & detention issues.
●Combating discrimination, bigotry, and the defamation of Arab and Muslim
●Demographics and census.
●Ethnic and race relations.
●Middle East peace process.
●U.S. foreign policy and policy in the Middle East.
●Public opinion & polling.
●Monitoring media bias toward Israel.
●Promoting an even handed U.S. foreign policy based on justice and peace for
all parties in the Middle East.
●Electoral politics: Arab American Democratic and Republican Clubs.
●Electoral politics: Arab American Leadership Council (promotes Arab American
service in public and political life through technical and financial support for
candidates, endorsements of government appointments and policies at every level,
and liaison within the national parties).
●Lobbying (state and grassroots).
●Congressional voting analysis.
●Local and municipal affairs.
●Conferences & seminars.
●Monitoring the Arab image and racist stereotypes in American film and
●Promoting interfaith dialogue and dialogue between America's Arab and Jewish
●Film, video, etc.
●Newsletter and publications.
●Telecommunications services (databases and mailing lists).
●Training and technical assistance.
Note: This site acknowledges that Armenians, and Turks, were
killed during the alleged period of the so-called "Armenian genocide." The site
holds the position that the deaths of Armenians were a result of civil unrest
and war, not the
result of a deliberate and systematic Ottoman policy to destroy a race. As to
the number of Armenians and Turks killed, the site refers to census data from
the Ottoman Empire, which reveals that the figures presented by the Armenian
Diaspora are inaccurate.
COMMON STEREOTYPES OF
Turks are warriors, cruel, and abuse human rights.
Muslims have many wives &
THE PROBLEM OF STEREOTYPES
●P R & IMAGE MAKING
IMAGE TARNISHING & REINFORCEMENT OF STEREOTYPES
A standardized image or
conception. Oversimplified and distorted ideas. A stereotype is usually a
broad generalization about an entire group based on limited knowledge, or
limited exposure. A stereotype creates an association, or suggests an idea
or notion, often not flattering or true of a group of people. Stereotyping
usually takes place when assumptions are made based upon race or sex. (Example,
political cartoons are very difficult to create without ethnic and racial
non-objective, subjective opinion. An opinion of a person or group formed
beforehand, especially an unfavorable one based on inadequate facts or a
stereotype. Prejudice also refers to the intolerance of, or dislike for,
people of a specific race, religion, or other group.
Discrimination: Unfair treatment of a person, racial group,
minority, or other group. Discrimination is action based on prejudice.
Bigotry: Intolerance for the beliefs of others. Such a person can
be called a bigot.
A belief that one race
is superior to another.
Propaganda: Information which is used to promote a cause, or to
injure or enhance the reputation of a group, individual, or even a country.
The information may distort the facts, or may not tell the entire story, in
order to suit the purposes of the propagandist. Information is presented in
such a way as to provoke a desired response. Propaganda is often spread
through a systematic and organized method of dissemination of information
and allegations, to assist or damage the cause of a government, a movement,
or for other motives. Propaganda is a systematic attempt to manipulate
public opinion, attitudes, beliefs, and actions of people, through the use
of these various methods. Propaganda is distinguished from educating or
informing because it is deliberate selectivity and manipulation. Propaganda
is sometimes referred to as public diplomacy, or public affairs.
Information and material that is based on falsehoods and untruths. The
deliberate falsification of information.
Related term: misinformation.
correctness (politically correct,
PC): Avoiding forms of expression
or action that exclude, marginalize, or insult certain racial or cultural
groups (e.g.: in advertising). Critics see PC as a means of suppressing
legitimate debate and as a form of censorship because public discussion of
viewpoints is often limited in order to avoid potentially offensive
terminology, consequences, or public behavior. PC is a term that is used
differently in various countries.
Defamation is any false statement about a
person or people (or organization) that creates public hatred, contempt,
ridicule, or inflicts injury on reputation or good name. Injury by attack or
accusation can be caused by
two forms of defamation: “libel” and “slander.”
“Libel” involves print & publishing of a falsehood that harms
someone. “Slander” is applies to the spoken word.
Collectively, “slander & libel” are referred to as “defamation.”
person filing a “defamation suit” (taking legal action) usually must prove
(1) the false statement was
communicated to others through print, broadcast, or electronic means;
(2) the person was identified or is identifiable;
(3) there is actual injury in the form of money losses, loss of reputation,
or mental suffering; and
(4) the person making the statement was malicious or negligent.
Anti-defamation: To counter and prevent an attack to a person's
good name or reputation (group or organization). To fight libel and slander.
When considering defamation cases, courts also take into consideration the
other party’s right to “freedom of speech.”
Broadly defined as anyone who
enters a country other than their native country with the intention of
settling there. In practice, the term encompasses a wide range of non-native
people who reside in a country, either legally or illegally.
Ethnocentrism: The belief that one's own ethnic, religious, or political group is
superior to all others.
A person who gains
power through impassioned public appeals to the emotions and prejudices of a
group by speaking or writing.
Xenophobia: Hatred or fear of foreigners, or their politics, or
The practice of creating, promoting, or
maintaining goodwill and a favourable image among the public for an
institution, country, product, organization, etc. Public relations campaigns
are a series of coordinated activities designed to create a favorable image.
PR Related terms: public affairs, public information, community relations,
media relations, corporate relations, corporate public affairs, corporate
communications, corporate marketing and communications…
Advertising: The use of Ads / advertisements and advertising techniques which create
publicity. An effective tool of lobbyists. Announcements, documentaries,
brochures, DVDs, etc., are used by advertising agencies for PR and to make
political issues publicly known.
The general attitude of the
Watchdogs: Ethnic groups, lobbies, anti-defamation organizations, and minorities
often create organizations to monitor the media, legislative issues,
competing interest groups, etc. in order to defend their interests. Watchdog
groups also monitor governmental agencies and sometimes lobby on behalf of
the general public (these groups can function as "public interest groups" or
as a "citizens' group" that seek to further the collective good without
benefiting their own members). Individuals who uncover violations of
regulations, or unacceptable behavior, are often called "whistle blowers."
Laws, codes of ethics, and social
responsibility regulate how the activities above are conducted in
different political systems & countries around the world (which regulate
lobbying laws, NGO's and interest groups, contributions to political
campaigns & candidates, defamation laws, ethics in advertising, editorial
policy in journalism, and restrictions on freedom of speech).