Court Rules Protocols Constitutional

Demonstrators in front of the Constitutional Court on Tuesday

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenia’s Constitutional Court upheld on Tuesday the legality of Armenia’s controversial normalization agreements with Turkey amid continuing protests staged by groups opposed to the deal.

The widely anticipated verdict paved the way for the agreements’ ratification by the Armenian parliament. The National Assembly is not expected, however, to start debating the two “protocols” before their endorsement by Turkey’s parliament.

The ruling read out by the court chairman, Gagik Harutiunian, concluded that the provisions of the two Turkish-Armenian protocols signed in October “conform to the constitution of the Republic of Armenia.”

“The decision is final and cannot be challenged,” Harutiunian said, to shouts of “Shame!” from supporters of the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) present in the court. “Try to look into the ruling before expressing yourself,” Harutiunian shot back.

Armen Rustamian, the chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Supreme Council of Amrenia, criticized the ruling and downplayed its passages implicitly stating that the protocols can not have any bearing on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict or inhibit Armenia’s pursuit of greater international recognition of the Armenian genocide. Rustamian said that a court decision to declare them unconstitutional would have been exploited by Turkey. “The issue should not have been sent to the Constitutional Court so early,” he told RFE/RL.

Rustamian expressed hope that President Serzh Sarkisian will now add “reservations” to the document before sending it to the National Assembly for ratification. Eduard Sharmazanov, the chief spokesman for Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) also present in the court, would not be drawn on such possibility.

Sharmazanov insisted instead that the Western-backed agreements provide for an unconditional normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations. “The Turkish side must be the first to ratify them because it’s the Turkish side that has always talked in the language of preconditions and ultimatums,” he added.

The court’s decision also was condemned in stronger terms by a senior member of the opposition the Heritage party, another vocal critic of Sarkisian’s Turkish policy. Stepan Safarian claimed that it was ordered by the presidential administration.

“This was an attempt to legitimize the disgraceful foreign policy pursued by Serzh Sarkisian,” Safarian told RFE/RL. He also claimed that Harutiunian compromised his objectivity by accompanying Sarkisian on an October tour of major Armenian communities which was aimed at promoting the protocols.

The Constitutional Court handed down the ruling several hours after formally starting to examine the protocols’ conformity with the Armenian constitution. The session was open to the media for only four minutes.

The court decided that the examination will follow a “written procedure” that does not involve public hearings and verbal questioning of government officials and experts. Harutiunian announced that the panel of nine judges will only consider written statements submitted by the Armenian Foreign Ministry and other interested parties.

“This is an issue which has an exceptional significance,” he said. “All those written documents that have been submitted to the Constitutional Court are available in the deliberations room and the members of the court can take them into account.”

Harutiunian added that they will also look into a nine-page petition from the ARF. ARF leaders handed the document as more than a thousand of their supporters marched to the court building in Yerevan on Monday. They demanded that the Constitutional Court declare the protocols at least “partly unconstitutional.”

ARF members and sympathizers gathered outside the court building on Tuesday morning to keep up the pressure on Armenia’s highest judicial body.

Vardges Hagopian, an elderly resident of New York, was particularly unhappy with a protocol clause that commits Armenia’s to recognizing its existing border with Turkey and presumably precludes future Armenian territorial claims to its big neighbor, which are favored by the ARF. “I can’t forget Western Armenia,” he told RFE/RL, referring to parts of eastern Turkey that were populated by many Armenians until 1915.

“We would lose our lands,” said Hagopian. “We just couldn’t have bigger losses. Shouldn’t our grandchildren grow up in their ancestral lands?”

Another ARF supporter from the Diaspora said the nationalist party should strive to topple Armenia’s current leadership if it fails to scuttle the implementation of the protocols. “The ARF must fight till the end, and there must be a revolt to reverse all this,” he said.

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35 Comments

  1. Dikranergtzi said:

    I don’t know about the rest of you but irrespective of whether this protocol is ratified I am NOT spending my hard earned American Benjamin’s to travel to Armenia this summer. Forget it. I would rather travel to a truly INDEPENDENT Artsakh with pride and help spur their economy instead. As far as I’m concerned Artsakh is the new homeland.
     
