ANKARA: Turkey’s Project To Reopen Railway ‘Aims At Azerbaijan’


Hurriyet Daily News, Turkey
Nov 14 2013

ISTANBUL – Hurriyet Daily News
by Huseyin Hayatsever

Giro Manoyan, director of the international secretariat of the
Dashnaktsutyun, says Turkey’s consideration on reopening railway
between Turkey and Armenia is aimed at ‘opening a position in
negotiations with Azerbaijan.’ Manoyan was in Istanbul to attend the
Socialist International meeting

Turkey’s consideration about reopening the railway between Turkey and
Armenia aims at “opening a position in negotiations with Azerbaijan,”
according to Giro Manoyan, director of the international secretariat
of the Dashnaktsutyun, or the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF).

“I believe Mr. Davutoðlu’s announcement was more like a negotiation
position with Aliyev, rather than with Armenia. I’m not sure what
Turkey is expecting from Azerbaijan, but I think Mr. Davutoðlu’s not
so secret announcement, which was made during a closed door session
in Parliament, was actually made public for the Turkish side to have
a sort of opening position in negotiations with Azerbaijan,” Manoyan
said on Nov. 12 in an interview with the Hurriyet Daily News.

Manoyan was in Istanbul to attend the Council Meeting of the Socialist
International (SI) to represent the ANF, which is the opposition party
in the Armenian Parliament, holding 5 of 90 seats. He was commenting
on recent news reports that Turkey is considering reopening the
Kars-Gyumri section of the Kars-Gyumri-Tbilisi railway line, which
has not been operational since 1993, when Turkey closed the border
with Armenia, amid its war with Azerbaijan for Nagorno-Karabakh.

The idea to reopen the railway came as a question to Foreign Minister
Ahmet Davutoðlu during a closed-door Parliament briefing on Nov. 6.

The minister said opening the border with Armenia and reopening the
railway could be brought to the agenda under the framework of a peace
plan that includes the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia stopped after signing the
protocols in 2009, and there is nothing that has happened since then,
Manoyan said. “So I don’t think what Mr. Davutoðlu said has anything
to do with reality.”

‘Consensus for moving on from recognition efforts’

Manoyan, who is also a member of the “State Commission for the
Coordination of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Activities”, expressed
his views on 2015 preparations. “There’s certain consensus among the
Armenian community that they should move on from efforts to push Turkey
to recognize the 1915 killings as genocide for the 2015 centennial
campaign,” according to Manoyan. “That doesn’t mean there should be
no recognition effort,” he maintained, adding that they “should go
further and start presenting claims regarding Armenian rights.”

“Discussions, studies are going on regarding what reparation claims
should be made and there’s some approach that regardless of whether
Turkey recognizes the genocide or not, there are certain claims which
can be made against Turkey as a state or those who have benefitted
from Armenian properties etc.,” Manoyan said.

In further comments on protocols signed between Armenia and Turkey
in 2009 in an effort to normalize the relations, Manoyan reiterated
his party’s position and suggested that Armenia should withdraw its
signatures because “it has already given too much to Turkey.”

Instead, Armenia should put a very short draft on the table, with
three-four paragraphs saying, “The two countries have decided to
establish diplomatic relations, the two countries have decided to
establish land links and develop economic and other ties, and the two
countries have decided to resolve all outstanding issues between the
two countries peacefully, based on international law,” according to
Manoyan. “We should put this on the table and wait if there’s ever
any government in Turkey which is really in a position to establish
relations with Armenia without any preconditions, then they sign
it, we sign it and we start. Because the position Turkey has taken
regarding Armenia, especially the blockade is really, according to
international law, an expression of hostility,” he said.


From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS