Turkey’s Attitude Towards Armenia Remains Unalterable

TURKEY’S ATTITUDE TOWARDS ARMENIA REMAINS UNALTERABLE
By Hakob Chaqrian

AZG Armenian Daily
26/09/2007

As it was supposed, after the parliamentary elections of Turkey Recep
Tayyip Erdogan’s "Justice and development" party became the ruling
party. It was also predictable that the president of Turkey would be
elected the candidate of the same party Abdullah Gul.

But it’s worth to mention, that the parliamentary and the presidential
elections of Turkey are not as important for Armenia, as the possible
influence of their results on the further process of Armenian-Turkish
not-regulated relations.

Though the government of Erdogan does not put in claims to "not
speaking of 1915" and "the provision of the supremacy of Azerbaijan
in Nagorno Karabakh", it puts forward the issues of creation of a
commission to examine the incidents of 1915 and of making progress
in the process of Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

Moreover, like other Turkish governments Erdogan’s government also
conditioned the opening of Armenian-Turkish border to the issue of
Karabakh conflict. It means that the pre-conditions for the regulation
of Armenian-Turkish relations have remained the same.

The only fact is that the process of recognition of the Armenian
Genocide has widened, the demands of the recognition of the Armenian
Genocide on Turkey have increased and they have weakened the attitude
of denial.

Under those circumstances, the Armenian Issue became Turkish
government’s preliminary issue of the coming10 years. Gul admitted
it when being Foreign Minister of Turkey.

During this period the issue of the Armenian Genocide was widely
discussed by the press of Turkey. The discharged diplomats led by the
previous Foreign Minister Ilter Tyurkman announced that Armenia would
not renounce the undertakings to make them internationally recognize
the Armenian Genocide.

The journalists added, "If the USA doesn’t recognize the Armenian
Genocide it doesn’t mean that the incidents of 1915 are not considered
as "genocide" in Washington. Nevertheless, the responsible figures
of the US State Department announce that they have never deny the
fact of the genocide."

Of course, all the above-mentioned don’t lead to the regulation of the
Armenian-Turkish relations, but it’s evident that Turkey is forced to
do a progressive step in it. The US and EU pressures also contribute
to it.

Though Turkey is on the threshold of structural changes after the
parliamentary and presidential elections and the relations are
sharpened between the ruling Justice and Development Party and the
opposite People’s Republican Party, and there is a disagreement in
the public-political circles on the draft law of the constitution,
the interest of the Turkish press in the Armenian-Turkish relations
doesn’t grow less.

In this sense, it’s worth to mention about the well-known
journalist Sami Kohen’s "How will the relations with Yerevan be
regulated?" article published in "Milliet" on September 19.

Reminding about the fact that Turkey broke of the relations with
Yerevan because of the Karabakh war and blockaded Armenia from 1993
closing the Armenian border of Turkey, the journalist puts forward
a question and then comes to a conclusion: "Both sides will profit
from the opening of the border. Trade and tourism will become active
and investments will be made what will contribute to the economic
growth. In spite of the fact that Armenia incurs a loss from the
blockade, the Armenian economy has recorded a fast growth recently,
the trade volumes between Yerevan and EU countries have increased,
and Armenia provides electricity for Georgia and Iran. It means,
that despite of the Turkey’s blockade the Armenian economy continues
to develop. Moreover, the pressure with the closed Armenian border
doesn’t serve the purpose. For example, it doesn’t force Armenia to
review the policy of Karabakh or to change its attitude towards Baku.

The best means to overcome the above-mentioned contradictions is to
sit around the structural negotiation table and to start a dialogue
containing all the issues. Creation of this kind of balance will be
of economic and political benefit to the two countries."

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