‘Unfair peace is always shaky’: Armenian MP addresses PACE debate on Turkey
MP Armen Gevorgyan, a member of the Armenian delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) delivered the following remarks at a PACE debate on “The honouring of obligations and commitments by Turkiye” held on October 12:
Many countries in this Assembly will testify to, at least, having uneven relations with Turkiye. Some of them have had the hope that as a result of the EU accession process Turkiye would begin to live by European rules of the game. But that perspective has, probably, vanished by now. Turkiye has itself rejected this path, in order to have its own ambitions of becoming the leader of the Muslim world and of the wider region achieved without any external obligations or commitments.
I have previously been a member of two Armenian Administrations, which have tried to negotiate new relations with Turkiye, In all previous cases, despite international support or pressure, at some point Turkiye had always put forward the langauge of preconditions – undermining the entire process.
While calling for peace and stability in our region, Turkiye has for more than 25 years rejected to open the borders with Armenia. Neither it has ever made a big secret of its political, military and other forms of support and patronage over Azerbaijan in the latter’s military aggression against Nagorno Karabakh and Armenia. Turkiye and its minor ally Azerbaijan aspire to fundamentally change the political map of South Caucasus, built a new archiecture of regional security and stability with full-fledged domination of Turkic world and by neutralizing the so-called Armenian issue to the extent possible. At same time, for many European states the Turkish facor has become a serious domestic political challenge.
These days we are witnessing a new Armenian–Turkish dialogue and we must remember: unfair peace is always shaky. There are concerns that such a dialogue will again become a demonstration of dominance by Turkiye, where it will redefine a region by assigning its own understanding of roles for each of its nations.
Most recently here in Strasbourg Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu for yet another time has made claims to the descendants of the victims of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire. He demonstrated a fresh example of anti-Armenian rhetoric, calling upon the Turkish ethnic community in democratic France to stand against French Armenians – people, who in the past 100 years had only celebrated and heavily contributed to the development of the entire democratic and free Europe. This is exactly why I want everyone to know, that not only in Armenian Diaspora, but also in Armenia the great majority of our people are not ready to trust a neighbor who does not realize what it had done in the past, and does not draw reasonable conclusions in its present policies, a neighbor who prefers ethno-religious sentiments and priorities in regional relations.
I don’t believe that our organisation, or any European value-based organisation, should allow Turkiye to follow its short-term interests by sacrificing long-term European credibility.”