Protocols Will be Signed on Kars Treaty Anniversary

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, dancing.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, dancing.

Neither the Turkish nor the Armenian foreign ministries refuted reports by the Milliyet newspaper that the dangerous Turkey-Armenia protocols are scheduled to be signed on October 13.

It is interesting that the news came from unnamed officials at the Turkish foreign ministry and, once again, Turkey—and not Armenia—is setting the course and the agenda for normalizing relations.

And what an agenda it is. October 13 is not merely the day before the scheduled Armenia-Turkey European qualifier soccer match, it also marks the 88th anniversary of signing of the Kars treaty, on which the recognition of the current boundaries provision of the protocols is based.

With neither country refuting the report on the signing of the protocols, Turkey is poised to capitalize on its past misdeeds, while Armenia legitimizes a clandestine treaty through which Turkey annexed historic territories of Armenia, among them Ani, Kars, Ardahan and, of course, Mt. Ararat.

What Serzh Sarkisian thought to be a shrewd political move when he invited his Turkish counterpart to Armenia in June 2008 has evolved into a national disaster with detrimental consequences for the future of the Armenian Nation.

Now, that nation is divided, especially in Armenia, where the authorities are utilizing the protocol-imposed six-week public discussion period to forcefully convince the people of Armenia that the protocols will not endanger Armenia’s national security nor the future of the nation.

In his customary patronizing manner, Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian, having returned from a “crucial” jaunt to China, finally addressed the parliament regarding the protocols and expressed his surprise at inquiries regarding the provisions of the protocols. In conclusion, in his often demeaning rhetoric, he simplified the matter by saying that the protocols cannot be changed because they are agreed upon documents by both sides and it is incumbent on the parliament to make the final ratification.

Similarly, on Thursday, President Sarkisian, in meeting with political forces, after acknowledging that the protocols had pitfalls, nevertheless pushed ahead with his belief that the move to normalize relations with Turkey would eventually benefit Armenia.

In his presentation to parliament, Nalbandian asserted the Turkey had made significant concessions in the final document. The foreign minister did not clarify what those concessions were.

So we are left to read between the lines of this crucial document and not to judge when provisions of the protocols call for the recognition of current boundaries, respecting of territorial integrity, the creation of a sub-commission on historical issues and now the announced date for the signing of the protocols.

In his remarks Thursday, Sarkisian said: “By inviting Turkey’s President to Armenia, I intended to open a window of the possibility to normalize relations and to demonstrate that a people who have suffered Genocide, and the Armenian nation, have enough courage and the will to be the first to extend a hand.”

Announcing of a “roadmap” on the eve of the Genocide anniversary, the provisions of the protocols and now, scheduling the signing of the defeatist documents on a day that symbolizes an historic setback for Armenia do not speak to the “courage” of a nation that survived a Genocide, but rather they demonstrate the “will” of a new generation of misguided leaders who are prepared to undermine historic justice and national dignity.

While Mr. Nalbandian is adamant that the protocols cannot be changed, perhaps he can be assertive in ensuring that when he signs the protocols he does not throw the baby out with the bath water.

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39 Comments

  1. Aram said:

    I think this is another blattant disrespect by Turkey towards the Armenian nation. Turkey is openly insulting not only Armenia but all Armenians around the world and the president of Armenia is still playing Turkish games. What will be the next step, Turkey will declare Armenia-Turkish friendship day at 24th of April ??? Porbably Mr. Sarkissian would also accept that !

  2. vahe said:

    im just hoping that every armenian who’s aware of these protocols knows that the european union/usa is putting major pressure through ankara because of the nabucco project. yes, believe it or not this is the ONLY reason they are pushing so hard to get it signed, by the end of the year they want to have a new route connecting caspian oil to europe…instead of bypassing armenia (as was the original plan) the nabucco pipeline will pass directly through armenia…this is more than likely to happen unless armenians can unite ! and with the rates of armenians marrying others, israel/usa/eu supporting azerbaijan/turkey, the rate of migration by armenians from nearby countries to eu/usa (israeli-zionist sponosored ive heard)..we can see clearly their plan ! ! let’s hope one of the oldest nations on earth and it’s millions of sons and daughters outside of it dont sit by and let our country be sold ! LONG LIVE ARMENIA !

