ANKARA: "The Relations With Armenia Can Be Normalized By The People

Tolga Korkut – [email protected]

Sept 9 2008

Dr. Aktar sees many obstacles between the both states. It is a very
long process, he says, but "the Armenian and Turkish peoples can
do it. Those who are interested in this process need to create more
occasions to meet."

Dr. Cengiz Aktar describes President Abdullah Gul’s going to Armenian
to watch the soccer match between the two countries with the Armenian
President a very important and historical development. However,
he also thinks that there are other obstacles needs to be overcome,
so that this visit can bring positive results.

Nobody should expect from Armenia to quit using the word ‘genocide’
According to Aktar, Turkey is hoping that these kinds of steps will
eventually end Armenia’s insistence in using the word ‘genocide,’
but it is futile, because Armenia does not even want to discuss this
at the level of states.

Another obstacle is the factor of Azerbaijan: "Turkey is looking for
alternatives other than Russia for energy, but Azerbaijan ties its
hands because of the Mountainous Karabag conflict."

"This problem will be solved by the two peoples" On the other hand,
Aktar thinks that this visit has given a great opportunity for many
who have not been to Armenia to see what it is like.

"It will be a long process, but if this problem will be solved, it
will be at the level of peoples.It will be solved by forming between
the two societies."

For this reason, says Aktar, it is helpful that those who are for
the normalization of the relations between the societies can meet
with each other. He thinks the cultural and artistic activities may
be able to create the needed mediums for meetings.

At the end of the visit, the both presidents, Abdullah Gul and Serj
Sarkisyan, had said that they would not left the solution of the
problem between the two countries to the future generations.

"Lot of things will change, if the border is opened" Aktar says that
although it will be nothing short of a miracle if the border between
the countries, closed since 1993, is opened, lot of things will
change. However, the necessary step has to be taken by Turkey. It
will be a major step, says Aktar, if the problem of the recognition
of the border between the two countries is solved.

"The more 1915 is discussed, the better it is" Aktar says that people
have been discussing more what happened in 1915 after the European
Union process and the murder of Hrant Dink. "The young people no
longer believe in the "nothing happened" story.

"Armenian-Turkish weekly Agos, the newspaper of slained Dink, has
played a major role in this. Those young people who can ask questions
have started asking them. This may in time result in a movement of
justice that may affect the both countries. The real issue is the
matter of sharing the pain."

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