Serzh Sarkisian Get Out!

BY HENRY D. ASTARJIAN

Throwing shoes at presidents is not a civilized way of expressing anger, desperation, or helplessness, but there are times when such actions translated into words are justifiable. Now is such a time! The entire Armenian nation should do just that to express its anger, disdain, and frustration, and in a polite way its fierce opposition to Serzh Sarkisian’s commitment to implementing, then selling, the “Armeno-Turkish protocols” to us.

This infamous document, which was recently initialed in Switzerland, could justly be called the “Protocol of Surrender,” as it is a document that allows Turkey to export goods and services to Armenia, and Armenia to export culturally talented, and not so talented, ladies to enliven the nightlife of Istanbul and Kars. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that; after all, the moneys earned will help the Armenian economy.

Why would Serzh Sarkisian put his stinking signature on a protocol that his corrupt foreign minister, Eduard Nalbandian, had negotiated secretly?
Who authorized them to negotiate away Armenian rights to Armenian territories? Did they have a mandate from the Armenian electorate, indeed the Armenians in general?
Who gave them the right to make unprecedented concessions to Turkish demands of looking into the validity of the genocide?

Who gave them the authority to accept the Turkish demand that Armenia must “…defend the integrity of its neighboring nation’s territorial claims”—a condition that will jeopardize the self-determination rights of the people of Nagorno-Karabagh?

Given Nalbandian’s history as Armenia’s ambassador to Egypt, one cannot help but question the honesty with which he has conducted his official duties, including the formulation of the Armeno-Turkish protocols.

All the bonds of his and Serzh’s protocols are rotten, but the one most laughable is the item that deals with “territorial claims.” That clause addresses the “Agreement that Armenia will defend the integrity of its neighboring nations’ territorial claims,” thereby torpedoing the self-determination rights of the people of Karabagh, and our rights to the six vilayets that constitute Western Armenia,  in accordance with the Sevres Treaty of 1920.

Not only that! This agreement permanently seals the ill-fated Kars Treaty which was struck between Soviet Armenia and Ataturk’s General Kiazim Kara Bekir in October 1921. This treaty mandated Turkey to concede Batumi to Georgia, a Soviet Republic, and in turn the Soviets conceded Kars and Ardahan, a part of Armenia, to Turkey. Armenia had no free will in this; they ratified the treaty, under duress, in September 1922. Karabagh had the same fate; Stalin annexed it to Azerbaijan.

Now Serzh and Eduard are affixing their signature to a protocol that mandates Armenia’s commitment to defend the integrity of Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Oh, what a joke.

Cow-towing to Turkey, like his predecessor Levon Ter-Petrosian, who went to Ankara at the head of his ministerial delegation to attend the funeral of Turgut Ozal on April 24, 1993, Serzh Sarkisian is embarking on a roadmap that will only lead the nation to the abyss. Like his predecessor, Serzh is defying our sensibilities and logic, and desecrating the memories of 1.5 million Armenian martyrs who perished by the hands of Turkey’s Ittihad ve Terakki, who were supposed to be our allies and personal friends in the fight against the Ottoman Sultan’s regime. Serzh has not learned from history.

Maybe Serzh, and those in power in Armenia, do not understand nationhood the way we diasporans do. Maybe they don’t understand that Armenia is home to all ethnic Armenians, and that Armenia is not some state like, say India, where the color of the country as a whole is not ethnic, or racial, or religious. Like Israel, which the Jews claim to be the Jewish state, Armenia is the Armenian state. It is not a state compromised of multiple nationalities; it is an Armenian and a Christian state. Armenia belongs to any and every Armenian, whether he or she lives in Armenia, the diaspora, or Katmandu. Thus, our inherent right to have a say in matters that affect the interests of Armenia our nationhood is at stake.

Serzh and his cronies fail to understand that Armenia, with its Ararat and Etchmiadzin, are the Diaspora’s lifeline. It will be foolish of him to sever that relationship in lieu of Turkish “friendship.” Yes, Armenia must have good relationship with her neighbors, including Turkey, but not at the expense of sacrificing its vital interests.

We understand the pressure that he is under. We understand the power struggle between the United States and Russia over Armenia, each aspiring to have a controlling position. But the Armenian nation, or Armenia, must not be the sacrificial lamb, which they are positioned to be.

