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  • More On The Protocols

    More On The Protocols

    Civilitas Foundation
    Saturday, 10 October 2009 20:31 | by Gerard Chaliand |
    Analysis / Turkey

    The current Turkey-Armenia Protocols, with their ambiguous wording,
    are unfavorable to the interests of the Armenian state. What are the
    motives of the latter? Opening the Turkish Armenian border, while
    separating Turkey-Armenia relations from a solution to the
    Nagorno-Karabakh conflict?

    Apparently, to substitute for this issue not being mentioned, Armenia
    has conceded for a "sub-commission on the historical dimension to
    implement a dialogue with the aim to restore mutual confidence between
    the two nations, including an impartial scientific examination of the
    historical records and archives to define existing problems and
    formulate recommendations, in which Armenian, Turkish as well as Swiss
    and other international experts shall take part.' Such wording should
    be unacceptable for an Armenian government worthy of the name. What is
    the goal of Turkish diplomacy, whose excellence cannot be denied, as
    demonstrated its progress during the recent years, with the impulsion
    of Recep Erdogan, and reach the following: ¨- A recognition of
    existing borders between Turkey and Armenia; ¨- Avoid at all costs
    that the term genocide is used for the events of 1915-1923. ¨- Work
    in agreement with Azerbaijan for the return of Nagorno-Karabakh under
    the sovereignty of Baku.

    This last point is implicit in the protocols, as Armenia and Turkey
    reaffirm "their commitment, in their bilateral and international
    relations, to respect and ensure respect for the principles of
    equality, sovereignty, non interference in internal affairs of other
    states, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders'.
    (underline is mine).

    This means to bury the principle of the right of peoples to
    self-determination, a principle on which the argument of Nagorno
    Karabakh and its overwhelmingly Armenian population is based.
    Accordingly, Turkey, if it so chooses, can delay the opening of the
    border, arguing there is no such clause in the protocol. And it can
    always come back to it, as part of a protocol endorsed by both
    parties. ¨ ¨The clause on mutual recognition of borders between
    Armenia and Turkey seems to result from an intangible position of
    force. Also, being a realist, although many may find it regrettable, I
    think abandoning this territorial claim is reasonable. In this sense,
    for the cold historian, the genocide of 1915-1916, seen from the side
    of the Turkish state, was a success, as there are no remaining
    Armenians in the six eastern vilayets. To continue demanding what one
    can't get, no matter what you do, has no sense in politics. It is as
    absurd as the non-recognition of the State of Israel by the PLO
    yesterday and by Hamas today. ¨ ¨By no means should there have been an
    agreement to the sub-commission of the historical dimension. Talat
    Pasha's diary, which has been publicly published and distributed,
    mentions nearly a million "disappeared people.' Nothing justifies an
    ethnic cleansing of this magnitude if not the intention of making a
    clean space. Only the term genocide is appropriate for this deliberate
    and inhumane crime. The Armenian Genocide is a historical fact proven
    by many available archives (German, Austrian, American, etc.), and the
    work of the two recent generations of American, British, German, and
    French historians. The work of an "impartial scientific examination of
    the historical records and archive" has already been initiated and
    completed, despite Turkish claims. Who are we mocking? What kind of
    government can agree to sign such a clause? It is like Israel willing
    to discuss the reality of the Jewish Holocaust with a German state
    that would, over 94 years after the fall of Nazism, continue to deny
    the Holocaust, and where all their embassies and representatives
    abroad were still working in this direction! To be sold to the heirs
    of unrepentant murderers, I speak here of the Turkish state, the
    murderers of a whole people, the Armenian government is unworthy of
    its country. ¨ ¨There is no foreign policy based on human rights, but
    rather on diplomacy driven by political and economic benefits,
    especially in regions of the world where, as around the Caspian basin
    and the Middle East, resources abound. Armenia, it is a fact, faces in
    this regard some advantages compared to Azerbaijan, or even, for other
    reasons, Georgia. Turkey, on the contrary, as a regional power and
    geostrategic crossroads, is going up. And, more importantly, it has a
    real head of state.

    It is more than probable that this protocol is more beneficial for
    Turkey than Armenia, which has not come to the point to renounce this.
    A concession will lead to another. Enjoying the frozen situation of
    Karabakh may end up not realizing that time does not work for those
    who are content to wait, in a framework of limited sovereignty. The
    oil and the projects, already accomplished or in the make, of gas and
    oil pipelines have consolidated the assets of Azerbaijan and Turkey.
    While Russia, which in this case has its own interests, has taken note
    of this.

    As for the United States, they have reiterated their support to a
    Turkey within Europe, which will be a valuable ally at the periphery
    of Russia, even China... Was it not Recep Erdogan who called the
    killing of 750 Uighur (turkophone) of Xinjiang as a "kind of