  3. Dikran T. said:

    Ara jun, the baby, the bath water, the mother and the whole kertustun are being thrown out the window with unbelievable vigor. Its one big orgy of concessions.

  4. Jacque armoudikian said:

    Well maybe the protocole can not be changed but defenetley SARGISSIAN and NALBANTIAN can.

  5. Raffi said:

    The majority of the Armenian people living in Armenia support the dialogue with Turkey, and want the borders to be opened. Hopefully our government will look past the national socialist party that is opposed to the opening of borders with Turkey.

  6. Vahe said:

    We forget the history that every time there has been a Turkish and Armenian cooperation, after some years Armenia always looses and regrets. We are making the same mistake over and over throughout the centuries. Armenia should not recognize Turkey or Azeries as countries and should not get into cooperation with them on anything. While those 2 countries exist, Armenians are in danger. I am not an ARF member but I really hope ARF can stop this. They have my greatest respects for their actions that they have showed. I hope all the other organizations joined him.

  7. Arshak said:

    Well said Raffi, it’s too easy for the diasporans to run their one-sided (blind-sided) thoughts with total disregard for the citizens who actually live in Armenia. They should go live there and serve in the military before they open their mouths.

  8. papken hartunian said:

    The so called protocals are agreements that can get status of treaty once its ratified by the General Assembly of Armenia. If they were mere guidlines to continue dialogue between two countries, then the ratification by the parliment would not have been required. Furthermore, according to the article 81 of the Armenian Constitution only treaties can be ratified by the parliment. Thus if something required to be ratified by the parliment, then it must had been a treaty.

    Moreover, the Independence Declaration of Republic of Armenia calls for returning Western Armenia. The express terms of this treaty recognizes the current boarders. Therefore, if it ratified, then it would be unenforceable becasue it would be unconstitutional.

    I wander no one takes issue to the Constitutional Court of Republic of Armenia to seek the constitituionality of the alleged treaty. Armenian must take Republic of Armenian Government to the Constitutional Court of Republic of Armenia. Once the lawsuit filed, the parliment will obstain from ratifying.

    Armenian political Parties must give clear ultimatium to the member of parliment regarding possible ratifying this treaty. Our media must call it treaty not protocal because the express terms of the document calls for agreements between two nations.

    Finally, the express terms of the treaty consists false facts. It implies that Republic of Armenia and Republic of Turkey closed boarders by mutual agreement which is not true.

    If Armenian Authorities believe that by opening boarders, Armenian economy will improve, why they do not claim the loss sustained by closing boarders for last 17 years.

  9. Stepan said:

    Raffi, EVERY single organization (except for US State Department surrogate Armenian Assembly) and the majority of Armenians agree that relations should improve & border should open…. under correct circumstances – i.e. with a deal that if FAIR, not favorable for Turkey only. If you and Serzh and Nalbandian can’t see that, Asdvatz okne. I am just glad that the likes of you are in the slim minority.

  10. Angela Achikgiozian said:

    Are you guys man or little girls????I am surprised that the passage of “protocols” can be even accepted like something that cannot be cancelled!!!!What kind of surrender is that? Is there any tghamard left in our nation or Nalbadyan has had them all? What are you discussing here. We cannot have ANY protocol with damn turks that can even slightly give any chance to the turks to make us forget about getting our land back? Shame on anyone who wants some borders to be opened to make a penny today so we loose everything tomorrow. And we in the diaspora, did not sacrifice so much to help our families, friends, and just any Armenian in Armenia so they have a piece of bread, for them to want to open the borders to go and trade with our sent dollars to buy some cheap cloths and be happy. Only 15-20 years ago some of our best gave their lives to save another chunk of our land not be lost forever, and now we have to lose the Motherland where the bones of our ancestors are burried if they were lucky enough to be burried? We have survived so lomg. We will survive much longer if get smart. NO to any protocol that sells out our Motherland!

  11. Wally said:

    Few years ago, I had many email correspondents with Turkish media, this is exactly what they wanted to divide Armenian from Diaspora Armenian and they have successfully accomplished their objective. If this treaty gets signed then I say good-bye to April 24… this treaty is an insults over injury. I would assume after signing this shameless treaty next April 24, we might have to do the demonstrations in front of Armenian embassy in state of Turkish embassy.