    Amot, Amot, Hazar Amot Hayastadani Karavarutyan Davajunere.

  2. Turkish Citizen said:

    Dear Vardges Hagopian, those areas you called West Armenia are Turkish soil. Armenians were subjects of Ottoman Empire like many other nations. This does not give you the right to claim land. If you say West Armenia, we can also say East Anatolia (I mean todays Georgia,Azerbaijan and Armenia) , which we kept under our control for hundreds of years.  I really don’t understand, you have an independent state for the first time in 1000 years and you are still complaining. Something is wrong. Finally I think this decree of constitutional court will bring good opportunities to both nations. Hostility does not help anyone.

    • Hey4Life said:

      don’t you ever dare to teach us about hostility.   You are a turk, remember?

      • Robert said:

        YES!!!!…And quite PROUD of it, thank you!!! Too bad you can’t say the same!!

    • john said:

      Dear Turkish Citizen, do you not see anything “wrong” with occupying other races for hundreds of years against their will on their own lands and treating the native people, while occupying it, like garbadge because the occupier, the Turkish Ottomans, thought and still think that they are some sort of  “master race” and therefore entitled to murder, steal, rape and then conveniently lie about its past? Sorry, not any one race under turkish mis-rule thinks of Turks as a “master race” or enjoyed being under Tukish mis-rule. Especially the Armenians who the Turks just decided to exterminate  to purposely steal their land and wealth and now  you are asking the Armenians to just stop complaining? Make no mistake Turks are criminals and need to pay for their  crimes and no amount of open borders will change that fact.

    • Hopar said:

      “Turkish soil” What a joke. Firstly, you don’t know your own history, but being a “Turkish citizen” I am not surprised. “Turkey”, my friend, is less than 100 years old. It is not any older than the first Armenian republic which your savage government illegally attacked and is now occupying.
       
       
      In the Ottoman empire, “Turks” were not the only subjects. You are not talking your nonsense against the other people you could not commit genocide against to the extent that you did to the Armenians: The Bulgarians, Georgians, Syrians, Egyptians, Greeks… Yet all these people today do not have major disputes with your rogue government other than the Greeks. The Bulgaria, Georgia, Syria, Egypt, etc other than some provinces are more or less intact. On the other hand Turkey continues to occupy our lands in western Armenia. Western Armenia is a legal part of Armenia which was decreed after WWI by President Wilson.
       
      And by the way, if you are truly interested in “Turkish soil” then I suggest you start researching the lands of Mongolia – the place where your ancestry is from. Your comments reflect exactly why the Armenians and Greeks went through a genocide in the first place – your idea of “Turkish soil” – an imaginary concept which led your people to inherit for themselves the title of criminals.
       
       
      Being foreigners in a land which you have no connection to, all of Asia Minor, your people were not content enough with land you occupied but with your greed, you had to commit genocides to get more lands. Now 100 years later, your kind wants to conveniently “forget the past”.
       
       
      And you dare talk about “hundreds of years” while our ancestors have lived on our lands for THOUSANDS of years – before your ancestors decided to leave Mongolia. Just who do you think you are? You and your criminal government might currently be OCCUPYING the greater part of Armenia, but don’t think for ONE SECOND that we as Armenians will ever call our historic lands “Turkish soil”.
       
       
      You might be thinking of yourself as an “Ottoman”, yet there is no longer an Ottoman empire today, just as you also think of yourself as a “Turkish citizen”, and God one day will rid you and your kind of this misery too. The Armenian culture outdates the Turkish “culture” by thousands of years, and will also outlast you no matter what forms of new genocides you invent.

  3. Asbed Der Kassabian said:

    Shame on the constitutional court and their castrated puppets.
    IT IS WAY OVERDUE FOR ARMENIANS TO BEGIN SERIOUSLY PLANNING A COUP.
    What are the options on the table for opponents of the protocols in a dictatorship?

  4. Berdj Melikian said:

    I am really very disapointed from this decision. I support Rustumians’ expression of hope, and look forward to see President Serzh Sarkissian to hold the documents for more evaluation, before sending to the National Assembly for ratification.

