Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Turkey Changes Public Relations Representation in U.S.

Turkey has ended its long-standing relationship with the Livingston Group, former U.S. Rep. Bob Livingston's Washington lobbying firm. Turkey's business will transfer to DLA Piper, which has worked alongside the Livingston Group throughout the past year. At DLA Piper, relations on the Republican side will be led by former U.S. Rep. Dick Armey and relations on the Democratic side will be led bt former U.S. Rep. Dick Gephardt. There has been no immediate reason given for the transfer and newspapers report it was quite amicable and that Livingston is involved in the transition.

According to Today's Zaman, Turkey held a $1.8 million contract with the Livingston Group last year and has been paying an additional $100,000 per month to retain DLA Piper. U.S. lobbying efforts were central to the eventual decision of U.S. Speaker Nancy Pelosi not to introduce a resolution to the House floor that recognized the massacres and deportations of Armenians in 1915 as a genocide. The resolution had passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee last October and was not the first such effort to bring the House to vote on such a measure. With tough talk from Turkey, a strong message from President Bush condemning the vote, and intensive lobbying efforts, the genocide resolution vote was put off the agenda.

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