  12. David said:

    Aram said this, and I agree with him:

    “I think this is another blatant disrespect by Turkey towards the Armenian nation.”

    But, in a sense, we Armenians do not respect ourselves to allow this fraud, Nakhakha Sargsian, to sign away Armenian rights. The man was not even duly elected. His band of thugs stuffed the ballot boxes.

    I would like someone to explain why this man is even still the president. I would like an Armenian American newspaper to explain to its readers why we must play by Sargsian’s rules. By what right does this fraud presume to tell us what Armenia can and cannot do? Why he is being allowed to do this?

    I can tell you part of the reason: We Armenians went along with people like him for years even though we knew they were thieves and liars. We excused this by saying we were “working within the system.”

    The system is a fraud, which is what it was all along. Who do we have to blame for this? Turks? The US? Russia? I think we know the answer: We Armenians.

    When the protocols are passed by parliament, that is the end. And I will tell you something else, and I really hate to say this: When the protocols become “law” in Armenia, the ARF will be out of business. Everything it fought for, and everything all of you worked for your entire lives, will be flushed down the drain and into a Turkish sewer.

  13. Kurkjian said:

    Turks are very clever: they are even managing a drift between the diaspora and citizens of Armenia… just look what Raffi and Arshak are saying… we all want the borders to open, but under what conditions? we were kicked out of our fatherland, marched to the deserts, starved, bitten to death and ??? we are the descendants of those survivors, this Kemalist Turkey is built on blood money – not only Armenian – and shall we just shut up? is it all about money after all? who will benefit from “opening the borders” if not Serj and his oligarchs, you think our economy will get better? wake up people! they are just trying to annihilate us…

  14. Gayane said:

    I agree with Papken… If these so called protocols that are just represented as guidelines to be discused amongst the people of Armenia and diaspora can’t be ratified, then these are no longer protocols.. it is a treaty..

    Apparently our government and the Turkish government think we are unintelligent, low class and closed minded people to try to convince us that these co called protocols have been signed in good faith where both parties substantially gave up something to gain this agreement. This is total u know what… I still to this day dont’ understand what posessed Sarkisian to go with this nonsense agreement… the one thing that we should have never agreed to do is invite Turkish govt officials to Armenia and allow them to walk on our sacred lands..

    Just like Vahe said.. we have not learned our lesson yet.. why are we even giving a second thought about Turkey and its existance? Don’t we already know that Turkey is paving its own agenda with every step they take… and they will do so until they get what they are after.. TAKE OVER ARMENIA… I just can’t stand this anymore.. there has to be something that can be done…I definitely stand behind ARF.. every organization on this planet should join them and with one STRONG AND BIG FIST attack these protocols and all that stood behind it..

    LONG LIVE ARMENIA, KARABACH and DIASPORA.
    G

  15. K said:

    Stepan – EVERY Armenian organisation? Then I assume the organisations, commentators and political figures who favor the protocols in Armenia aren’t Armenian?

    Enough finger-wagging. If we diasporans want Armenia to engage in heroism, perhaps it’d be appropriate to move there and feel the consequences? You demand Western Armenia but – why wait? You can already move to Berdzor and Shushi to show your commitment and participate in the heroism.

  16. Katia K. said:

    Dear Raffi and Arshak. The Armenians who turned in the list of 250 Armenian Intellectuals to the Turks, who in turn arrested these intellectuals on April 24th, 1915, thought just like you that if they succumbed to the Turk, the Turk will in turn be good to them. A country should not depend on its neighbours to get strong economically, it should depend on competent and strong leaders. No country wants its neighbours to prosper in fear that they will compete with it. Our current leaders are following in the miscalcuated steps of all traitor Armenians during the Genocide, who by the day were used and then killed once the Turks were done with them. Serj Sarkissian says proudly that he extended a hand for peace, and in return Gul is spitting on that hand and on the pride of all Armenians,but Serj thinks it is only raining. Turks have always been merciless thugs and bold dealers, but let me tell you, none of them would dare to do to his country what Serj Sarkissian is doing to ours. One last question, are the lives and properties of 1.5 million butchered citizens, the lands of Western Armenia, Mt. Ararat, our historical archeological treasures put together equivalent to a “possible” embetterment of Armenia’s economy? Would the Turk or anyone make such a foolish deal?
    By the way, we will no longer be able to use Mt. Ararat’s picture on any of our products. The Turks will sue us saying that it is their mountain within the LEGITIMATE BORDERS that Armenia has agreed upon.
    Read your history guys.

