American Turkish Council

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The American Turkish Council (ATC) describes itself as a "Business Association dedicated to enhancing the promotion of US-Turkish Commercial, Defense, Technology and Cultural Relations." [1]

"In 1986 nine principal private sector institutions in Turkey came together to create The Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEİK), a non-profit, private sector organization which would strive to improve Turkey’s economic relations internationally. ... DEİK operates as an umbrella organization comprised of sixty six Bilateral Business Councils. ... The largest and most established bilateral council, the Turkish-U.S. Business Council (TUSBC) operates under the permanent secretariat of DEIK. When the Council was established on April 3, 1985, its American counterpart was the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Upon consolidation of the Turkish desk of U.S. Chamber with American Friends of Turkey in 1994, a new entity, American Turkish Council (ATC) was formed which became TUSBC’s American counterpart." [2]

John Stanton, a "Virginia-based writer specializing in political and security matters" and recent author of America 2004: A Power But Not Super, in his February 15, 2005, article "'BushCo front group creates a new EuroAsia'," writes that the American Turkish Council operates "tax-free and out of the media or watchdog spotlight" and "is the most powerful 'non-profit' association in the United States. ... Like the thousands of Associations operating inside the Washington, DC Beltway, the ATC is chartered to provide 'legal and ethical' venues for American-Turkish government and business interests to meet face-to-face to improve business, security and cultural relations between the two countries. The ATC, and other Associations, has a dues structure and committee structure that includes a government relations or 'educational' committee that lobbies the public and US government representatives on behalf of its members. But that's where the similarity ends," he says.

"While the ATC is an Association in name and in charter, the reality is that it and other affiliated Associations are the US government. Theirs is the voice that matters and is the one that is heard on television and radio networks through the mouths of news-readers, senators, congressmen, presidents and military leaders. It is in and through such Associations that US political, economic and military policy is made and the American public subsequently 'educated' to support policies that are not, and could not, be debated in public because of their illegality, audacity, complexity and, arguably, necessity."

Stanton likens the ATC to the "game Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon [which] is based on the premise that the famed actor Kevin Bacon is the center of the entertainment universe and that any actor or actress can be linked back to him within six degrees. Replace Kevin Bacon," Stanton says, "with ATC leaders and/or members, and you are sure to find that any corporation, military leader, government official, former politician, and even actor can be linked back to the ATC within six degrees. The ATC is an extraordinary group of elite and interconnected group of Republicans, Democrats and corporate/military heavyweights who are spearheading one of the most ambitious strategic gambits in US history."

In fact, he continues, in "2004 the ATC was led by Bush family insider LTG Brent Scowcroft, USAF (Ret.) who served as Chairman of the Board. George Perlman of Lockheed Martin was the Executive Vice President and Marise Stewart of Textron the Vice President. Executives from every major US and Turkish corporation are members. Among them are Mars (candy), Coca Cola, Atlantic Records, Shell Oil, ExxonMobil, Pfizer, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Hyatt and Phillip Morris. Dozens of retired US Flag officers, ex-ambassadors and representatives sit on the ATC Board of Directors." See full listing of Board Members below.

"Counted amongst ATC's hundreds of members are think tanks" like the Eisenhower Institute, CSIS, Brookings Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute. Among member universities are "Georgetown University, the University of Washington and the University of Chicago." Other members include "the Livingston Group (Bob Livingston, ex-Congressman), the Cohen Group (William S. Cohen ex-SECDEF) and ex-Congressman Stephen Solarz. All three are paid big-bucks by the Turkish interests to work on their behalf in the halls of the US Congress and the Pentagon."

In defense of ATC's mission, Stanton provides five reasons that one should think "Necessity and Stability" before yelling conspiracy theory, "particularly in light of the opening to Central Asia, the Caucasus and the new Europe provided by 9/11."

  • These "regions possess an abundance of resources" and with the US "becoming more reliant on a stable world market for energy it's imperative to stabilize and exploit available resources."
  • "Americans have all the candy and weapons systems they need. New markets for American products are critical for American economic survival."
  • WWII "ended a mere 60 years ago [and] US foreign policy is still very much in the hands of America's anti-Soviet/Chinese Cold Warriors. Hence, Russia-China encirclement remains part and parcel of US policy. US military outposts close to the Russia and China's borders dot the landscape in the New EuroAsia. As Space Daily reported, US mobile missile defense batteries are likely to appear at these bases since CONUS based systems are doomed to failure. US military outposts will also allow quick jump off points for covert operations into Russia and China, interdiction of black market WMD and their components, and drug interdiction."
  • To "compete against the combined economic forces of the European Union (EU), it is necessary to have a leveraging position in the New EuroAsia."
  • Isolating and destabilizing Iran "remains paramount. Such has been the policy since the 1980's."

Stanton points out, as well, that ATC "is joined in the creation of the New EuroAsia" by the US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce (AACC). AACC's Honorary Council of Advisors just happens to have Scowcroft and the following persons of significance:" Henry Kissinger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Lloyd Bentson, John Sununu and James A. Baker III. "Former Council members include Dick Cheney and Richard Armitage, former Undersecretary of State. Board of Trustee members include media-overkill subject Richard Perle of AEI, Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, and Frank Verrastro of CSIS."

Stanton points to another such organization, the US-Kazakhstan Business Association, (UKBA), which "features, among others, benefactors and members ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhillips, Lockheed Martin, and Halliburton. Richard Armitage was honored last year by the UKBA and indicated in his remarks that stable economies and representative government were essential for the future of Central Asia."

Board Members 2004

Executive Committee (as of August 4, 2004)

Members

Contact

American Turkish Council
1111 14th Street NW
Washington DC 20005
Phone (202) 783-0483
Fax (202) 783-0511
Email atc@the-atc.org
www.americanturkishcouncil.org

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