Thursday 24 May 2018 Last Update: 05:45 PM

Armenian Claims do Not 'Reflect the Truth': Turkey

Published: 12-14-2017

Turkish Foreign Ministry says blaming Ankara for delay in ratifying protocols aims to 'mislead' world public opinion.

Holding Ankara responsible for the delay in the ratification of 2009 protocols signed by Turkey and Armenia does not "reflect the truth," Turkey said on Thursday.

"These claims do not reflect the truth, and aim at misleading the world public opinion," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The statement came a day after Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian claimed that the protocols have not been ratified due to preconditions from Turkey.

"Turkey has pursued its efforts to normalize relations with Armenia on several levels since Armenia proclaimed its independence in 1991," the statement said.

It said these protocols, which aim at normalized ties between Ankara and Yerevan, resulted from negotiations facilitated by Switzerland.

"However, the Constitutional Court of Armenia, with its ruling on 12 January 2010, introduced additional preconditions and restrictive clauses that are against the letter and spirit of the Protocols," it added. 

'Armenian diaspora fought protocols'

The ministry said Armenian President Serzh Sargysyan publicly announced on April 22, 2010 that ratification of the protocols was suspended.

"It is a well-known fact that the Armenian diaspora was against the signing of the protocols from the onset and has been pressuring the Armenian Government not to ratify them," it added.

It said that in his address to the 2017 UN General Assembly, Sargysyan made "groundless" claims blaming Turkey for the delay in the ratification and saying Armenia will declare the protocols "null and void" absent progress in the protocols by spring 2018.

"Despite Armenia’s negative stance on the protocols, Turkey is committed to the primary clauses of the protocols. These protocols are still on the agenda of the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s [parliament’s] Foreign Affairs Commission and for their ratification, it is essential that a favorable political atmosphere and peace in the South Caucasus is secured," it said.

It said Turkey's "primary" target with the protocols process is to realize the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia in a way that "comprehensive" peace and stability in the South Caucasus is provided.

Within this framework, Turkey also called on Armenia to end its quarter-century occupation of Azerbaijani territories in Upper Karabakh.

It added that Nalbandian's claims about the so-called genocide also do not reflect the truth.

Under rulings “of the European Court of Human Rights, the 1915 events are a matter of legitimate debate within the framework of freedom of expression.

"The attempts of ill-intentioned groups to impose their one-sided narrative and to exert pressure on the world public opinion are morally and legally incorrect and do not contribute to peace and stability in our region," said the ministry.

Turkey expects Armenia to answer for one of the "gravest" crimes against humanity, the 1992 Khojaly massacre, rather than dealing with controversial historical events, said the statement.