  17. Armen said:

    All Armenians should come to a consensus on ‘red-lines’

    1. We are not occupiers of Azerbaijan – we have liberated traditional Armenian lands (words matter – the U.S. ‘freed’ Iraqis right and ‘liberated them’) and all the land acquired is now a permanent part of Armenia like in every other war in every other era in every other region. Land can be swapped with another country (i.e. 1 region for Ararat). In what negotiation do you hand over an asset for empty words and rhetoric?

    2. This insane concept of HANDING over land that was won during a war of self-defense must be discarded for all time. Never in the history of mankind and war has the victorious nation GIVEN the conquered land and we must never even consider that idea. Do you see Turkey rushing to hand over even ruined areas on the border to Armenia or to any other country?

    3. Any commission or discussion at an intergovernmental level should never look at the plainly evident truth of the Armenian Genocide but we should be open to discussing and inventorying the extent of the theft of property and extent of cultural destruction. The Turkish people can debate when to accept the Armenian Genocide – after all, not everyone accepted that the Earth wasn’t flat on the same date but eventually the truth was very obvious to everyone. Time is needed to reverse a 100 year old CUP based brainwashing of several generations. In the meantime, this will be an opportunity to discuss directly with Turkey the causes of the Genocide and the repurcussions and proposals to rectify and reverse the 100 year old propaganda of the armed and dangerous Armenian grandmother who was sent to an oasis in the desert for her protection.

  18. Serge said:

    Dear Raffi and Arshak, if we live in Diaspora it does not mean we don’t care about our country and our nation, as a matter of fact our love for our nation is so deep that we can not see any harm done to it by Turks. I agree with you that may be we should all go there, live and work there and make the country prosperous, however that should be done very slowly so the country can absorb flux of people who get there with no job and means of living. Armenian Diaspora can be more helpful from outside by investing in our banking, industry and economy than from inside. The good example I can give you is the Jewish people, majority of them are in US and Europe and I don’t have to mention how much money they send to Israel every year, imagine if all of them go to Israel and live there, you think they will be able to create the same amount of wealth from inside?
    Any way getting back to Protocols, we are not against opening border however we don’t want to give them card blanch either. Believe me Turks will benefit more than us by open border, so the need is mutual, they need us as much as we need them, having said that we should also take advantage of it as much as they are.

  19. ermeni said:

    Stepan,
    The organizations that are against the protocols are diaspora based. The elected members and government in Armenia support the protocols. That’s hardly a slim minority.
    Ermeni

  20. Stepan said:

    Arshak, before you continue mouthing off about living in Armenia before having the right to talk, etc… please keep in mind that what is being given up is Western Armenia which is where i was forced out of.. By recognizing these protocols we are drawing a line over ALL genocide related implications. Genocide goes back to being a solemn day in Armenian history similar to a dead man’s “darelitz”. If that is so, then the diaspora has every single right to have a say in making it so.

  21. For1915 said:

    Armenian Posters:

    It’s upsetting to see, based on these messages, that some of us are under the impression that every poster here is an Armenian. There are Turks (not the “friendly” kind) and provocateurs among us. They are here for a strict purpose, and it’s unfortunate to see that some of us have not distinguished discussion from provocation.

    Don’t be quick to believe. Be cautious.

  22. Vrej said:

    Mustafa Kemal won’t just be dancing on the graves of our martyrs on October 13; he’ll be dancing on the dignity and legacy of our proud nation. He won’t be alone. Scores of slave minded defeatist and shameless cowards of beings will join in rejoice.
    History shows that there’s no shortage of sell outs among us. Like cockroaches, the likes of ermeni, raffi, arshak, sargisyan and nalbandyan come out of the woodwork to sell our homeland to the lowest bidder.
    Unfortunately, it’s the nationalist socialists that appear to be the slim minority these days. The same slim minority that carved out a prouder and larger Armenia in just two years of existence. The same slim minority that delivered justice to the perpetrators of the genocide. The same minority that preserved our nation in the Diaspora.
    It was the same nationalist socialist party that announced “tebi hayrenik” and responded with heroism to defend and liberate Artsakh.
    The protocol is just another one of those dark moments in our history. It is up to us, the few and the proud, to be a thorn in side of this tyranny of defeatism and cowardice.
    Let’s show up in numbers on the 27th. Let us unite and fight this protocol in every step of the way. Never surrender!

