MEHMET ALİ BİRAND As soon as I heard about news regarding an Armenian Initiative I said to myself “See that’s the right thing to do.”
If you were to look at the date of last night’s announcement, you’ll understand what I mean: the date was Feb. 7, 2009. This means that this explanation has been kept on shelves since then waiting until Baku was appeased.
The Armenian Initiative was, as you would remember, first on the agenda end of 2008 and beginning of 2009. With Switzerland as a mediator this effort was put up as a protocol but just as it was to be announced, Baku protested.
Aliyev showed such brisk reaction that the effort was covered immediately.
The reason was simple… No one informed our Azerbaijani siblings correctly. No matter how much the Ministry for Foreign Affairs put forth that Baku knew about such efforts, the Azerbaijani did not accept it.
Now the situation is a little different.
If we were to look at announcement made by Baku, Aliyev was ok with this effort but when it came to opening the borders he was still opposing.
CNNTürk was the first to get hold of and publish the full text of the protocol that stated borders between Turkey and Armenia will be opened two month after the protocol has been accepted by the parliaments of both countries. But the Azerbaijani link the opening of the border to solving the Karabakh issue.
They say, “Armenians should withdraw from Karabakh, and Turkey should open the border.”
The Armenians on the contrary insist on saying, “The dialogue has nothing to do with Karabakh.”
And this is the most nebulous foggiest point…
And what’s increasing this fuzziness is Foreign Minister Davutoğlu announcing in a speech on NTV that borders won’t be opened.
We are facing a situation that confuses our minds.
What’s going to happen is, with great possibility either the protocol will be submitted in Parliament and put on hold until the Karabakh issue has been solved or Parliament will add the Karabakh condition to the protocol.
Now taking a look at the scenery, you might say, “What happened? We are back to the original starting point.”
But don’t say that because it is important that this issue has come this far. An extremely important step has been taken.
Let them argue over it in Parliament and have the public assimilate the possibility that relations with Armenia will get back to normal. And let’s see how far the Armenians will be able to digest relations getting back to normal.
We can decide later.
What we need to know is that even if we cannot solve our basic issue of genocide allegations with Armenia, it is extremely important for us and the Armenians to pull our relations to a tolerable level.
Turkey is progressing on the right track.
Who will prepare the final project in the Kurdish Initiative?
It struck my mind when I was watching Atalay’s press conference on Monday. Who will prepare the latest version of the Kurdish Initiative project?
If we were to look at obtained information the Minister of Interior collects all reports prepared up until now. In addition, it brings together views brought forth during the minister’s intercourse and collects all in a package.
Why the Ministry of Interior?
The Ministry of Interior because of its structure consists of extremely valuable people who view events only from a security perspective. But the Kurdish issue needs to be viewed from angles never considered by the state before. Angles like the cultural side, the social side, the economic side, the political side, the international side…
No matter how many analysts exist in the Ministry of Interior, will the employee source be sufficient for a project that requires such a complex, scientific and sociological analysis?
I have doubts.
I am sure that the views of different ministries are consulted.
But what’s important is that when blending all of the factors, the needs of at least part of the Kurds and the Turkish public should be satisfied.
Wouldn’t we be doing injustice expecting the Ministry of Interior to handle such complex equation?

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