On Wednesday, the protocols were formerly introduced to the Turkish parliament for deliberation and anticipated approval. Anticipated primarily by the West I should add. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised that the parliament would not ratify them.
Hetq reported Deniz Baykal, who is the leader of Turkey’s Republican party, stating the following:
“We believe Turkey’s problems with Azerbaijan have gone beyond being a problem of discourse and have headed in a more serious direction. I see who is right and who is wrong regarding this issue. Turkey failed to manage the process of opening its border with Armenia and is now faced with grave problems.”
The article then points out that:
The main opposition party leader criticized the recent signing of two protocols between Turkey and Armenia, which call for the opening of the border, closed since 1993, and the restoration of diplomatic relations.
Mr. Baykal added that the main opposition party will not sacrifice Turkey’s friendship with Azerbaijan because of the bad policies of the government.
Meanwhile, Armenia claims that its National Assembly will not deliberate on the protocols until Turkey’s parliament ratifies them.
So judging by this information, Turkey’s friendship with Azerbaijan is far more important than the budding one with Armenia. This was already assumed before the protocols were signed with similar statements made in the Turkish Press, including those previously stated by Prime Minister Erdogan. So why were the protocols signed, what did the signing actually accomplish? That Turkey is indeed a peace-loving, yet hypocritical nation?
Given the recent developments in the ongoing plight to accept the “gestures of goodwill,” you have to wonder what the point to this hype is. I find it hard to believe that the Turkish parliament will indeed reject the protocols since Turkey indeed has lots to gain from an opened border with Armenia and “free” commerce, not to mention a possible stronghold on Armenian’s far from stable economy. There’s also the paranoid, nevertheless legitimate fear of Pan-Turanism taking root once the border opens.
I really don’t think that Turkey—including its hardliner politicians—give a damn about how the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict will play out in the end, yet Prime Minister Erdogan claims the opposite. He’s shown his deceitful side several times in the past so I can’t really believe his words until the Turkish parliament ends up rejecting the protocols, but again, I doubt that will actually happen.
Yet let’s consider that I am wrong and the protocols are not ratified. Again, what was the point of signing them in the first place—a simple, feeble demonstration of good will? Was President Sarkisian simply gambling by agreeing to the protocols knowing quite well that they wouldn’t be approved, or was he indeed sincere about implementing them? And what was all that congratulating about on President Sarkisian’s part every time Turkey scored during the football match on October 14? (Armenia lost 2-0.) Armenians didn’t take too kindly to his behavior. Was that part of his chess-like charade, assuming there is one?
Personally I stopped caring about this process the day the protocols were signed. I realized then and there that I did all I could in the effort to stop the protocols from being signed by repeatedly writing about the dangers for Armenia on this blog and in other articles. And after judging the rather weak protests that have been ensuing in Armenia against the protocols during the last four weeks, I became even more indifferent.
I join millions of others wondering what the end-result will be from all this, without really caring that much about the outcome. Armenian citizens who are opposed to an opened border under the current circumstances should be more vocal about their beliefs, and their silence is convincing me that nothing about this process really matters.