While observers believe the visit heralds a new rapprochement after Ankara and Yerevan restore diplomatic relations in 2021, a Turkish political scientist disagrees, listing what he sees as past experiences that highlight this convergence in danger.
Reasons for past estrangement
Turkey was one of the first countries to recognize Armenia’s independence from the Soviet Union in September 1991, but a rift occurred due to demands from Yerevan to recognize the exposure of Armenians to what it saw as ‘genocide’ at the hands of Ottoman forces in 1915. Yerevan rejected the Kars Agreement signed in 1921, which drew the borders between Armenia and Turkey, Armenia ceded the regions of Kars and Ardahan to Turkey. The conflict over the Karabakh region, the seat of the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, has also played a role in worsening relations. Where Turkey stands with Azerbaijan and provided it with military support in the face of Armenia. The land borders between Turkey and Armenia have been closed since 1993, following clashes between Armenians and Azerbaijanis of Turkish origin.
In December 2021, former Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced his country’s appointment as special representative to Armenia, stressing that relations between the two countries had entered a new phase. In the same month, Armenia announced the appointment of the deputy speaker of parliament as its special representative in Turkey. Yerevan followed this step by announcing the lifting of the extension of the import ban on Turkish goods that it had imposed in December 2020, due to Ankara’s support for Azerbaijan in the battles of the region. Nagorno-Karabakh. In October 2022, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a meeting on the sidelines of the Prague summit. The Turkish President also held a bilateral meeting with the Armenian Prime Minister away from the media, and Erdogan said in a press conference after the meeting that the dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan was positive and that the demands of each party were under discussion. Armenia has sent rescue teams to assist in the search and rescue operation for survivors of the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey on February 6. Armenia opened its closed borders with Turkey many years ago; To allow entry of humanitarian aid to earthquake survivors, 5 trucks loaded with aid passed through the Alijan crossing point, which was last used in 1988 when the Turkish Red Crescent brought help after the earthquake in Armenia.
Turkish political analyst Nasser Senki is not very optimistic that rapprochement moves will continue at a rapid and steady pace. Although he sees Pashinyan’s visit to attend Erdogan’s inauguration ceremony as a sign of rapprochement indicating “the success of Turkish diplomacy” in recent times in bringing the views of neighboring countries closer together, he adds : “It may be a temporary reconciliation”.
In his interview with “Sky News Arabia”, this is due to the fact that:
Any political, diplomatic or military crisis could again disrupt relations between the two parties, and bring them back to ground zero, as is the case with neighboring Greece, with which we still see that relations are not going at the same pace. . Relations with Armenia had already improved, but they soon became tense again. This time, Pashinyan came to Ankara with an olive branch. Ankara, in turn, welcomed him with open arms, but the supposed improvement could break out at any time. Because the differences between the two countries go back to the time of the Ottoman Empire.
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