POLITICAL ANALYST: NO ROOM FOR RATIFICATION OF ARMENIAN-TURKISH PROTOCOLS

ARKA
Sep 27, 2011

YEREVAN, September 27. /ARKA/. Alexander Iskandaryan, political
analyst and director of Caucasus Institute, speaking Tuesday in
Novosti International Press Center, said there are absolutely no
prospects today for ratification of Armenian-Turkish protocols by
Turkish Parliament.

It became known on September 24 that Turkish government that Turkish
government has returned Armenian-Turkish protocols signed in 2009 to
the parliament's agenda.

"To put it mildly, Turkey now doesn't care about protocols - it
has far bigger troubles in both foreign and domestic policies,"
Iskandaryan said.

In recent weeks, there is an all-out war between Turkish army and
Kurdish guerrillas, and this is a grave problem for Turkey.

Iskandaryan also finds it obvious that Turkish Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan will seek to amend the country's constitution to make
Turkey a presidential republic and run for presidency. According to
Iskandaryan, in such a situation ratification of the protocols will
hardly play into his hands.

He says that Turkey seeks dominance in the rapidly-changing Middle
East, but having no sufficient resources for that, faces difficulties.

"Things are very complicated and risky, and Turkish leadership stakes
everything to obtain a new position in the region," he said. "In such
a situation, how can Turkey think about Armenian protocols?"

The political analyst said that the United States keeps pushing Turkey
to sign the protocols, but it has no sufficient pressure instruments.

Turkey and Armenia have had no diplomatic ties since Armenia became
independent from the Soviet Union in 1991. Turkey closed its border
with Armenia in 1993 in a show of support for its ally, Azerbaijan,
which had a dispute with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, the ethnic
Armenian enclave of Azerbaijan.

There are several sensitive issues complicating the establishment of
normal relations between the two countries, particularly, Ankara's
blatant support of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
resolution process and Turkey's refusal to acknowledge the mass
killings of Armenians in the last years of the Ottoman Empire as
a genocide.

Thaw in Armenian-Turkish relations began in 2008 at Armenian President
Serzh Sargsyan's initiative.

On October 10, Armenian and Turkish foreign ministers Edward
Nalbandyan and Ahmet Davutoglu signed the protocols on establishment of
diplomatic ties between the two countries and development of bilateral
relations. The protocols had to be ratified by the two countries'
parliaments, but on April 22, 2010, the Armenian president signed a
decree ceasing the process of ratification. He said Turkey was not
ready to continue the process.