  23. Serge said:

    Very-very well said Katia, eaxctly my thoughts. When are we going to learn from our mistakes and stop being so naive? Enough is enough this is killing me I can not believe this is happening again and again, how much naive one can be to not see what Turks are doing to us?

  24. David Boyajian said:

    1. The Armenian government is not legitimate. It stuffed ballot boxes. What is it about this that you pro-protocol people do not understand?
    2. The Armenian government represses media as much as it can to keep the people ignorant. It says it lost Raffi Hovanissian’s citizenship papers. The pro-protocol people think this makes the government legitimate?
    3. The Armenians who are for the protocol think it will make Armenia prosperous, But they are clueless about how the Turks and the Armenian robber barons will work together to steal even more from the Armenian people once the border fully opens.
    4. Pro-protocol people ae under the illusion that Turkey has “changed.” It changed after WW 1 too. The “wonderful. pro-demcracy Ataturk” deported and murdered the remaining Armenians in Cilicia. He attacked the Armenian Republic. He murdered Kurds. And remember that the 1908 Young Turk revolution was supposed to being freedom and “change” to Armenians. Instead, it brought death 7 years later. To pro-protocol people, this is just useless information. They think they have the Turks all figured out. If only, they think, they can bring Turks into a joint 12 step program and do pschoanalysis, they think Turks and Armenians can be great friends. The Armenians in 1908 who believed in Turkish promises are like the liberal-minded ooey-gooey Armenians who believe in the protocols now. They are naive.
    5. Asking Diasporans to go to Armenia and telling them that they are not patriotic or not willing to put their money where their mouths are is like telling Hayastansis to go to Artaskh if they wish that territory to be free. Our grandparents came to this country, the USA, because they were under threat of death, or had gone thru the genocide. They HAD to leave. Contrast that with many Armenian immigrants today. And I bet that many of the pro-protocol people will, in fact, eventually leave Armenia anyway once the Turks come in and, as Russia has done, take over much of the economy.

  25. Effendi said:

    Armen – You are mistaken with your #2 idea. While no country would give land freely, your opinion that it will never happen is not only near sighted, it is also very dangerous. Tell me, in the history of mankind, has any nation of people told another nation of people who have nothing to do with their nation – “go ahead and take all our ancestral lands because you won and we don’t want it because we know it will never happen”????? Pathetic. This claim by the Armenian nation must always be open, it is not a matter of war, it is a matter of legalities and rights of the Armenian nation.

    Did we in the diaspora ever envision that we would see a “free” Armenia before the 1980’s? While we are on this topic, consider that the genocide has still not been recognized by a few important countries yet. We do not need Turkey for anything, and we should not expect any miracles from her. Our so-called “leaders” who are eager to carve the so-called “recognized” border into stone are on the verge of selling the future integrity of the Armenian nation. If you do not see this, then God help us.

  26. manooshag said:

    Hye, from THE TRAVELLERS’ DICTIONARY OF QUOTATIONS
    Edited by Peter Yapp

    ‘Words’ spanning so many years…

    Mark Twain “Innocents Abroad” 1869
    “I wish Europe would let Russia annihilate Turkey a little – but enough to make it difficult to find
    the place again, without a divining-rod or a diving bell…”

    Henry Naundrell “A Journey From Aleppo to Jerusalem” 1697
    ‘”You will find among Turks far more dead saints than living ones.”

    Caleb Frank Gales “Not To Me Only” 1940
    “Constantinople is a city where the Oriental loses his virtues and the Occidental adds to
    his vice.”

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge “Table Talk” 1823
    “They (Turks) have no past. They are not an historical people; they exist only in the present.”

    Arthur Syomons “Cities” 1903
    “The Turk, man as well as woman, there is only the animal and its instinct… they donot reason,
    they make arbitrary rules; and then fight or submit… The Turk has not pity, and it is pity which
    civilizes.”

