— The Erimtan Angle —

Turkey’s Foreign Minister, the wily pseudo-Ottoman architect Ahmed Davutoğlu went to Armenia on Wednesday, 11 December. And in reponse, the ArmeniaNow reporter Gayane Mkrtchyan writes that the “Foreign Ministry of Armenia has refuted the information published by the Aravot daily claiming that Armenia has drafted another roadmap for normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations and passed it over to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu through ‘diplomatic channels’. The new roadmap allegedly rests upon three points: Turkey publicly admits the fact of the Armenian Genocide, its responsibility before the Diaspora Armenians scattered around the world; Turkey immediately opens the Turkish-Armenian border and establishes diplomatic relations with Armenia. In the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement process Turkey assumes a peaceful settlement mediator’s role and becomes entitled to implement social projects aimed at controlling bellicose rhetoric, prevention of border incidents, sniper withdrawal and preparation of the conflicting societies to peace”.[1]  At the same time, the Turkish politician was also met by predictable protests on the streets of Yerevan.

Rather than deal with the sticky issue of Turco-Armenian relations, Davutoğlu’s “one-day visit to Yerevan [was made] to attend the Organization of Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) meeting, making him the highest-level Turkish official to visit Armenia since 2009. Although a bilateral meeting with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian was not scheduled as of late afternoon on Dec. 11, Turkish diplomats underlined that they would have no hesitation in holding talks with their host if they received an invitation from Armenia”, as reported by Hürriyet Daily News.[2]  The Hürriyet Daily News report continues that “[m]eetings between Azeri and Armenian officials over the last two months boosted hopes for a meaningful negotiation process to restart between the two countries. This latest set of Azeri-Armenian talks made Davutoğlu more willing to attend the BSEC meeting in Yerevan. The Turkish foreign minister’s decision to go to Yerevan was welcomed by the United States and leading European countries. According to information gathered by the Hürriyet Daily News, European and American diplomats deemed Davutoğlu’s visit and potential bilateral meeting a very promising move. They also advised Armenia ‘not to miss the opportunity’ created by the visit. However, Turkish diplomats did note that this visit should not be regarded as a new opening toward Armenia”.[3]

Much ado about nothing or what???  The wily Turk himself said the following: “There is no need to present [my visit to Yerevan] as special or different. Our desire and goal is to improve the Turkish-Armenian relations, as well as settle the issues between Armenia and Azerbaijan, ensure development and establishment of lasting peace in the South Caucasus”.[4]  The Armenian Turcologist Andranik Ispiryan evaluates Davutoğlu’s move as follows: “It is certainly not a secret that the main purpose of Davutoglu’s visit is related to the approaching 2015 [100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide], however there are also secondary issues. Its failed politics in the Middle East – Syria, Iraq, recently also Egypt, as well as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Armenia, have forced Turkey to remind of its existence”.[5]  Ispiryan even goes as far as calling Turkey’s pseudo-Ottoman ambitions a failure and paraphrasing Davutoğlu’s well-known dictum as “zero neighbors, multiple problems”.[6]

[1] Gayane Mkrtchyan. “Talk of new Turkish-Armenian normalization roadmap activates ahead of Davutoglu’s Yerevan visit” ArmeniaNow (12 Dec 2013). http://armenianow.com/news/50774/armenia_bsec_meeting_davutoglu_armenian_turkish_relations.

[2] “Turkish FM Davutoğlu attends BSEC in Yerevan” Hürriyet Daily News (12 December 2013). http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-fm-davutoglu-to-attend-bsec-in-yerevan.aspx?pageID=238&nID=59424&NewsCatID=338.

[3] “Turkish FM Davutoğlu attends BSEC in Yerevan”.

[4] Gayane Mkrtchyan. “Talk of new Turkish-Armenian normalization roadmap activates”.

[5] Gayane Mkrtchyan. “Talk of new Turkish-Armenian normalization roadmap activates”.

[6] Gayane Mkrtchyan. “Talk of new Turkish-Armenian normalization roadmap activates”.


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