  5. John Karasarkissian said:

    If any one thinks that Republic of Armenia is a democratic country with independent parliament and independent judiciary, is sorely mistaken. It’s a dictatorship that is run by the ruling elite of the moment and will always be, no matter who comes to power, until people’s mentality changes…

    • Harout said:

      It’s all wide open, it’s all obvious… The One And ONLY  “ARF” Tashnagtsoutyoun.
      Those who don’t vote for “ARF” to be in power must do their homework.

  6. Robert said:

    Hey now, why not give it a chance? The court has ruled on it as being constitutional, so quit your belly-aching and just go with the flow! Who knows, you may then learn something that had been denied to you for way too long…something known as THE TRUTH!  

  7. Norin Radd said:

    Turkish Citizen, in another article you opened your big mouth again to declare how humanitarian Turkey is when it defends Palestinians against the way Israel treats them while at the same time, like an obedient Turkish lier, you deny your own people’s past crime against humanity.

    You are a perfect example of your government’s brain washing tactics which has been performed on many Turks for the past 50 years. If Turkey is such a “noble state” let it first and foremost take proper responsibility regarding ITS OWN genocidal murder campaign it committed more than 90 years ago killing more than 1.5 million Christian Armenians.

    Is this how Turkey “thinks of other nations”? By denying its own Genocidal campaigns for more than 90 years? Don’t speak about having a “conscience” until you and your government have recognized your past crimes then paid the reparation YOU OWE TO THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE AND NATION. ONLY THEN, can you talk self-righteously about Turks and the Turkish government having a conscience and being “noble”. Until you apologize to the Armenian people, the Armenian nation, and pay your reparation for the CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY that Turks and the Turkish government have committed, only then can you speak legitimately about Turkish values, until that happens you and your Government remain MURDERERS, CRIMINALS, and THIEVES without any values.

    Don’t worry about Israel’s crimes, first worry about your own people’s and government’s crimes against humanity, you are a whole nation and generation of hypocrites blinded by your own governments brain washing and lies. But the truth WILL come and you WILL pay for your crimes.

    Yes we do have our independent country and we will always have our country, but we also want the rest of it back, the part you and your grandmothers and grandfathers stole. It may not happen tomorrow but don’t worry IT WILL HAPPEN. Armenians were here thousands of years before your “Ottoman Empire” and “Ataturk’s State”, and we promise you, we will also be here thousands of years long after Turks are lost and gone from the face of the Earth.

    Armenians were oppressed and murdered once during the Armenian Gencide, but we promise you it will NEVER EVER happen again, your degenerate “Azeri brothers” tried it in 1990, remember what happened? We kicked them to the ground and they ran like scared little puppies. Armenians outnumbered 5 to 1 with inferior military equipment destroyed and took our ancestral land back, land that ethnic Armenians were living on for thousands of years but it was gifted to your Azeri “brothers” during Soviet days. But now Artsakh is rightfully ours again . . .  NOT KARABAGH, its called ARZTAKH, memorize it Turkish Citizen, because we named it a couple thousand years ago when Ghengis Khan was raping women on the Anatolian plateau to give birth to your great grandfathers.

    The Armenians your government murdered 90 years ago were flesh and blood, the flesh of today’s Armenians has been replaced by steel and our blood is now fire, be frightened.

  8. Mihran Keheyian said:

    What we have in Armenia today is sadly a bunch of crooks and corrupt leaders running our country,until such time that these lot are there and not put on trial nothing will change,we are all wasting our time with words,they will sell anything or give away anything in order to stay in power and make more corrupt money,and pay lip service to the diaspora.

  9. Ishkhan Babajanian MD said:

    NOW  A  BIG   PROBLEM  FOR  ARMENIAN  NATION,    WHY?  IN  OUR   HOMELAND   INSTEAD OF    MILLION   ONLY  MORE   THAN  A  THOUSAND   PEOPLE   SHOULD  MARCHED  AGAINST   THIS    DISASTROUS    PROTOCOLS.
    OUR   INTELLECTUALS,    REAL  PATRIOTS,   POLITICAL  PARTIES     OPPOSITIONS   OR  ANY CARING  ARMENIAN,   HAVE   DUTY  TO  DO  MORE  AND   BE  ACTIVE   TO    “EDUCATE”    MORE  ARMENIANS    IN   THIS   VITAL    NATIONAL    ISSUES .    SINCE    MAJORITY  OF  ARMENIAN   PEOPLE    ARE    STILL   UNAWARE   OR   MAYBE  DON’T    REALIZE   THE   DISASTROUS  CONSEQUENCES    OF    THIS      PROTOCOLS.

