ANKARA: Armenians by Oktay Eksi

Turkish Press review
Oct 20 2004


Columnist Oktay Eksi comments on Turkish-Armenian relations. A
summary of his column is as follows:

`Our efforts to become a member of the European Union have caused
some confusion. For example, everybody knows that the concept of
`minority’ comes from the Treaty of Lausanne. This is true not only
for us, but also for Greece, which signed the treaty as well.
Meanwhile, those who think it’s time to benefit from Turkey while
hindering our EU bid are hard at work. The most important such
initiative is the push to make Turkey recognize the so-called
Armenian genocide. Former Foreign Minister Ilter Turkmen wrote
yesterday in Hurriyet, `Of course it’s out of the question for Turkey
to accept the claims of Armenian genocide.’ However, he also
suggested that we should normalize our relations with Armenia so we
can solve the problem. Actually Armenia’s deputy foreign minister
said a few days ago that it was ready to meet unconditionally with
Ankara in order to normalize relations. We’re against neither
Turkmen’s view nor efforts to improve relations with Armenia. We also
support the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) push to
normalize our relations with neighboring countries. However, this
can’t happen with the efforts and good will coming from one side
only. For example, Armenia wants to normalize relations but it also
supports cruel and unfair campaigns by the Armenian diaspora. In
addition, hostility against Turkey is still enshrined in Armenia’s
founding state papers, and Armenian President Robert Kocaryan doesn’t
seem to have given up his promise to US Armenian lobbying groups that
it would work hard for recognition of the genocide.’

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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