ANKARA: ‘NATO Should Force Armenia To Achieve Peace’


Journal of Turkish Weekly, Turkey
Aug 15 2007

* Vahit Erdem: We will struggle against injustice against Azerbaijan
till the end

NATO Parliamentary Assembly first Vice-President, Turkish parliament
member Vahit Erdem’s interview to APA’s Turkey bureau

-You added experience of working in political and international word
to your experience in public administration. Turkish media outlets
do not conceal their intentions to see you in the post of Defense
Minister. Have you received any hint regarding this from the Prime

-I have not received any information. Prime Minister forms the Cabinet
of Ministers. He involves those he could work in close cooperation
with to the Cabinet. I do not think someone knows something at
present. Everyone is busy with presidential election.

But I know that Prime Minister is dealing with forming a new Cabinet.

-You resisted unfair attacks on Turkey in the international arena.

You said to the face of Armenian parliament speaker in Yerevan that
pulling out troops from Azerbaijani territories is inevitable. Can
we say that AKP government will continue its severe policy against

-I have always stood against unfairness everywhere. We will struggle
against the injustice against Turkey’s brother Azerbaijan’s until we
achieve a result. We regard Azerbaijan as our state. Azerbaijan’s
problem is ours. We will struggle together with Azerbaijan against
Armenia’s aggression and achieve to end the unfairness. There is no
other way out. Everyone knows that Armenia’s continuing to occupy
Azerbaijani territories in the 21st century is unacceptable. We would
not like to be in hostile relations with Armenia. However, Armenia
should first of all try to establish good relations with Turkey and
refrain from unfairly accusing Turkey in the international arena.

Armenia should pull out its troops from Azerbaijani territories
unconditionally. If it does this, it can establish better relations
with us and Azerbaijan as well. Armenia is doomed to remain in
isolation in the region until it reconciles with Azerbaijan and Turkey.

-Armenian Foreign Minister condemned NATO for not forcing Ankara into
opening Turkish-Armenian borders.

-NATO should force Armenia first to achieve peace. First of all,
we have to solve the major conflict then care about details.

– How does Turkey manage to fight PKK terrorism?

-Sooner or later Turkey will succeed in that issue as well. Because,
we are very strong. We do not want to cause some international
problems. We try to solve the conflict by means of international
consensus. We are pleased with Iraqi Prime Minister’s regarding PKK
as terrorist. There is trilateral mechanism to fight terrorism among
the US, Turkey and Iraq. We will solve the conflict sooner or later.

Despite the fact that some Kurd groups make statements in Northern
Iraq they would not be able to overcome the US-Turkey-Iraq trilateral