News > Pan-Armenian News > Turkish President's visit to Armenia must not be a public relation show or photo opportunity
European Armenians will be cautiously following the visit of Turkey's President Abdullah Gul's to Armenia. The European Armenian Federation – which represents the voice of the European Armenian communities – believes that relations between Turkey and Armenia must be fundamentally improved. The Federation is however watchful of Turkey’s actual agenda in this visit, given the country’s record of counter-productive policies in this realm.
“We would have hoped that Gül’s visit to Armenia reflect an actual willingness on the part of the Turkish authorities to put an end to Turkey’s anti-Armenian policies” stated Hilda Tchoboian, chairperson of the European Armenian Federation.
The European Armenian Federation calls upon Abdullah Gül to seize the opportunity of this visit to Armenia to leave its mark on history by bowing before the Armenian Genocide Memorial of Dzidzernagapert a tradition long honoured by foreign dignitaries visiting Yerevan.
“It would be extremely concerning if this visit were only a photo opportunity without true measures to restore Turkey’s image; Similarly, it would be dangerous if this initiative were motivated only by the desire to reinforce Turkey’s position in the Caucasus,” added Tchoboian.
European Armenians, as all Armenians worldwide, expect from Turkey:
- The formal recognition of and reparation for the Armenian Genocide and the end of the official Turkish policy of denial of this genocide,
- The unconditional lifting of the blockade of Armenia and the establishment of normal neighbourly relations with Armenia in compliance with the Charter of the United Nations,
- The end to the policy of bypassing and excluding Armenia from all regional cooperation programs – chiefly energy and transport – in compliance with Ankara’s commitment in its application to EU membership,
- The end of its support of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and of its military support of this country through the massive supply of weapon and military expertise,
- Recognition and respect of the cultural and socio-political rights of the Armenians in Turkey, including those who have been forcibly turkified and islamized; restitution of assets confiscated by the Turkish government during the Genocide to their rightful heirs, especially churches, monasteries and sacred grounds of the Armenian Church.
“All Armenians worldwide are still waiting for the Turkish Willy Brandt. Gül’s visit will be credible and worthy of attention only if the Turkish president is strong enough to engage in this historical path of repentance and reparation of the Armenian Genocide,” concluded Tchoboian.
The European Armenian Federation calls upon the European Commission and Council and upon the European Parliament to watch carefully the developments that could follow this visit, in order to have, beyond its surface, an accurate and objective understanding of its real significance in Turkey’s anti-Armenian policies.
Press Release from:
European Armenian Federation for Justice & Democracy
Avenue de la Renaissance 10
Saturday, 6 September 2008
Contact : Varténie ECHO
Tel. / Fax. : +32 (0) 2 732 70 27
Online text: http://eafjd.eu/spip.php?article467
The European Armenian Federation is the biggest and most influential Armenian grassroots organisation in Europe.