The Armenian Center for American Studies issued a statement and presented a link between US Senator Lindsey Graham and Turkish lobbyists.
According to the statement, following the meeting between US President Trump and Turkish President Erdogan on November 13, the Turkish President made a special reference to the Armenian Genocide Resoution in the House, which, according to Erdogan, deeply offended the Turkish nation.
He assured that this resolution could cast a serious shadow over relations between the two states. The meeting between Trump and Erdogan was attended by several lawmakers, including Senator Lindsey Graham, who also vetoed the Armenian Genocide Resolution.
As the statement noted: after studying Graham’s sources of funding and his relationship with lobbyists, some important deals have been revealed:
- In 2016 Graham was actively funded by Turkish President Erdogan’s cousin Halil Mutlu. He is a Turkish lobbyist who chaired the Türken Foundation and is currently co-chair of the Turkish American Steering Committee (TASC). In 2014 he had met with the then Governor of Indiana and now the US Vice President Mike Pence. It is no coincidence that four of the congressmen who voted against H. Res 296 were from Indiana. As for Lindsay Graham, not only Halil Mutlu, but also his wife, Lynn Mutlu, transferred him money. These two has transferred a total of $ 10800 not only to Graham, but to his family members. Moreover, Halil Mutlu transferred $ 1,500 to Ilhan Omar on September 30, 2019. It was she who had abstained from voting on Armenian Genocide Resolution in the House.
- In 2006, Senator Lindsey Garaham also received funding from Turkish businessman Murat Guzel, who transferred her nearly $18-900. From 2014-2015 he was the founding president of MUSIAD, which supported the Turkish American Steering Committee (TASC) to fight against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Murat Guzel is now a founding member of the TASC Board. TASC and MUSIAD are US-based Turkish organizations engaged in anti-Armenian and anti-Kurdish lobbying. In 2016 Erdogan has promised to personally support these structures.
- In 2009, Lindsay Graham also received $ 5,000 from the Turkish Coalition Northeast Political Action Committee.
- Representatives of the Greenberg Traurig LLC lobbying company are also in active contact with Lindsay Graham. The latter has been hired by Turkey for several years, which in turn in 2019 hired three other organizations on behalf of the Turkish government, paying a total of $ 1․538,000. The Greenberg Traurig has been in active contact with a number of congressmen, notably Lindsey Graham. Only in 2019, representatives of Greenberg Traurig LLC have e-mailed Graham several times and had two meetings reportedly focused on US-Turkish relations.