10 Major Concerns Regarding Armenia-Turkey Protocols

22/09/2009 17:21

10 Major Concerns Regarding Armenia-Turkey Protocols


In earlier columns, I had described the major negative aspects of the already initialed Armenia-Turkey Protocols made public on August 31. The concerns I had expressed dealt with two unacceptable preconditions -- recognizing the territorial integrity of Turkey and establishing a joint committee of experts to study historical archives, a not so-veiled reference to re-examining the Armenian Genocide.

Below is a more comprehensive evaluation, providing 10 reasons why the Armenian government should not have initialed, and should not sign and ratify these Protocols:

1) Armenia's leaders made the misjudgment of trying to resolve a large number of emotionally-charged Armenian-Turkish issues all at once, through a single agreement. Decades of antagonism cannot be dealt with in such haste. Armenian officials should have proceeded cautiously and gradually, starting with the simple step of establishing diplomatic relations, followed by the opening of the border. More complicated issues should have been left for a later date.

2) Since the declared purpose of these negotiations is the opening of the border with Armenia -- which Turkey shut down 16 years ago -- there was no reason to conduct such protracted and complex negotiations, and draft an elaborate document that included many unrelated and unacceptable conditions. It may have been wiser to draft a one-sentence agreement that would have simply stated: "Armenia and Turkey agree to establish diplomatic relations and declare their mutual border open on January 1, 2010." In fact, such a one-line agreement was adopted by the United States and Turkey in 1927, when establishing diplomatic relations.

3) Armenia did not have to make any concessions in order to entice Turkey to open its border. Since Turkey has been desperately trying to join the European Union for several decades, it has no choice but to open its border with Armenia. The EU requires that all member states have open borders with neighboring countries.

4) By rushing to shut down the border in 1993, Turkey deprived itself of an important leverage over Armenia. Should Turkey reopen the border, it would once again repossess that leverage, holding the threat of closing the border as a Damoclean Sword over Armenia's head. This threat becomes particularly potent, once Armenia's population is increasingly dependent on imported, cheap Turkish foodstuffs and goods. Should Turkey decide to close the border in the future under some pretext, Armenia's leaders would not be able to reverse the damage done to the nation's interests, even if they abrogated the Protocols!

5) Prime Minister Erdogan said once again last week that Turkey would not open its border with Armenia, unless the Karabagh (Artsakh) conflict is resolved. Armenia's leaders should announce that they will not sign these Protocols, since Turkish officials have made it crystal clear that they have no intention of keeping their side of the bargain.

6) Retired Turkish Ambassador Yalim Eralp made an important disclosure during a recent interview. He stated that the Turkish Parliament, while ratifying the Protocols, could declare them to be valid only after the resolution of the Karabagh conflict. Should the Turks advance such a condition, the Armenian Parliament could retaliate by requiring that the Protocols go into effect only after Turkey acknowledges the Armenian Genocide and Azerbaijan recognizes the Republic of Artsakh!

7) The Protocols do not include any requirement that they be signed and ratified by a particular date. The oft-mentioned October 12 or 13 signature dates are not mentioned in the text of the Protocols. The Armenian government should not rush to sign and ratify these Protocols. Armenia's leaders may yet be saved from damaging their country's interests by Turkey's reluctance to ratify the Protocols. Turkey may blink first!

8) Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian admitted last week that there is no legal requirement to submit these Protocols to Parliament for ratification. However, such ratification would unnecessarily compound the damage done to Armenia's national interests.

9) The Armenian government made no attempt during the lengthy negotiations with Turkey to consult with Diaspora Armenians, despite the fact that the Protocols addressed vital pan-Armenian issues. Months ago, when organizations and individuals expressed serious concerns regarding the preliminary text of the Protocols, they were simply ignored by the Armenian authorities. Attempts to hold discussions at the eleventh hour are futile, since the Armenian Foreign Minister has declared that the Protocols cannot be amended.

10) When the Armenian President met with leaders of more than 50 political parties in Yerevan last week, the five-hour-long "consultations" were held behind closed doors. Regrettably, only the President's remarks were publicized. One would hope that when Pres. Sargsyan goes on his planned trip in early October to Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Moscow, and Beirut, his discussions with Diaspora leaders would be more open and transparent, and preferably televised.

The one unintended outcome of this heated controversy is the coming together of diverse Armenian organizations to take a common stand against these Protocols. It is everyone's earnest hope that the intense intra-Armenian discord would not last long and Armenia's leaders would find the courage and wisdom to stand down from their decision to sign and ratify these Protocols detrimental to the Armenian Cause.

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
 


In case you have found a mistake in the text, please send a message to the editor by selecting the mistake and pressing Ctrl-Enter.

