Turkey seeking to cause split within Armenian Diaspora

18:13 • 29.01.15



Turkey is seeking to cause a split within the Armenian Diaspora and show it is not unanimous in objecting to relations with Turkey, expert in Turkic studies Arshak Shakaryan told Tert.am.

He thus disagrees with Etyen Mahçupyan, Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister of Turkey, who stated that Armenia is more willing to establish relations with Turkey than the Armenian Disapora.

“Ninety percent of the Armenian Diaspora are against relations with Turkey. However, Turkey is able to find ten percent and work with them and promise something to them, claiming that they are representing the Armenian Diaspora,” Mr Shakaryan said.

As to the fact that Armenian-Turkish official is the one that made a statement, the expert believes that Etyen Mahçupyan was appointed to make such statements.

“His statement has something in common with reality. However, it reflects the fundamental principles of Turkey’s policy,” Mr Shakaryan said.

Turkey has for a several years been seeking to establish relations with the Armenian Diaspora, trying to present Armenian-Turkish relations as Turkey-Armenians relations rather than Turkey-Armenia relations.

“Numerous consulates hold meetings with diasporic Armenian organizations, trying to draw then into a dialogue, discuss other issues pertaining to Armenian-Turkish relations, including claims, hold cultural events thus showing the entire world that Armenian-Turkish relations are not restricted to frozen Ankara-Yerevan relations,” the expert said.

Turkey has come to realize that the Armenian side is locomotive in the matter of recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and an opportunity to cause a split within the Armenian Diaspora means slowing down the process of presenting demands.

Although many Armenians are struggling for recognition of the Armenian Genocide, they continue listening to Turkish music and watching Turkish TV channels.

“Turkey is trying to make use of it. Davutoglu stated recently that the Armenian Diaspora are former citizens of the Ottoman Empire, and Turkey is even ready to consider the issue of granting Turkish citizenship to some of them,” Mr Shakaryan said.

As regards the possibility of slight progress in Armenia-Turkey relations this year, he said that everything depends on Turkey.

“If Turkey makes just and reasonable steps, it will have more opportunities for rapprochement.”





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