EXPERT SAYS ARMENIA SHOULD USE NATIONAL IDENTITIY CRISIS IN TURKEY TO IMPROVE ARMENIAN-TURKISH RELATIONS
March 17, 2008
YEREVAN, March 17. /ARKA/. The national identity crisis in Turkish
society may be an occasion for regulating Armenian-Turkish relations,
says Ruben Safrastyan, Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies,
Armenian National Academy of Sciences.
"Armenia has not used the whole potential of people’s diplomacy and
direct links between the two countries’ societies," the professor told
reporters on Monday. Safrastyan believes that Armenia will benefit
from expanding many-level public contacts between the two countries.
Turkey has been facing a national identity crisis over the past several
years. Most of the Turkish people have been trying to understand if
they are Turks or not. Public survey shows that over 40% of those
living in Turkey do not think they are Turkish, Safrastyan said.
The scholar thinks that Armenia should establish direct links with the
members of Turkish society at this stage making use of their eagerness
"to find out the truth about the dark pages of their history that
had been shut for them throughout decades and of which the government
has been spreading false information".
Armenia and Turkey have no diplomatic relations because of the
preconditions advanced by Turkey demanding that Armenia should stop
the process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide
committed in the Ottoman Empire in the years of World War I when
about one and a half million Armenians were exterminated. Besides,
Turkey has a pro-Azerbaijani position in the Karabakh conflict