After Being Detained, Turkish Journalist Makes Outrageous Claims

ISTANBUL–Five Turkish journalists were briefly detained on Monday by Armenian border patrol after they attempted to film the Turkish-Armenian border without permission from Armenian authorities.

After their return to Turkey, however, some filed stories claiming that Armenian authorities had made statements recognizing the current Turkish-Armenian border, a claim that has not been confirmed by government officials.

The journalists were taken to a police station on the border, where they were offered tea, coffee and cookies. The journalists were released after two hours, reporting cordial treatment by the Armenian forces.

Servet Yanatma filed a report for Today’s Zaman newspaper claiming that Armenia had given assurances that it will make no territorial claim on Turkey, citing unnamed sources in Yerevan who reportedly are close to the negotiation process. The reporter also claimed that a third country–possibly Switzerland–has served as mediator for the talks.

Yanatama reported that the same unnamed sources also revealed details, such as a pre-condition by Turkey for Armenia to recognize the current borders. Yerevan has never formally claimed any rights on Turkish territory but the Armenian constitution describes eastern Anatolia as western Armenia, the reporter added.

Asked whether Armenia recognizes a 1920 treaty on the border with Turkey, another unnamed Armenian source allegedly told Yanamata: “We are talking about the opening of the border. Which border is to be opened? Can a border be opened if it is not recognized”?

The Turkish reporter also claimed that Armenia had agreed to the establishment of a commission that will study the events of 1915. “However, it is expected to take years for the committee to be established and announce findings on its study. Even so, although no progress is seen to be forthcoming, Armenia’s nod to the establishment of such a committee of historians underlines that the dispute over the World War I events is a matter of history, not a legal or a political one,” Yanatama claimed in the Zaman report.

“On another problematic issue, the ongoing Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territory in the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, the agreement is expected to make a general reference to the problem. But there will be no deadline mentioned for a resolution,” added Yanatama.

Armenian officials, including President Serzh Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Eduard Nalabandian said last week that there were no pre-condition to the negotiations in Turkey, adding that the neither the Karabakh conflict resolution nor the Armenian Genocide should be part of the negotiation process.

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