Turkey Objects to Armenian Border Shooting

The Armenian-Turkish border

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Turkey sent a diplomatic note to Armenia on Friday strongly condemning the fatal shooting of a Turkish man who illegally crossed the Turkish-Armenian border in unclear circumstances earlier this week.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry insisted that the victim, Mustafa Ulker, was a shepherd who entered Armenian territory to recover his livestock that went astray.

A Russian news report claimed, however, that Ulker carried a weapon and opened fire at Russian border guards patrolling the frontier before being shot and killed by them on Wednesday. Citing “preliminary data” from Russia security sources, the Itar-Tass news agency said that the 35-year-old man tried to “advance deeper into the republic’s territory.”

Sergey Grechin, the spokesman for the Russian border guards stationed in Armenia, declined to confirm or refute those claims when contacted by RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am). Grechin said the border guards are investigating the incident and will make an official statement after the inquiry is over.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry referred to Ulker as an “innocent Turkish citizen” who “crossed the Armenian border to round up his livestock.” “We strongly condemn the shooting and killing of an innocent Turkish citizen for a simple border violation which we understand to have had an innocent purpose. There is no explanation for the Armenian party’s use of disproportionate force in such an incident which may typically occur at the border,” the ministry said in a statement.

“This and other similar incidents reveal once again the need for a complete, sustainable and comprehensive normalization in the South Caucasus region and the prevalence of common sense in Armenia’s relations with its neighbors,” added the statement.

Ankara also sent a separate diplomatic note of protest to Armenia’s government through the Turkish Embassy in Georgia. According to Hurriyet Daily News, it demanded an official Armenian explanation for the incident.

Armenia’s Foreign Ministry was quick to respond to the Turkish note. The ministry’s press office told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that it regretted the loss of life and expressed hope that such incidents will not occur in the future.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry also said that the Armenian side has already repatriated Ulker’s body. The Anatolia news agency released a photograph that shows Turkish officials putting the body into an ambulance.

Turkey has refused to establish diplomatic relations and to open its border with Armenia for the past two decades. Turkey makes the normalization of bilateral ties contingent on a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that would satisfy Azerbaijan.

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10 Comments

  1. bigmoustache said:

    “The ministry’s press office told RFE/RL’s Armenian service that it regretted the loss of life and expressed hope that such incidents will not occur in the future.” why are they not commenting further about this? they could say that Russian troops are guarding the border to counter turkeys efforts at spreading anti-Armenian propaganda. barab dagars. are they afraid this will further anger the Russians?

  2. hayastaniberd said:

    Turkey CANNOT send a note of protest to a country it doesn’t have diplomatic relations with. Trespassing our border is NOT innocent. Turkey is a genocidal country and has no right to lecture us on anything.

    Good job, Russian border guards!

  3. GeorgeMardig said:

    Until Genocide issue is solved, open borders with Turkey will bring destruction to Armenia

  4. facts said:

    One should not forget that we are dealing here with Turkey!

    If there were no actions on the side of Armenia or Russian troops. Turkey would have later claim “a PKK terrorists did escape to the Armenian side and he was welcomed there.,,,” Later the same Turkey would have accused Armenia for supporting Kurdish separatists ..and so on – and the state linked anti Armenian hate machinery in Baku would be even more catholic than the Pope himself !

  5. Alek Nakhichevanski said:

    The dog who crossed the line from this side usually breeds on the opposite side whitin the azer horde. Somehow, whit time, since 1915, he seems to have settld well on the west bank of arax river, coordinating there attacks whit the jackals living on that territory

  6. Roman said:

    I’m wondering how the West is mute when it comes to the Turkish Governments involvement with Jabhat El Nusra, which is Alqaada branch, fighting against the Syrian government troops; kidnapping innocent civilians, demanding ransom, abusing and then killing them. Why the West doesn’t condemn Turkey for helping a terrorist organisation such as the above?

    • bigmoustache said:

      because the west itself is supporting and funding them too (US, Britain, France). also I should mention that the Pakistani Taliban is going to open an office in Syria to send fighters and the FSA has beheaded Christians in Syria of which there is filmed footage. there is also footage of one of their commanders engaging in cannibalism (where cuts out a Syrian commanders corpses heart and takes a bite) and of the FSA shooting a 14 year old muslim boy in the face and neck because he was overheard saying that “even if the prophet muhammed comes down he would not belive in him”. theres also footage of them executing 50 Syrian soldiers who surrendered.
      don’t expect any condemnation for turkey, the west is still funding these terrorists

  7. www.Voskanapat.info said:

    Some interesting facts are surfacing about this incident:

    1. Mustafa Ulker, 35, the Turkish citizen, who crossed the artificial border between the occupied Western Armenia and the Republic of Armenia was an ethnic Azeri Turk.

    2. CIS Border Guards, who are guarding the border of the Commonwealth of Independent States with Turkey, RETURNED fire after he opened fire and tried to escape going INSIDE Armenian territory. .

    3. Claims that the “shepherd” did not notice the old Soviet heavily fortified border complete with multiple warning signs in Turkish, rows of barbed wire, wide strips of plowed land, observation towers, etc. are very questionable.

  8. Hratch A. Arzoumanian said:

    I wonder, if anybody has seen the cow. If it is in Armenia, I would suggest strongly to X-ray every part of it, as it “may be a spy with listening device” just like the Israeli bird found in Turkey, they suspected it’s an Israeli spy bird and they looked for hidden gadgets in the tiny bird’s body. Imagine, the body of a bird and compare it with the body of a cow. The may even can put a small man in the cow!!!!!!!!!!!

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