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"Development of relations with Armenia is impossible without resolving Nagorno-Karabakh conflict"

07 December 2009 [17:31] - TODAY.AZ
Interview with Vice Speaker of the Turkish parliament, member of the ruling Justice and Development Party Sadik Yakut.
On Oct. 21, Turkish parliament held general hearing on the Turkish-Armenian protocols signed in Zurich on Oct. 10. Later, the protocols were sent to the Foreign Relations Commission. How is the current situation and how long the commission will discuss the protocols?

The formula of “One nation, Two States” between Turkey and Azerbaijan is still active, and no one can break it. We are the people of one nation. Rapprochement between our countries has rapidly developed in the different spheres in recent years. On the other hand, it is reality that our countries have friendly relations with their neighbors. From this view point, Justice and Development Party (AKP) government wants to see Turkey as a country with no problems with its neighbors. Earlier, they said Turkey was surrounded with a sea from three sides and with enemy from four sides.

We lifted this kind of thoughts and made it our purpose to create opportunity for the Turkish citizens to freely travel anywhere. We should have cultural, political and economic relations with our neighbors. This is our policy pursued since 2002. Armenia is our neighbor on borders. We all aware of the problems between Armenia and Azerbaijan. While intending to normalize relations with Armenia, we have to defend rights of Azerbaijan. Our authorities made statements in this regard as well. We will keep all our promises, no one can doubt it.

The protocols came to the parliament and are waiting now at the commission. But development of relations with Armenia is impossible without resolving the Karabakh problem. Turkish prime minister has promised it at both Turkish and Azerbaijani parliaments. Therefore let our Azerbaijani brothers not to worry. Both Turkey and Azerbaijan should make their economic and cultural relationship as high as possible.

We have to rapidly fix any gap created in the past. The governments and parliaments shouldn’t delay necessary steps to develop social, political, economic and cultural relations. We have to attach great importance to the joint education projects. If we strengthen mutual assistance and cooperation, we will together take place among the honorable countries in the world. We should establish normal relations with the neighboring countries, strengthen our unity with the countries, which had similar language and culture in the past. In this case we will take our decent place in the competition of nations in the world.

You viewed the relations from the broad prospect. High-level Turkey-Azerbaijan relations automatically make both countries strong in the region. Isn’t it high time to improve these relations through concrete contracts?

Azerbaijan should be strong, our relations should improve more, so that Turkish Republic can be strong in the region. Other Turkic-speaking states should also be strong. We can understand one another without mediators, we have similar customs, traditions, mentality. This is very important. We rejoice at or grieve over one and the same event. Therefore it should not be difficult for us to develop our cultural and political relations together with our economic relations.

Isn’t it one of the best forms of cooperation to improve the relations through parliaments?

A decision has been made to establish Turkic-speaking states’ Parliamentary Assembly. Its first step was made in Baku. It is very important to achieve a unity of language in the process important for all the Turkic-speaking states. If we move forward this way, we will solve the other problems easily. Implementation of joint projects in education is also important. Joint teaching programs should be prepared for brotherly countries. Our teachers should get ready to teach in the brotherly countries based on these programs. We should focus attention on the unity of language. I believe we will achieve it. It will take some time, but our socio-political unity will be strong and eternal.

Is there any compulsory term for the discussion and adoption of the Armenia-Turkey protocols in the parliament?

No, there is not. According to the regulations, there is no compulsory term for the discussion in the parliament. We are exchanging views with our Foreign Ministry concerning the protocols. There are promises and stipulations – the protocols will not be discussed in our parliament, unless liberation of occupied Azerbaijani territories begins. We will always fulfill the terms dictated by the principle “One nation, two states”. No one must doubt it.


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