HOPE FOR ISLAMISTS TO IMPROVE SITUATION OF MINORITIES
"The possible election of Abdullah Gul, of the "Justice and Progress"
party, shows the importance predominance of the party in the country,
and the Armenian community, especially those following the lead of the
patriarch, by casting their votes for Gul hope that his party will
work to improve the condition of religious and ethnic minorities in
Turkey," said Ruben Safrastyan, director of the Institute of Eastern
Studies in reference to Turkey’s recent parliamentary elections.
In his opinion, the pro-Islamist party’s ascension is a result of
the country’s attempts at European Union membership. The expert on
Turkish studies thinks there are many in the Justice and Progress
party who doubt that Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, should
be the country’s model, and are ready to change all that concerning
both internal issues and external political relations.
"For example, in October of 2002 several members of the party
announced that relations with Armenia should be based only on economic
considerations," Safrastyan said, expressing hope that with the party’s
election postive changes would take place in regard to relations with
In any event, the expert doesn’t see any change by official Anakra
in regard to recognizing the Genocide as a historical reality.