Newsfeed

29/07/2022 11:44 EWC Armenia Announces the 2022’s National Semifinalists 18/07/2022 16:00 Ameriabank Receives Euromoney Award for Excellence as the Best Bank in Armenia for 2022 22/06/2022 15:57 EPIC Announces Opening of Applications for EWC Armenia 2022 17/06/2022 15:58 Leading International and Armenian Companies Focusing on Ecosystem Solutions Join Orion Summit 2022 16/06/2022 18:03 Starting from July 1 of the current year, Viva-MTS services will be available in Artsakh exclusively within roaming 15/06/2022 09:32 MTS Appoints New CEO at MTS Armenia 07/06/2022 16:44 Non-Cash Summer: A Chance to Win 22 Travel Vouchers for the Clients of Ameriabank 06/06/2022 21:06 Infrastructure development: an important means of community development 03/06/2022 13:21 ‘Fly Arna’ receives its Air Operator License 01/06/2022 11:00 Karen Vardanyan provided financial donation amounting to 107 million AMD to 5 orphanages in Armenia on the occasion of June 1st (Video) 31/05/2022 13:17 Team Telecom Armenia raised funding in the amount of $45 million 31/05/2022 12:17 A house built from scratch for a family that had to live in a metal wagon 25/05/2022 14:54 Ameriabank wins Best Bank in Sustainable Finance award for 2022 23/05/2022 09:57 Collector coin “Davit Bek” has been put into circulation 21/05/2022 21:43 Viva-MTS General Manager presented at Yerevan Tech Forum 2022 20/05/2022 17:39 Another housewarming celebrated in Getap village 17/05/2022 17:04 Ameriabank awarded with TFP Prize for Deal of the Year 2021: Green Trade by EBRD 13/05/2022 20:53 From Earthen Walls to a Newly Built Stone House 12/05/2022 17:03 World and Eternity in Mushegh Grigoryan’s art 11/05/2022 15:28 ANIF participated in the EBRD Annual Meeting 11/05/2022 12:46 “Smart Kids”: educational and entertaining web application for kids 10/05/2022 21:08 Continuing education for sustainable development. Advanced workshop aimed at sustainable development held in London 03/05/2022 11:56 Kansas National Guard Leadership visits Armenia 18/04/2022 11:42 Viva-MTS: Three infrastructural reconstruction works were implemented in Koghb 15/04/2022 19:18 One more part of the energy-efficient lighting system has been launched in Berdavan 14/04/2022 10:12 4 collector coins has been issued 12/04/2022 11:59 President Harutyunyan met in Askeran with responsible officials of the region 11/04/2022 11:21 Another half-built building has turned into a real home 07/04/2022 14:32 Oppening of a coworking space for university students and startups at the Smart Solutions Center of NPUA 07/04/2022 10:35 Mikayel Vardanyan donated 104 million AMD to 348 beneficiary single mothers on the occasion of April 7th (Video) 04/04/2022 18:23 Ralph Yirikian shares the experience of business leadership and management of Viva-MTS to the students of the First Business School 04/04/2022 18:11 Global Finance names Ameriabank Best Bank in Armenia in 2022 04/04/2022 13:41 Viva-MTS։ Again celebrated a housewarming in the border village of Aygepar 31/03/2022 12:56 300 gifts, 3 promotional draws: Winners of Ameriabank’s promotional draws “Live Armenian”, “Live with a Smile” and “Live Limitless” are announced 25/03/2022 12:50 Armenian National interests Fund’s (ANIF) subsidiary “Entrepreneur + State Anti-Crisis Investments Fund” CJSC continues to support Armenian business projects 23/03/2022 12:48 Viva-MTS: Favorite Armenian stickers are back in Viber 18/03/2022 15:49 Housewarming half a century after the start of construction 10/03/2022 16:42 Foreign Minister of Armenia will leave for Antalya 09/03/2022 18:54 Viva-MTS: օn the night of March 9 to 10, modernization of the core part of transmission system will begin 07/03/2022 18:24 Ahead of the Women's Day: buy a smartphone, get a beautiful phone number 07/03/2022 17:01 15 Families Displaced from Artsakh Have Become Homeowner 07/03/2022 11:38 Karen Vardanyan donated 96 million AMD to 192 beneficiary families with many children in Syunik province (Video) 07/03/2022 10:20 The film "It’s Spring ․․․" will premiere in the United States: the movie will be presented in American cinemas 02/03/2022 15:22 Global Finance Names Ameriabank “Best Investment Bank” in Armenia 02/03/2022 12:36 An investment of around 1 billion AMD for the housing project by Viva-MTS 01/03/2022 18:28 Viva-MTS: Modernization of the central connection system of the network will be carried out in the upcoming night hours 25/02/2022 17:44 Viva-MTS: NB-IOT network operating via 4G/LTE/GSM networks launched in pilot mode 23/02/2022 12:38 A family displaced from Artsakh has built a home and settled in Vayots Dzor 21/02/2022 16:32 Ameriabank Receives Another IFC Award in Trade-Finance Sector 21/02/2022 14:02 The 25-year-old metal container has already become a storage room 14/02/2022 17:46 Ameriabank is the First in Armenia to Place Green