    Richard Nixon “The Real War” 1980
    “Before World War 1 Turkey was known as the “Sick Man of Europe”; now it is almost a
    terminal case.”

    Jan Morris “Destinations” 1980
    “Istanbul does possess, as you can feel from the deck of your ship, the arrogance of the very old; like the rudeness of an aged actor whose prime was long ago, whose powers have failed him, but who struts about still in cloak and carnationed buttonhole, snubbing his inferiors. It is only when you get closer that you realize the illusion of it, just as you observe, if he leans too close to you on the sofa, the creases of despair around the actors mouth.”

    Edmund Burke ‘Letter to Adrian Henrich von Borcke’ psot 17 January 1774
    “I don’t wish well to Turkey. Any people but the Turks so seated as they are would have been cultivated in 300 years, but they grow more gross in the very native soil of civility and Refinement.”
    Manooshag

  27. Haro said:

    Some of the people commenting here, are making a flat wrong assumption about the Armenians in Armenia. The fact is that only a few people there are happy with the protocols. The vast majority are outraged even more than Diaspora Armenians. It’s just all media in Republic of Armenia are heavily controlled by the current government. I have commented this fact in other articles, please check the following statistic before throwing words out of your mouth:
    http://blog.ararat-center.org/?p=283

    Also, please be careful to what you are commenting, because that is exactly what Turks want (see Erdoghan’s latest speeches to get the idea). The Turkish government wants to divide the Diaspora Armenians from our Fatherland Armenians. Don’t fall for this gag.

    Besides, don’t you guys think that beside the voiding of our historic claims, Artsakh will also be lost by these same Khaytarag Protocols, Artsakh Armenians are not writing silly comments in front of a computer, they instead have their eye behind a gun ready to defend their land with their life. So, please, please, my sisters and brothers, I beg of you, do your homework and be very careful to what you are commenting…
    Thank you very much….

  28. Alex Postallian said:

    For the naivete: If you have read turkish history; it is built on corruption and LIES.With a mongol mentality,70% illiteratcy rate,ruled by 5% i.e. the military.There is a old saying among the well educated europeans.Always face a turk,but dont turn your back!!!!!

  29. Pingback: ARF Begins Protest Against Armenia-Turkey Protocols | Stop the Protocols Campaign

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  31. Ani said:

    As a citizen of Republic of Armenia, me too do not want such kind of relations with Turkey. All Armenians who care for their homeland have a right to be against this stained decision. We won’t gain anything in this game. Protocols must be changed.

  32. Stephen T. Dulgarian said:

    Shame on Pres. Serz Sarkisian & his cabinet for signing an illegal Protocol Treaty with the Genocidal Turk. Once signed Armenia will have no claims on its historical lands that is under Turkish rule. The valid Treaty of Sevres will become void as well as the Kars treaty where we lost Ani, Kars, Ardahan, Mt. Ararat & etc. Armenians worldwide must protest along with our brothers in Armenia. Serz Sarkisian must be removed from his position to save the Armenian Nation from disaster.

  33. Papken Hartunian said:

    The next administration and the next parliment could terminate all agreements with Turkey.
    Therefore, it is not the end of world. WE MUST BE PREPARED TO ELECT A PRPER PRESIDENT IN 2012.

  34. Sirvart said:

    Not only the said disastrous protocols are against our historical claims of our anscestral lands and our fight for Genocidal recognition; but the pre-conditions set by our number one enemy the turks is disastrous for Armenia’s sovereignty and Artsakh’s survival. Sargsyan and Nalbandyan are obviously our new “Vasag Syuni”s of newer times, then what are the Diasporan Armenians and our Armenian brethren from our Motherland waiting for? When are the Vasag Syunis of today are going to step down from their seats so that the rightful prominent patriotic heirs of the Armenian nation will have control over those said seats. I am waiting for the A.R.F. and our other prominent “gousagtsoutyuns” such are the Henchagyans and the Ramgavar Azadagan parties to join together hand in hand to save not just Armenia but Artsakh as well from a disaster just waiting to happen.

  35. Ani said:

    Most Armenians in Armenia support the dialogue, but based on equal rights. Therefore, I am not sure that even in this case, Armenians in Armenia are ready to accept turks. I even could not imagine to hear turkish language in public places and see turks walking on the streets of Yerevan.

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