Zaman, Turkey
May 31 2005

Ankara Expects Steps from Yerevan
By Suleyman Kurt
Published: Tuesday 31, 2005
zaman.com


The letter exchange process between Turkey and Armenia after the
debates over the so-called Armenian genocide allegations became heated
has been endangered by the Yerevan administration for not showing an
expected approach.

Ankara will not write a response letter to Armenian President Robert
Kocharian if the present conditions continue.

Kocharian responded with, "Firstly, let's establish a diplomatic
relationship and then an inter-governmental commission to handle the
issues" to a letter from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan offering
"Let a group, comprised of historians and other experts, to research
the events in 1915" and Kocharian's response even though it does
not fully meet the expectations of Ankara, it was considered in a
positive perspective.

However, the expected approach has not shown by the Yerevan
administration over the last month. Since Erdogan and Kocharian did
not meet in Warsaw and Kocharian's harsh attitude at the European
Council summit have complicated the answer to the letter.

Diplomatic sources have drawn attention to the steps Turkey has taken
and that this could be interpreted, as "trust building" in recent
times are not truly transferred to the Armenian public opinion.

Sources say, "Yerevan-Turkey flights continue. Those vehicles,
carrying goods between the two countries, can come and go through
Georgia. Thousands of Armenian citizens can work in Turkey, including
Ankara. However, those facts are not explained to the Armenian public
by their government."

On the other side, the single positive piece of news to reach Ankara
from Yerevan lately is that the Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan
Oskanian's former statement related to the "Kars Treaty" that said,
"As being inherent of the Soviet Union, all of those treaties signed
by the Soviet Union are assumed to be approved unless the opposite
is stated" has been published on the Armenian Foreign Ministry's
web site. However, Ankara expects to receive this statement through
"official" channels.