Turkey to mull next steps after seeing Armenians’ reactions
Turkey’s move is 'a call for Armenia that we hope will be answered,' Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu saidTurkey is waiting to gauge the reaction of Yerevan, the Armenian diaspora and Turkey’s Armenians to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent message on the Armenian issue before taking any new steps on the matter, according to officials.
Turkey’s move is “a call for Armenia that we hope will be answered,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters late April 23.
Turkey has been working on several confidence-building steps for preliminary normalization with Armenia in the areas of the economy and culture before implementing protocols that were signed in 2009 to establish diplomatic relations and open the countries’ sealed borders. Reopening the long-closed railway link between Kars and Armenia, producing documentaries on history and uploading Ottoman archives online are among the issues Turkey has been working on.
Ankara, however, has still made a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem between Azerbaijan and Armenia a prerequisite for approving the protocols. Normalization with Armenia is not possible without a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem, Erdoğan told reporters late April 23.
The reason why Ankara released the statement on April 23, but not April 24 – the day Armenians around the world mark the 1915 incidents – is “to take the first step before developments and conduct a proactive policy,” a Turkish Foreign Ministry official told the Hürriyet Daily News.
Ankara aimed to express its view before April 24 so that the statement could be appraised on its own terms, not as a response to statements on April 24.