Many developments are taking place in Turkey related to Armenian-Turkish affairs. Many people are aware that the priority related to the heinous act of the Genocide, are the three “Rs” —Recognition, Reparation, and Retribution. Historical evidence, proofs, photos, eye witness accounts, documents in Turkish, English, French, Italian, German and so many other languages is so replete that there is no room to question the issue. Some Turks are saying recognition should suffice, while other Turks support the three Rs. Needless to say, Armenians demand the three Rs.
The 100th anniversary of the Genocide is next year — 2015 –and efforts are being made by Turkey to counter historical facts.
A major action is the “master plan” of the Assembly of the Turkish American Association (ATAA) to respond to the historical facts, by organizing action committees in the United States and present various programs, seminars, meeting with US lawmakers to counteract against the Armenian lobbies. The ATAA is getting support of many wealthy Turkish Americans, like, for instance, the Coca Cola CEO Muhtar Kent. Within Turkey, a different development took place recently and it was the forced resignation of the Turkish Historical Society’s Head Metin Hulugu, for indirectly not agreeing with Prime Minister Erdogan’s attitude when he extended Condolences to the Armenian and other minorities living in Turkey for the deaths of their ancestors. As everyone is aware that Erdogan’s speech was delivered in several languages this past April 24, the Armenian Martyrs Day.
Erdogan is also trying to neutralize his former friend and now enemy, US exiled millionaire Fetullah Gulen, who is “working to overthrow Erdogan’s Islamic-rooted government and seize control of the state by forcibly abolishing the constitutional order” according to Hurriyet newspaper of Istanbul. Erdogan ordered an investigation of Gulen’s Hizmet movement for organizing assassinations, including that of Hrant Dink.
From the Armenia side, President Serzh Sargsyan urged Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey. In his speech on the 99th anniversary of the Genocide, President Serzh Sargsyan delivered a powerful speech saying that the 100th anniversary of the Genocide “can afford Turkey a good chance to repent and to set aside this historical stigma, if they can make efforts to set free their state’s future from this heavy burden.” And as we reported, he invited Erdogan to come to Armenia on the 100th anniversary of the Genocide.
President Sargsyan has taken the initiative several times and he has been more open and straight on several occasions, making statements without mincing words, straight and to the point, opening doors for serious negotiations.
The Turkish-Armenian relations may not improve for the time being, and it is in a very difficult situation as Turkey adamantly repeats that Armenia should give up Karabakh so that both sides can start talking. There is a political impasse that is not easy to solve. The Armenian side rightfully states similarly that Karabakh has nothing to do with Turkish-Armenian relations and it has nothing to do with negotiations.
Are there international power mingling in these affairs? If there are, is for their benefit or for international and regional peace. Maybe and maybe not, as time may tell.
The ray of hope is that the official governments are talking, they are making statements, they are suggesting ways, and the communications are not in person, face to face, they are in public for everyone to hear and read.
There seems to be a willingness on both sides. Is there? Is this all real or is it only a cloud covering the main issues? At least, there is a very small light at the end of the tunnel.