Turkish parliament speaker meets with Armenian counterpart

Turkish parliament speaker meets with Armenian counterpart

Turkish parliament speaker meets with Armenian counterpart

Parliament Speaker Mustafa Şentop has met with the Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Alen Simonyan on May 4 who has been visiting Türkiye for the 30th Anniversary of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Summit and the 61st PABSEC Plenary Meeting.

Pointing out that there are obstacles to be overcome in terms of normalizing relations, Simonyan said a ceremony of the erection of a monument in the Armenian capital which irked Ankara was not represented by the Armenian government, but by opposition figures.

“No deputy representing the government was present at that ceremony. Those deputies represent the opposition and criticize us for taking steps in this process. We anticipate that there will be many obstacles and difficulties on this path, but we have to go through them to yield results,” Simonyan stated.

Noting that Türkiye desires full normalization and the establishment of good neighborly relations in its region, Şentop said, “Our goal in our normalization process with Armenia is to realize this desire.”

He recalled that there are some steps taken regarding the normalization of relations with Armenia and said, “Therefore, I think that steps that will harm the normalization process should be avoided.”

Şentop reiterated Türkiye’s unease over the opening of the “Nemesis Monument” in Yerevan on April 25.

“The Nemesis Monument, which was opened with the participation of the Deputy Mayor of Yerevan and some officials with a ceremony held on April 25, is an unacceptable development that openly glorifies terrorism and makes terrorists heroic,” he said.

Şentop recalled that “Operation Nemesis,” as the “terrorist activities” including assassinations targeting Ottoman and Azerbaijani statesmen at that time, have inspired terrorist organizations such as ASALA (Secret Armenian Army for the Liberation of Armenia), Armenian Genocide Justice Commandos (JCAG) and Armenian Revolutionary Army (ARA), which martyred 31 Turkish diplomats and their family members.

“The opening of this monument has created serious discomfort in Türkiye. We regard this issue as a very sensitive issue, will not accept the glorification of terrorism in any way, and such incidents will adversely affect good neighborly relations,” he stated.

Türkiye and Armenia are running a process for normalizing the relationship after more than a 30-year-long incommunicado and the two sides launched talks after the Armenia-Azerbaijan war in 2020 which ended with the victory of the Azeri troops.

The two countries are at odds over various issues, primarily the 1915 mass killings of Armenians during the First World War, as Yerevan says the killings constitute genocide.