VERCİHAN ZİFLİOĞLU ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
The Central Office Representative of the Armenian National Congress (ANC) David Shahnazarian said he does not believe that the protocols to normalize relations between Turkey and Armenia will pass the Turkish Parliament.
One of the strongest voices of the opposition, Shahnazarian is also pessimistic over the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in the near future. “Turkey will continue to support Azerbaijan and it will not change its position on the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh,” he told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic review in a telephone interview yesterday.
In contrast to Shahnazarian’s views, Stepan Grigoryan, a former diplomat, described the latest developments as “positive.” Commenting on the fact that consent over the protocols will be sought in both parliaments, Grigoryan said: “This is the right step to take. The public should be informed of the process.” He also shared his views on the establishment of a commission to investigate the deaths of Armenians in World War I. “The commission will take up many issues, not only the genocide issue,” Grigoryan said. “Archives will be opened and the commission’s work will bring the two nations closer. There have been similar experiences, historically.” Armenians believe the killings amounted to genocide, a claim refused by the Turkish side.
The editor in chief of daily Aravot newspaper criticized the idea of establishing a commission. Saying that the Armenian administration should make a clear statement on the issue to the public, Aram Abraham said the establishment of a commission would prevent efforts for the international recognition of genocide.
Alexandr İskandaryan, head of the Caucasus Institute, described the latest development as “historic.”
Tevan Poghosyan, Executive Director of the International Center for Human Development, called the latest news a step to be applauded, but said that it is important for Turkey not to step back. “If Turkey wants to be a power in its region, it should not shape its policies according to the views of Azerbaijan,” he said.