TODAY.AZ / Politics

Turkish Daily News: "Armenian offer should not be rejected"

26 January 2007 [18:14] - TODAY.AZ
Armenia repeated an earlier offer. The atmosphere generated during Hrant Dink's funeral allowed the offer from Armenia to bring about a new point of view. The Armenians are saying, "Let's start a dialogue without any prerequisites so that we can establish a diplomatic relationship." Turkey has insistently rejected the same offer before.

The Turkish government had two prerequisites to establish a diplomatic relationship: the official acknowledgement of the Turkish-Armenian border and the withdrawal of Armenia from the Azerbaijani soil it occupies. Turkey can start a dialogue with Armenia this time by slightly tuning its attitude. And it must. Talks should start. A dialogue should begin. Prerequisites can be brought to the discussions later. The current circumstances have brought forth a very important possibility. The public response to Dink's murder has created a very positive feeling about Turkey in the international arena.

Therefore if Armenia's offer is accepted and a dialogue initiated, then this positive feeling can be further developed. In such a case, the genocide bill plan at the American Congress can be postponed. The bill in France "convicting those who deny the genocide" can be put to hold. Everyone will wait to hear the result of the Turkish-Armenian dialogue.

Once the talks have started and before initiating the diplomatic relationship, Turkey will, of course, open the issue of the acceptance of the border between Turkey and Armenia as it is today according to the Kars Agreement. But the primary issue now is to start the talks. The only trouble in commencing the talks with Armenia will be the relationships with Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani government will be displeased and will react strongly. It can even consider discontinuing feeding petroleum to the Baku-Ceyhan petroleum pipeline. Turkey should be able to convince Azerbaijan. It should be explained to Azerbaijan that a Turkey with strong diplomatic ties with Yerevan will have more influence on Armenian politics and thereby benefit Azerbaijan. Azerbaijanis need to be reassured. And now, let's look at the other side of the coin… Under the circumstances, if Turkey says: "No, first you need to officially accept the border and then withdraw from Azerbaijani soil. And then we will consider it," acceptance of genocide bills in both the U.S. Congress and in the parliaments of other countries will be accelerated. Genocide accusations would be increasing uncontrollably. If the government does not want to leave a shameful past as a heritage, it will take advantage of this offer and will not miss out on it. Otherwise, it will not be easy to compensate for such shame.

What kind of joy is this?: There is a show of joy nowadays. Everyone is congratulating each other. I was flabbergasted when I listened to speeches by the interior minister and the governor of Istanbul. There was not a soul left that they did not congratulate. All smiles and flowers… All the happiness is caused by the fact that Dink's murderer was caught within 32 hours. Why are you so happy? Finding Dink's murderer is not such a big deal. The much more important matter is not to have had Dink murdered in the first place. It was to protect him. It was not to say: "they used their democratic rights" after having seen the people who attacked him. After having failed in all these points, it makes no sense to brag, saying, "We are so successful, just look: we arrested all of them in a short time." If you brag, then one must ask you: "Why have you not kept the murderers of the Italian priest in Trabzon under careful surveillance? Had you looked deeper, you would have been able to see the quagmire in Trabzon." The political authority is guilty… They thought about Trabzon's image… "Let's not offend the people of Trabzon," they said… They did not take the developments seriously. Today, it has been understood that there is a horrible secretive dark world in that town. Farms, where small children are brought up to become murderers, have been founded there. You did not see any of these, you did not investigate these any further, and now you are rejoicing. No, your job should be making sure our citizens do not get murdered.

By Mehmet Ali Birand

/www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/

URL: http://www.today.az/news/politics/35525.html

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