Then the question arises again: Does this protocol agreement benefit Armenia? If it is implemented, for one, the illusive Turkish hegemony will become a reality on the ground. And that is the American strategy. The big powers’ strategy in that part of the world might be to control oil and gas resources, but for the United States, controlling Iran and its nuclear program is much more important. Iran, which is about ready to become a nuclear power, is America’s nightmare, and one of the rational strategies is to cut off its supply line from Russia. That line does not pass through Georgia or Azerbaijan, it passes through a five-mile Armeno-Iranian border—the weakest link in the Caucasian containment chain of Russia.

Iran is also the lifeline of Armenia. The Armenia-Iran alliance is age-old. There is also a century-old Iranian Shiite mosque in Yerevan. In the early 1990’s, when Turkey’s and Azerbaijan’s blockade of Armenia was so severe that the country could not breathe, it was Iran that came to the rescue.

Turkey’s hegemony over Armenia would exert pressure over Iran, this time from the north, thus reviving the centuries-old Iran-Turkey struggle for control of the region.  It is a complex political and strategic situation. It needs political savvy and expertise to maneuver through all these landmines, but not at the expense of giving the shop away.
Serzh Sarkisian, this week the ARF met with you on this blunder, and came out empty handed. If you insist on signing the protocols, then you are a tavajan, I have two words for you: Get lost!

Dr. Henry Astarjian is the author of The Struggle for Kirkuk. He has written several articles on the Armenian and Kurdish issues.  On three occasions, he has spoken to the Kurdish Parliament in Exile (in Brussels), asserting Armenian rights according to the Sevres Treaty.

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10 Comments

  1. Sebouh Akharjalian said:

    I have become more convinced then ever that its time for the Armenian people to be united and take action in this respect.

    The only way to restore the honor to the Armenian cause is by the removal of Serzh Sarkisian and his corrupt government.

    The message is very clear to all Armenians whether living in diaspora or in mainland Armenia we either surrender to the Turkish demands by signing these so called protocols or we simply join forces and revolt.

    I leave the decision to our brave comrades in the diaspora or our brothers inside Armenia.

    The choice is yours

  2. Anna said:

    LIOVIN HAMAMIT EM PARON SEBOUH AKHARJALIANI HET !!!
    AYS KHARANE PETK E MER AZGI JAKATITS MAKRENK!!! AMEN GNOV !!!
    KARTSES TKATS LINEN HOGUS MEJ !!!! TEGHS CHEM GTNUM !!!

  3. HAGOP SARKISSIAN said:

    AFTER THE PROTOCOLS HAS BEEN SIGNED , THE ONLY WAY OUT IS ” SERZH HAS TO GO…”,
    THIS SHOULD BE LESSON TO ANY PRESIDENT IN THE FUTURE , THAT IF YOU ARE NOT WITH YOUR PEOPLE YOU GO.
    ALSO WILL BE A LESSON TO THE FOREIGN POWERS THAT THE PEOPLE HAS THE LAST WORD TO SAY.

    IF WE FORGIVE SERZH THIS TIME, ANY PRESIDENT IN THE FUTURE WILL DO WHATEVER HE WANTS WITHOUT CONSIDERING THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE , USING THIS INCIDENT AS A PRECEDENT.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE, THROW OUT SERZH, THE GENERATIONS WILL NOT FORGIVE YOU.

  4. AM said:

    “Armenia belongs to any and every Armenian, whether he or she lives in Armenia, the diaspora, or Katmandu.”

    I disagree. People serious about being Armenian permanently live in Armenia. The Armenian Diaspora are those who temporarily (if at all) live in Armenia.

    “We understand the pressure that he is under. We understand the power struggle between the United States and Russia over Armenia, each aspiring to have a controlling position. But the Armenian nation, or Armenia, must not be the sacrificial lamb, which they are positioned to be.”

    One should realize that Nalbandian didn’t seem to want to sign the protocol… Indeed, Serzh claimed on television that his government is for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey. The European and American pressure on Armenia to force Armenia to sign these protocols are probably to make it easier for Turkey to be accepted to the EU. Otherwise, if you look at the statements of Turkish and Armenian presidents and foreign ministers, they completely contradict each other (one says that now the Armenian Genocide is under question and that NKR must be handed back to Azerbaijan, while the other says the opposite).

