Armenians Have Superficial Knowledge About Turkey


07.08.2009 17:58 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ "Turkish schools begin their classes with a prayer
which contains Ataturk’s well-known slogan saying, ‘I am happy to be
a Turk’," Lecturer at YSU Turkology chair Ruben Melkonyan told a news
conference in Yerevan.

In a multi-national state like Turkey, such slogan sounds very
chauvinistic and pursues assimilatory goals, Melkonyan said, adding
that a law firm in Diarbekir has applied to the Constitutional court
with a request of declaring the oath anti-constitutional. Armenian
expert attached special importance to that, considering that such
kind of protests may help Turkey overcome existing taboos.

Mr. Melkonyan also finds that Turkish state’s ideology sometimes
escalates to nationalism. "In that context, border opening and
establishment of ties can be considered effective tools for eliminating
such taboos," he stressed.

Establishment of Armenian-Turkish ties may cause crisis in
Turkish society, with ethnic identity being a key issue, Melkonyan
finds. "Opinions in Turkish society vary, but I am deeply convinced
that the radical position is prevalent," Armenian expert said, noting
that Armenians have superficial knowledge about Turkey, and take a
very soft and incautious approach to border opening.