  10. most pessimist optimist said:

    norin radd…i love you, you are one armenian i am very proud of, i hope your zeal is contagious, if the anpative (honourless), selfish, anamoth (shameless), certifiable thieves ruling what’s left of our ancestoral homland in collaboration with the diaspora traitors  had 10%  of your drive to defend our rights, we would be in a much better position right now…

  11. Grigor Manayan said:

    Serzh Sargsyan is responsible for this mess that he has created. This traitor must be impeached and thrown out of Armenia. Tuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu to Serzh. AMOT KEZ DAVATCHAN.

  12. nazo said:

    Lets assume I’m the president or prime minister of Turkey, and I say, yes come on and take your lands that you say is yours as of towmorow, folks, what will we do with it, we can not populate what we have now, we can not manage what we have now, which is 20 percent of total land, the other 80 percent called western Armenia in Turkey, drive to Leninagan , Alaverde, Goris, you see nothing but vacant land, let alone all the way to Karapagh, Present Armenia is almost twice the size of Lebanon and Israel COMBINED, there lives close to 9 million people, in Armenia almost 3 million, with twice the land size. Be careful what you wish, you might get it.

  13. Pingback: Court Rules Protocols Constitutional | Asbarez Armenian News | armeniatoday

  14. Andranik Michaelian said:

    I don’t understand it, when a Karabaghtsi signs everything away, how is it that Karabagh becomes the new homeland? Better go to Karabagh this summer, as it will probably be the last summer before the liberated territories are given back, and Azeri Turks are back living in Stepanakert. Then we’ll know who the real traitors are.

  15. Artak said:

    Well i never like this partys dashnak or others but did you see where we get now we are a friends with turks well maybi that corrupt gov of Armenia forgetit who thei are we really armenians never forget who is our ancestors  our  grandfathers and thei fathers.
    Actions of Armenian goverment ,their playing friends with the turks that wy turkish citizen can talk that way  shame shame to our goverment

  16. Grish Begian said:

    Dear Turkish citizen, all I can ask you  “go to mirror and see your real face”..You do not look like Turk anymore…you have blood of Armenians, Greeks, and Kurds in your heart…
    Don’t listen to  those Turkish “wolf packs”, they are criminals… they have no idea what happened in Turkey and to Armenians.. it is time to get proper education and become a “real” Turkish citizen. unfortunately, most of “Turkish citizens” have been brainwashed, by “wolf packs” for many decades, this is why people like you have a big mouth and less brain…

  17. Frank said:

    There are some really neat posts here
    I like Nazos comment
    It  is our land and we want it.
    We have many Armenians all over the world that will move there.
    Also there are lots of Kurds on our lands.
    We have to live with these  30 million Kurds
    We are Armenians and we cant slaughter them the way Turks slaughered us
    Besides the world has changed it is more civilazied

  18. manooshag said:

    Hye, such a person as a Robert is a prime example of the Turkish leaderships treatment of their own Turkish citizens.  Turkey denials of Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation.  Turkey’s
    leaderships have denied/lied to their own Turkish citizens – by denying and omitting the truths in Turkey’s history books.    Omission of their Genocide while educating their students – who, instead,  are taught to hate the Armenians – victims of the Turkish Genocide.  Sadly Robert and most of his fellow Turkish citizens don’t know of this  lack of these lies  – hence they speak out of ignorance. 
    The whole world knows of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation – except the Turkish citizens of Turkey –  as lied to over the years, by their own leaderships.  Sad.  Actually, perhaps if the citizens of Turkey knew the truths of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation they shall have behaved differently towards these leaders.  Perhaps Turkey would have  taken the civilized and honest approach (rather than denials) of the slaugthers, rapes, and more of the Armenians. Manooshag

  19. Barkev Asadourian said:

    Turkish Citizen
    are you sure what you’r talking about, go to first of all to
    turkish people base which they were tatar, but Armenian Land
    belong to Armenians before Turks they are always big liers
    and always turks.

