YEREVAN (Panorama.am)—A protest is planned against import and consumption of Turkish products at 12:00 p.m. on April 21 near the government building of Armenia, said organizer of the ‘Protest against Turkish products,’ Tsovinar Kostanyan during a press conference.
“We’re going to read an open letter to the government where our first demand concerns import of food from Turkey. We cannot be sure that Turkey isn’t applying bacterial weapon against us through that food. This is a rather serious issue that needs to be addressed by the state,” she said.
Another organizer of the protest, Arman Ghukasyan, said that from 2008-2014, the total cost for Turkish products was 1.5 billion USD, and since independence the total money has amounted to 2.2 billion USD.
“The fight against products imported from Turkey has always existed, yet after the Four Day War it became more urgent. We’re going to do our best to achieve success. We should also consider that this is a matter of national security and dignity,” Ghukasyan said.
Armenian economist Tatul Manaseryan called on his fellow countrymen urging them to boycott Turkey-made goods saying when Armenians purchase and use their products, they damage themselves both morally and physically.
Manaseryan, who is head of Yerevan-based think tank called ‘Alternative,’ said by doing so Armenians help arm their enemies.
‘The four-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh showed that Turkey is providing financial and military support to Azerbaijan. In fact, they use our money to buy weapons that are used against our troops,’ Manaseryan said.
He proposed to follow Russia’s, who banned imports of Turkish goods after Turks downed a Russian fighter in Syria.
“We do not have diplomatic relations with Turkey, and consequently, any business related to the sale of Turkish goods is illegal. We must refuse Turkish goods, because it is a betrayal of national interests, the economist said.
According to him, the Turkish law prohibits import of products made in Armenia and the Armenian authorities must take similar measures. According to him, instead of trading with Turkey a Armenian businessmen should expand ties with Iranian companies
“The government should first of all encourage micro businesses and exempt them from taxes for at least two years,” he said.
In 2015 Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan recalled from the Armenian parliament the protocols on the normalization of ties and establishment of diplomatic relations with Turkey. Sargsyan said he had asked parliament speaker to return the protocol to him because “the Turkish government has no political will, distorts the spirit and letter of the protocols and continues its policy of setting preconditions.” Sargsyan also said that on the eve of commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey during World War I, “the policy of denial and rewriting history” is getting a renewed impulse in Ankara.
The protocols to normalize ties between Turkey and Armenia were signed in Zurich on Oct. 10, 2009 with the aim of establishing diplomatic relations and opening the two countries’ land border.