Turkish lobby in the United States
In 2009 the Turkish lobby spent almost $1.7 million lobbying American officials on Turkish issues and on behalf of the Middle Eastern policy concerns it shares with the Arab lobby in the United States. Lobbyists working on behalf of and paid by the government of Turkey include former Congressman Dick Gephardt and former Congressman Bob Livingston.
According to ProPublica, in 2007-8 paid, professional lobbyists acting on behalf of the government of Turkey had more contacts with members of congress than lobbyists acting for any other foreign government.
Efforts against Armenian Genocide recognition
The Turkish lobby worked "intensely" to prevent passage of HR 106, the United States resolution on Armenian genocide. The New York Times writes that, "former Representative Robert Livingston (Bob Livingston) has been the main lobbyist for Turkey in blocking congressional efforts to pass an Armenian genocide resolution." In 2010 the Washington Post wrote that the Armenian Genocide resolution "prompted an aggressive push by the government of Turkey and its lobbying firm led by former House majority leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.), who had urged recognition of the Armenian genocide when he was in Congress. Public-relations firm Fleishman-Hillard also has a contract with Turkey worth more than $100,000 a month, records show. A "contingent of members of the Turkish parliament visited Washington" to lobby on behalf of the Turkish view.
According to the Washington Post, "The Turkish government has spent millions on Washington lobbying over the past decade, much of it focused on the Armenian genocide issue. The country's current lobbyist, the Gephardt Group, collects about $70,000 a month for lobbying services from the government in Ankara, according to federal disclosure records. Another group, the Turkish Coalition of America, has targeted the districts of committee members who are considered potential swing votes, including submitting op-eds to local newspapers from the group's president."
According to ProPublica, Turkey is one of "The Top Players in Foreign Agent Lobbying," spending $3,524,632 lobbying the American government in 2007 and 2008 alone.
According to the Sunlight Foundation, the government of Turkey "has consistently lavished millions each year on well-connected Washington lobbying firms."
- "Arab Unrest Puts Their Lobbyists in Uneasy Spot". The New York Times. March 1, 2011.
- Anupama Narayanswamy and Luke Rosiak, Adding it up: The Top Players in Foreign Agent Lobbying, ProPublica, August 18, 2009.
- Turkey Recalls Ambassador to U.S. Over Armenian Genocide Bill Archived 2011-06-29 at the Wayback Machine., Associated Press, October 11, 2007.
- "Ex-congressmen lobby hard on Turkey's behalf". Marilyn W. Thompson, The New York Times, October 17, 2007
- "Armenia-Turkey dispute over genocide label sets off lobbying frenzy". The Washington Post. March 3, 2010.
- "Adding it up: The Top Players in Foreign Agent Lobbying". ProPublica. August 18, 2009.
- Defense contractors join Turkish lobbying effort in pursuit of arms deals, Dec. 17, 2009, Sunlight Foundation.