Paper: Impossible for Armenia to demand lands, indemnity from Turkey

Cumhuriyet, Istanbul
30 May 04

Text of unattributed report, "Relations with Yerevan have been
suspended", published by Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet (Ankara edition)
on 30 May

Ankara: The expected "process of normalization" in the Ankara-Yerevan
relations cannot be started due to the fact that Armenia has not taken
positive steps in the Nagorno Karabakh problem and its relations with
Turkey. Ankara states that in the present conditions, establishing
diplomatic relations and opening the border gate would not come onto
the agenda.

Due to the fact that there has not been progress made in the relations,
the Armenian President Robert Kocharian will not come to Istanbul
to attend the NATO summit and the statements of the Armenian Prime
Minister Andranik Magarian related to the land indemnities they demand,
are not considered to be "friendly" in Ankara.

The fact that Yerevan has not responded positively to the proposals
made for the solution of the Nagorno Karabakh problem, which is the
greatest obstacle preventing stability, and that it has not withdrawn
from the lands it occupied, are some of the elements of concern in
Ankara. The fact that Armenia's approach has not changed, indicates
that normalization in the relations will not be experienced in the
short-term.

President Kocharian is not included in the Ternary talks

Two important developments were experienced in this process. The
first is the fact that President Kocharian will not attend the NATO
summit on 28-29 June. Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan were planning
to get together during or prior to the NATO summit and to discuss the
Nagorno Karabakh problem and the "proposal for withdrawal in stages"
brought onto the agenda by the Baku administration. Thus, President
Kocharian showed that he would not discuss this subject.

The second development was the statement made last week by Prime
Minister Magarian. Prime Minister Magarian spoke in the following
manner: "Problems, such as the Nagorno Karabakh problem, recognition
of genocide and demanding land indemnity from Ankara can be solved
with the formation of a powerful Armenian state. If we want to receive
land indemnity from Ankara, then we should not talk about it loudly
everywhere."

Taking back some of the provinces in Turkey's Eastern Anatolia
region is in the Armenian constitution and Agri Mountain is used as
a symbol. Although Turkey recognized Armenia, it does not establish
diplomatic relations with Yerevan, which does not change its demands
and policy, and Turkey does not open its borders. The Turkish and
Armenian foreign ministers spoke at international meetings last year,
but could not make any progress.

"The demand is impossible"

The ASAM [Eurasian Strategic Research Centre] Chairman Gunduz Aktan
said that it is impossible for the Armenians to demand lands or
indemnities from Turkey in accordance with the Lausanne Treaty. Mr
Aktan, who spoke at the Second Armenian Studies International Congress
organized jointly by the ATO [Ankara Chamber of Commerce], the ASAM
and the Armenian Studies Institute, stated that the Lausanne Treaty
eliminated the land problem and said: "It is legally impossible for
them to claim either land or indemnity for land."