Turkey Conducts Policy Of Dividing South Caucasus


Lragir, Armenia
July 27 2007

The situation in Turkey is hopeless, only an optimist may expect that
after the Turkish election positive moves will be made to improve
relations with Armenia, stated Ruben Safrastyan, expert on Turkish
studies, on July 27 at the Friday Club. According to Ruben Safrastyan,
the reality is hopeless also because no political party comes up with
an alternative proposal to the approach of the government towards
the relations with Armenia.

Certainly the ruling Justice and Development Party has made two
unprecedented statements. Ali Babajan, the third person of the
party, stated October 2002 before the election that with regard to
the relations with Armenia it is necessary to leave aside politics
and focus on the economic interests. It might become the track for
improvement of relations with Armenia, but after coming to power they
forgot or denied this statement, Ruben Safrastyan said.

The next was Recep Tayyib Erdoghan’s statement in 2005. Erdoghan
deviated from the policy of denial coming from the 20s of the 20th
century and proposed that a group of Armenian and Turkish historians
find out if there was a genocide or not. This proposal was not picked
up by the Armenian historians. Generally, Ruben Safrastyan thinks
the Turks refuse to recognize the genocide because they do not want
to be labeled as a nation which committed genocide. Yet uncertainty
is another reason for the delay of the recognition of the Genocide;
Armenia has not stated yet what it will claim in case Turkey recognizes
the genocide of Armenians, Ruben Safrastyan stated.

The moves Armenia makes regarding the relations with Turkey are
correct, he thinks. Since 1992 Armenia has proposed to set up relations
without preconditions. According to Ruben Safrastyan, it is the basic
and logical condition for relations. However, approximately at the
same time Turkey started conducting a policy of dividing the South
Caucasus: "In an effort to create a group of minor allies including
Georgia and Azerbaijan." However, this policy is not favorable for
the United States, Russia and the EU, and Ruben Safrastyan thinks
Turkey will bring this program into being with difficulty. Especially
that Turkey committed to improvement of relations with neighbors on
the track for the EU membership which it fails, in fact. Instead,
Turkey will hinder the affirmation of the U.S. Congress resolution
on the genocide, as it has done so far, Ruben Safrastyan stated.