Armenian-Turkish reconciliation: no miracle happened

  • Armenian-Turkish reconciliation no miracle happened

Yerevan: Armenian-Turkish relations on the world geopolitical map are still considered one of the most difficult political riddles. Attempts to reconcile Armenians and Turks in different periods of modern history were permanently coming to the fore among the superpowers, but with enviable constancy they failed. In order to understand all the underlying reasons for the mutual Armenian-Turkish dislike, let us reveal some details.

The reason for Armenia's longstanding rejection of Turkish policy and vice versa is the whole complex of unresolved mental and historical problems that the parties have accumulated with each other in the process of joint living of peoples.

Thus, Armenia regards Turkey as the legal successor of the Ottoman Empire,as is known at the beginning of the twentieth century, an attempt was made to total destruction of the Armenian people (the Armenian Genocide in 1915). Likewise, it is absolutely unacceptable for the Armenian side to support Turkey's position of Azerbaijan in the conflict with Armenia around Nagorno-Karabakh. Relations between Armenia and Turkey (or rather, the absence thereof) are aggravated by the fact that the Turkish Republic has been implementing a policy of transport blockade for more than a quarter of a century. Which, naturally, is viewed by Armenia not just as an unfriendly step, but also as an element of the economic war that is actually being waged with Armenia by Turkey.

Turkey, in turn, presents Armenia with far-fetched charges of destabilizing the stop in the South Caucasus in the context of the Artsakh-Azerbaijani conflict. Turkey also accuses Armenia of unleashing the "slander" of the Turkish Republic in the world media, and completely denies the responsibility of the Turkish young Turkish government in the Armenian Genocide. As stated above, Turkey unconditionally supports the position of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the Karabakh settlement. In the form of a certificate, we recall that Azerbaijan's ultimate goal is not just a repeat attempt to occupy the Republic of Artsakh (the Nagorno Karabakh Republic), but also territorial claims directly to the Republic of Armenia and, as a result, the destruction or extortion of the Armenian population from its "historical homeland". (This thesis was indirectly confirmed by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, who stated that "the world Armenians" are the main enemy of the Azerbaijani people in the final speech at the conference on the results of the implementation of the "State Program of Social and Economic Development of Regions of the Republic of Azerbaijan").

However, on the part of the main geopolitical players (the US, the EU and Russia), attempts were repeatedly made to reconcile seemingly irreconcilable "enemies" - Armenians and Turks. The parties were closest to reconciliation in 2008-2009. The process was called "football diplomacy".

The timetable of events is as follows: On September 6, 2008, President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan made a sensational statement where he indicated that, within the framework of the policy of establishing relations between Armenia and Turkey, he invited Turkish President Abdullah Gul to visit the capital of Armenia (Yerevan) to jointly watch the football mast between national teams of Armenia and Turkey. Thus, in the diplomatic vocabulary a new definition of "football diplomacy" appeared. Immediately we stipulate that such a step by the Armenian president caused an unprecedented wave of discontent, both in Armenia and in Turkey. Protest actions took place in both countries, the opposition forces of Armenia and Turkey hastened to immediately blame their governments for a policy of compromise and betrayal of national interests. The situation was heated to such a state that the oldest party of Armenia, ARFD (Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutyun), announced its withdrawal from the coalition agreement with the ruling party of Armenia (RPA) and announced mass protests. A similar situation was in Turkey, which resulted in protests by Turkish nationalists in large cities - Istanbul, Ankara, Igdir, etc.

However, Turkish and Armenian politicians, despite the pressure of public opinion in their countries, continued "football diplomacy", which resulted in the visit of the Armenian president to Turkey for the return match of the national teams in October 2009. In the Turkish city of Bursa, the first negotiations between the presidents of Turkey and Armenia were held in the Almira hotel, where measures to increase the dialogue and seek a way out of the current situation began to be discussed. The result of incessant consultations between Turkey, Armenia, EU, US and Russia was the signing of the so-called "Zurich protocols" (Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and Protocol on the Development of Bilateral Relations). The main theses of these documents were mutual recognition of the borders and territorial integrity of the signatory states, the opening of communications and borders, the creation of an independent commission of historians to study and assess the Armenian Genocide.

To understand how complicated the process was, let us cite just one thing: the signing of the protocol between the two countries nearly broke off, and the solemn part was detained for almost three hours. The fact is that the Armenian side insisted on the inclusion of the fact of the Armenian Genocide in the final comrade, and the Turkish side insisted on the thesis, where the Artsakh-Azerbaijani conflict will be indicated in the Azerbaijani interpretation. However, the parties decided in the end not to add these two items, and the protocol was signed. Although, let's pay attention to one more nuance. The situation was so tense that neither the Armenians nor the Turks did not hold a joint press conference following the signing of the protocols.

Naturally, the Republic of Azerbaijan was extremely outraged by the "betrayal" of its ally, Turkey. And on the same day, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan sharply condemned the signing of these documents and threatened with heavy economic and political consequences for "brotherly Turkey".

As the further development of events has shown, the Armenian side fears that the protocols are needed for Turkey only to ease pressure on it in recognition of the Armenian Genocide, have been confirmed in the tightening, and more recently, in blatant sabotage of ratification by the Turkish parliament of this document. In response to the demarche of the Turkish side (which, contrary to the spirit and letter of the signed agreements, began to put forward additional demands on the Armenian side), in February 2015, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan withdrew the Armenian-Turkish protocols from the National Assembly of Armenia, but the protocols were not denounced by the Armenian side, and remained in a "suspended" state.

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