  20. Barkev Asadourian said:

    Asbed Der Kassabian,
    DITO
    Have them to think seriously about COUP,
    MIAN ZENKOV KAA HAYOTZ PERGOUTYOUN

  21. Nairian said:

    Dr. Babajanian, I know exactly what you’re saying.  Now shouldn’t the intellectuals in our homeland educate the majority of the population of what’s going on with the protocols and where we are heading?  They are doing nothing.  It’s just Tashnagtsoutyun and also Ramgavar parties are heading these demonstrations and the vast majority of the population don’t know the disaster they’re heading to with the signing of the protocols yet.

  22. Andranik Michaelian said:

    The true intellectuals in our homeland are all hungry, so don’t expect a lot from them. Even without them, the people know the dangers of the Protocols. Why didn’t more than 1,000 show up at the rally on Monday? Where were the Dashanks, Ramgavars, and others? Because, as one Dashnak privately told me, there’s no hope, what else can we do, everything is already decided…

  23. Hopar said:

    Yeah “court” rules protocols constitutional… perhaps the “court” would also like to disclose that the members of the court are either Serjhik’s relatives or his cronies on Serjh and Company’s payroll.

  24. Harout said:

    THE PROTOCOL TRAIN is on the road and on schedule to final destination, which is “End of Armenia” and has no breaks!!
    The bottom line is … Serj & his circle sold out Armenia and they can’t return their deposit back so its done…”No stopping to it”  Armenia is about to END  on schedule and thats final.
    “GENOCIDAL MISSION ACCOMPLISHED” Turkey should be congratulated for its bribery which also has State Department on payroll not to mention the Pentagon &…

  25. katia K. said:

    I hate to be adding to the many comments already directed to our “Turkish Citizen”, but I can’t resist…  Turkish Citizen, where do you get your historical information from?  For your own benefit, please do some research, learn about the origins of your ancestry and how the Seljuk Turks came from Central Asia, raided and took over many lands including Armenia.  The true Turkish soil lies somewhere is Central Asia.  The country you call Turkey today, was formed after the fall of the Ottoman Empire which lost among many of its “controlled” countries, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.  It retained the Greek and Kurdish lands by mostly exterminating and massacring, and the Armenian lands by committing Genocide.  Again, the Ottomans, desperate to hang on to some lands to form a Republic with, exterminated the native Armenians from Western Armenia and took over their lands.  You are using the word “subjects” as if it implies being “willing citizens” of a nation.  By definition the word “subject” describes an individual who has been unwillingly subjected to the control of another.  The Ottoman Empire existed for about 600 years, during which it treated the nations it controlled as its God given properties.  Why is it that you don’t feel that the Syrians, the Lebanese and the Palestinians also betrayed you?  They were your “subjects” too!  How is it that you understand their right to exist on their own lands even though the Ottoman Empire ruled them for 600 years also!  I also suggest you study the history of the Armenians.  The Ottoman Empire ruled for 600 years, but Armenia existed on those lands since before the Bible was written.  In the Bible, it says that Noah’s arc rested on the Armenian mountain Ararat.  Your empire was there for 600 years, we have been there for more than 3,000 years.   We had our kings, we were part of the Roman Empire, we even had our own Empire at one point.  All Turkish citizens should be given the chance to freely examine and study their own history.  Your leaders did a LOT OF WRONG.  One of the biggest Wrongs was done to the Armenian people.  The truth that is escaping the world today, is that the current Turkish government is still on its path to annihilate the Armenians.  The current Turkish government is concluding the final stage of Genocide, which is the rewriting, distortion and erasing of history; not only to fool the world but to first and foremost to fool you, the “Turkish Citizen”.  It was wrong and criminal what your ancestors did to mine.  Be strong, study it, face it, acknowledge it and make reparations.  I strongly urge you to read Taner Ackam’s “From Empire to Republic” and “A Shameful Act”.  And yes, he is also a Turkish Citizen.

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