Bonds via Public Offering 14/02/2022 11:13 Lindsay Forbes, Ameriabank Board of Directors member and EBRD representative, talks about the role of IPO and corporate governance. Video 11/02/2022 11:23 House construction completed in the border village of Paravakar 09/02/2022 15:11 Traction Programme Introduced its 8 Startups Graduates during the Digital Demo Day 04/02/2022 14:33 The President of the Republic got acquainted with the construction works of a new settlement being built for the residents of occupied Aknaghbyur 27/01/2022 10:40 ‘Fly Arna’ appoints Chief Executive Officer 26/01/2022 13:33 Arpi community was provided with energy-efficient outdoor lighting system 25/01/2022 15:22 Strengthened homes in the new house։ Housewarming after 13 years of expectation 25/01/2022 10:56 Ameriabank. The Largest Taxpayer among Armenian Banks according to the Results of Year 2021 25/01/2022 09:48 Ararat Mirzoyan will leave for Luxembourg 21/01/2022 15:17 An energy market liberalization training held in Yerevan 20/01/2022 12:57 EBRD and donors increase funding for SMEs in Armenia:US$ 25 million to Ameriabank for private sector lending 18/01/2022 12:24 Converse Bank Brings Apple Pay to Customers 18/01/2022 11:34 Ameriabank Brings Apple Pay to Customers 18/01/2022 11:32 Acba Bank Brings Apple Pay to Customers 14/01/2022 13:36 We highly appreciate the mission of the Russian peacekeeping forces in Artsakh and consider unacceptable any attempt to cast a shadow on their activities-Artsakh MFA 13/01/2022 17:41 Housewarming after 25 years of living in a metal container 11/01/2022 18:01 Traction Programme will Showcase 8 Startups during the Digital Demo Day 10/01/2022 15:11 To refrain from removing the Armenian toponyms and geographical names of Artsakh from the digital maps. The Ombudsman sent a letter to Google 05/01/2022 17:23 Andranik Grigoryan is the CEO of Converse Bank, Chairman of Executive Management. 29/12/2021 16:45 Converse Bank is the best Trade Finance Provider 2022 in Armenia according to Global Finance 25/12/2021 15:42 Housewarming on New Year Eve 24/12/2021 11:37 Viva-MTS: General Partner of the Chamber Choir “Paros” for ten years 23/12/2021 17:50 Ameriabank has Raised EUR 15M Tier 2 Capital from Triodos Investment Management 21/12/2021 17:04 Next Branch of Ameriabank Launched in Malatia-Sebastia 21/12/2021 12:09 “Muratsan” University Hospital Complex has new 11 medical equipment for newborns thanks to donation of 100 million AMD from Karen Vardanyan (Video) 20/12/2021 17:50 Successful partnership even in a crisis management environment 16/12/2021 16:23 Ameriabank has Signed USD 20 million Loan Agreements with responsAbility and the Global Climate Partnership Fund 15/12/2021 13:07 Here comes the New Year with a new smartphone, 50 GB of Internet and “Y” tariff plan for 30 days 10/12/2021 18:16 Winners of the 16th Annual International Microelectronics Olympiad arrive in Armenia to receive Prizes 02/12/2021 16:42 OPEC Fund Partners Ameriabank to Address Problems and Help to Improve the Life of People in Armenia. T. Alnassar. 02/12/2021 15:06 The Azerbaijani side fired in the direction of Karmir Shuka, mainly firearms were used 01/12/2021 16:39 HayPost and Latvijas Pasts start a new cooperation 01/12/2021 15:56 Generation A: Edition 14. Exclusive Chance to Begin Your Professional Career with Ameriabank 26/11/2021 18:47 Inecobank introduces BNPL, the latest trend in worldwide shopping, to Armenia 26/11/2021 18:43 US$30m OPEC Fund loan to Ameriabank to promote sustainable energy and support small businesses in Armenia 24/11/2021 12:00 Black Friday CashBack from Converse Bank 23/11/2021 17:08 Artsakh Ombudsman Publishes Report on Illegal Prosecution and Trials by Azerbaijan of the Armenian POWs 23/11/2021 10:35 116 million AMD assistance to minors with disabilities in Shirak Province from Mikayel Vardanyan (Video) 22/11/2021 19:19 Discussion on the Topic “IT Infrastructure as the Basis of the Digital Economy” with the Participation of the Heads of Telecommunication Companies in Armenia 22/11/2021 17:08 Converse Bank: People are our greatest asset 19/11/2021 17:43 How to escape the “black” side of Black Friday? Some tips from Converse Bank 16/11/2021 12:24 Viva-MTS: Reconcile with nature for the future of humanity 13/11/2021 10:50 Silicon Mountains Summit on Digital Smart Economy to take place in Yerevan 12/11/2021 17:26 New business lending product from Converse Bank 10/11/2021 17:48 Campaign Winners of Converse Bank Got Gold Bars 04/11/2021 17:25 “+100 minutes” – talk more at Viva-MTS 03/11/2021 14:32 “+Chat” service by Viva-MTS: AMD 300 instead of the previous AMD 500 03/11/2021 11:46 I think it’s a good moment to invest in Armenia. Head of Markets at Symbiotics Vincent Lehner (Video) 01/11/2021 15:30 Ameriabank has Raised USD 17.5M Tier 2 Capital