Thursday 19 October 2017 Last Update: 06:03 PM

Armenian Claims And Historical Facts Questions And Answers –11

Published: 05-17-2011

QUESTION 11 : HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE THE CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS BETWEEN TURKEY AND ARMENIA?

Turkey is among the first countries to recognize Armenia's independence in 1991 and to extend full support to this country in her efforts to become a full-fledged member of the international community.

However, after almost a decade and a half, it has still not been possible to establish diplomatic relations with this country.

Three factors affect the current state of affairs between Turkey and Armenia:

1) Armenia's refusal to officially recognize the common border between Turkey and herself and related territorial claims :

The border between Turkey and Armenia is drawn up by the Kars Treaty of 1921. Signed between the Soviet Republics of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, this international Treaty also delineates Turkey's present borders with Georgia and Azerbaijan.

However, since her independence, Armenia refuses to officially recognize the validity of this Treaty. As such, Yerevan displays a conflicting attitude by calling for the opening of the border on the one hand and not officially recognizing it on the other.

Article 11 of the Armenian Declaration of Independence and Article 13 of the Armenian Constitution are also to be noted. Armenian Declaration of Independence, refers to the Eastern Anatolia Region of Turkey as "Western Armenia". Furthermore, article 13, paragraph 2 of the Constitution of Armenia states that Mount Ago, which is in Turkey, is the state symbol of Armenia.

Non-recognition of the border with a neighboring state and references as such to a neighbor's country in constitutional documents, are to be interpreted as territorial claims.

2) Historical allegations :

Armenia, disregarding historical facts, accuses Turkey of having committed a "genocide" and seeks for its international recognition. This allegation had also been included in the Armenian Declaration of Independence. Achieving worldwide recognition of this fabrication as a fact constitutes one of the main objectives of Armenian foreign policy.

3) Armenia's refusal to abide by international law and principles

Armenia continues to occupy almost 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory for years.

Though several UN Security Council Resolutions (822, 853, 874 and 884) call for an end to Armenia's occupation and invite her to respect the territorial integrity of other countries in the region, Armenia refuses to adopt an attitude in line with internationally accepted norms and principles, and undermines regional peace and security.

Turkey expects Armenia to become a responsible member of the international community, halt unfriendly policies towards her neighbors and help efforts to create an environment conducive to building peace and stability in the South Caucasus.

Turkey is willing to normalize her relations with Armenia. It is however necessary to underline that this could only be done if some progress is achieved in solving the above-mentioned issues. With this understanding, dialogue channels have been kept open with the officials of this country.

In line with her vision of gradual normalization of relations with Armenia, Turkey has put into effect various confidence building measures included in the road map agreed by the two sides, within the context of the dialogue process between the Ministers and Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries.

However, the normalization of the bilateral relations depends also upon Armenia's political will and constructive approach to build her relations with Turkey and her other neighbors on the basic principles of international law and good-neighborliness, as well as Armenia's readiness to contribute to the peaceful settlement of the longstanding Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

When Armenia displays her will to reciprocate Turkey's moves, Turkey will not fail to respond accordingly.