Kocharian Conceals Occupation with So-Called Genocide
By ERHAN BASYURT

Zaman, Turkey
June 1 2005

I don't know why, opening the Armenian border gate has become a
"blind love" in Turkey. Lastly, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's
government has fell in this "blind love". While no conditions have
been changed on the Armenian side, Ankara has carried on building
diplomatic relations and opening the border gate to the issue.

Armenian President Robert Kocharian; however, showed once again that
they do not seek dialogue or a solution at the Summit of the Council
of Europe in Warsaw.

Kocharian repeated to the top-level representatives of 46 European
countries that "recognition of 1915 events as genocide is our main
policy." While it was highly expected that Prime Minister Erdogan and
Kocharian would come together at that summit, Kocharian's statements
had a cold effect on the Turkish side.

Kocharian has become Armenian President thanks to the effective
"Karabagh Clan" when he was one of the Armenian rebel leaders
carrying out an armed conflict in Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabagh
region. Kocharian's biggest supporter is the Dashnak Party, which
has destroyed the democratic structure in the country. What brought
Kocharian up to power is not the Armenian people's support but
financial and political support provided by the Armenian Diaspora,
who seek the dream of "Greater Armenia". If Kocharian gives up his
so-called genocide allegations, he will lose the Armenian Diaspora's
support that has been constructed on "Turcophobic Animosity". Under
these circumstances, it would be naive to expect Kocharian to give
up his so-called genocide allegations and to withdraw from 20 percent
of Azerbaijani territory.

Certainly, this is not the only reason for Kocharian's insistence
on a so-called genocide. If it is noticed, campaigns of so-called
genocide have accelerated after 1990. The end of the Cold War has
facilitated the international pressure over Turkey and this has
played a crucial role in it. The main reason; however, is that the
so-called genocide barking conceals Armenian's occupation and massacre
in Azerbaijan. Adapting the role of the oppressed and the aggrieved,
Armenians, who constantly carry the so-called genocide allegations
on the agenda at European and US parliaments, conceal the Karabagh
massacres and the occupation of Azerbaijan in this way. They describe
the immigration of 413,000 Armenians from the Ottoman territories as
"genocide"; however, show their exile of 800,000 Azerbaijanis from
their homelands and committing ethnic cleansing, primarily in Hocali,
as just.

Kocharian's speech at the Council of Europe is very thought provoking
from this point of view as well. The Council of Europe's Assembly
of Parliamentarians has accepted Armenia as a country occupying
Azerbaijani territory on January 25th 2005, that is to say four months
ago. It also accepted a comprehensive report envisioning a peaceful
withdrawal from it. Kocharian, who is the architect of the occupation
that blocked four different resolutions by the United Nations (UN) and
solutions projects by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in
Europe's (OSCE), now plays the role of the "oppressed" by carrying the
so-called genocide allegations on agenda at the Council of Europe. He,
therefore, keeps the international community and the Council of Europe
from undertaking an active role in the solution of the problem.

Turkey should speak with Kocharian in the language that he understands
at this stage. That is to say, it should push Armenia into corner at
international platforms and take initiatives to allow it to end the
occupation and to establish peaceful relations with its neighbors. The
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) might easily carry the
Karabagh problem to the agenda. Turkey should use all its opportunities
in the Council of Europe, the OSCE, the UN and the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO). It is naturally not possible that these
policies can be successful only with Turkey's efforts. Turkey and
Azerbaijan should set up a very close dialogue and co-operation
mechanism at this stage. They should direct their lobby opportunities
to the same point. Armenia should be put under international pressure
by gaining the support of friendly countries as well.

If these are achieved, not only the so-called genocide allegations
will occupy the agenda as such, but also Armenia will seek ways to
approach Turkey as a solution to get rid of international pressure.
Turkey-Armenia relations will mostly benefit Armenia, so the "blind
love" of opening the border gates and establishing bridges should
be theirs.