  5. Sammy said:

    @AM

    “People serious about being Armenian permanently live in Armenia”

    AM you are terribly mistaken. Making such a statement means you are in agreement with the Armenian Genocide. It is not the fault of the diaspora that they live in other countries due to the genocide. Does Armenia make it easy for the diaspora to move to Armenia? Not yet. Armenians moving there from the diaspora have many challenges, including discrimination and dealing with corruption to name just two.

    Moving to Armenia for the diaspora is a slow process which must be given time, and Armenia must conform to Armenians as a whole rather than a small number having been born there, as long as the diaspora’s wishes are not in conflict with the well being of the Armenians in Armenia, the idea that diasporans have no business in Armenia is simply wrong and near-sighted.

  6. Tony said:

    Since, Pres. Sargsyan is showing retreat in the Protocols signed, the best option for him is that he has to resign and leave the presidency to someone special; who knows how to fight this kind of pressure and say no to Protocols of surrender and disgrace.

  7. manooshag said:

    Hye, I just read the ‘comment’ by AM – I
    In the first sentence AM quotes: ‘Armenia belongs to any and every Armenian, whether he or she lives in Armenia, the disapora, Katmandu.’ (I would capitalize Diaspora).
    Then, AM replies: ‘I disagree. People serious about being Armenian permanently live in Armenia. The Armenian Diaspora are those who temprarily (if at all) live in Armenia).
    This statement is one of the dumbest I’ve read…
    Edification: The Armenian Diaspora – across the world, on all the continents, today are the descendants of those
    Surviviors (and I capitalize Survivors) who fled the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation. These Suriviors arrived in foreign lands without any knowledge of the languages, the customs, the foods and the laws. But they perservered, they raised their children to become well educated citizens in these nations, yet to remain true to their Armenian heritage. Today, it is the children, the grandchildren and the great-grandchildren, generations, who today give with their hearts, minds and souls for the fledgling nation of Armenian nation.
    Sardarabad, miraculously won, by patriots for todays Armenia.

    Here in the USA, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, together with the ANCA, these second, third and fourth generations of Armenians joined to form the ‘grassroots’ to support Armenia – each according to their own abilities, and more.
    Dedicated to support, selflessly Armenia. As the ANCA who have worked with the morally sound Congress people who will continue to fight for the United States of America to speak up against the Turkish deceit and lies in their denials of their Genocidal elimination of the Christian Armenian nation. Turkish takeover of the Armenian lands of nearly 4,000 years, takeover of the Armenian civilized cultures – then to deny their Genocide before all the nations of the world… a bully nation, Turkey.
    Does AM think? Does AM realize that many small nations must envy the Armenian nation for the existence of their
    Diaspora… Does AM know that the support of the Diaspora could not be ‘bought'; the dedication and love of the
    Diaspora for their Armenian brethern is priceless? Armenians in Armenia, I am certain, as the many that I have met outside the cities, in the towns and villages, all know and welcome Diasporan support – appreciative of our efforts from Armenians who can speak for Armenia, without the misdirected leaderships Armenians have had to
    succumb. Leaders of today, very unlike the selfless patriots who led the first Armenian republic 1918-1920…
    AM – I know I speak for those of us outside of the homeland, when I say, I am dedicated to a free Armenia – free of the claws of the dishonest Turkish leaders – albeit I’m not a citizen of the Armenian nation. Manooshag

  8. manooshag said:

    Hye, AM, Unbelieveable! Don’t you know: the Survivors (capital S) fled to foreign lands, not knowing the language, the customs, the foods, the laws… and more. And yet, they ‘survived’… started their families, raised their children to be well educated, knowing their parents’ experiences in the Turkish Genocide, the losses their families and relatives murdered by the Turk, today the children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren of the Surivivors, albeit not in the

  9. Barkev Asadourian said:

    Bravo Dr. Astarjian
    Your article reflect the mirror of whole Armenians
    around the world.
    I hope the TAVAJAN WILL REALIZE THE FACT.

  10. Mihran Keheyian said:

    Well spoken Dr. Astarjian.

    I go further and say they should all be put on trial as there is no roon for traitor,that also must include relegious leaders who have sold Armenian rights.

    They must all go at any cost.

    Serzh and croonies you are all traitors.

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