Erdogan Warns Armenian Court Ruling Could Derail Protocols

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the 2009 World Economic Forum Summit in Davos, Switzerland.

ANKARA (Hurriyet)—Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan complained Wednesday that a ruling by a Armenia’s Constitutional Court could derail efforts to ratify agreements committing the two countries to normalizing relations pending in the parliaments of both countries.

Erdogan made his remarks while on an official trip to Saudi Arabia. He said the court’s reference both to the “killing of Armenians” and to the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh is problematic. “This will challenge the process unless the mistake is corrected. It’s definitely unacceptable to Turkey,” Erdogan told a news conference.

On January 12, Armenia’s Constitutional Court upheld the constitutionality of the protocols, which had been submitted to it by President Serzh Sarkisian. The court found, however, that the documents cannot have any connection with the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process or impede Armenia of its pursuit of international recognition of the Armenia Genocide. To reinforce the latter point, the Court referenced Article 11 of Armenia’s Declaration of Independence, which states: “The Republic of Armenia stands in support of the task of achieving international recognition of the 1915 Genocide in Ottoman Turkey and Western Armenia.”

“We have never taken the protocol to our Constitutional Court. We took it directly to our Parliament, without making changes. We didn’t employ a mediator on the text. We didn’t carry out any read-between-the-lines operations. This is a proof of our sincerity. Armenia has tried to change the text,” he said.

The accords, signed by the foreign ministers of Turkey and Armenia in October 2009, need parliamentary approval in both countries for ratification. Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which controls parliament, has stonewalled the agreements, refusing to vote on them until Armenia agrees to settle the Karabakh conflict on Azerbaijan’s terms.

Another source of uneasiness for Ankara, Erdogan said, is the ruling’s fourth article, which stipulates that the mutual obligations being undertaken by the protocols are being conducted under principles of international law.

The court also said the protocols have an exclusively bilateral and interstate nature and do not concern any third party. But analysts close to the situation say that the final provision was interpreted as a response to Turkey’s linking of the protocols’ success with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Turkey has repeatedly said progress on full normalization with Armenia depends on Yerevan making concessions in its unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan over the occupied province.


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  1. Varooj Baboomian said:

    Now turky is showing its true face regarding protocols and its position towards Armenia and Armenian nation. I hope all those countries who contributed to the protocols to be sighned see this attitude and think twice when it comes to imposing terms and treaties on Armenians. turky will start its intimidations and intrigues. It is up to us Armenians as a nation to stand up as we did before against turkish intimidations and bully.

  2. Look To Erdogan said:

    It was Erdogan who threw the first monkey-wrench into the Protocols when he responded to  Charlie Rose on his program that the Armenian Genocide is a lie. At that point, he threw the Protocols out the window, as the Protocols stipulated that the Genocide issue would be discussed in a historical commission. As such, Erdogan effectively killed the Protocols on that program.

  3. John said:

    Is this guy a total idiot? Or maybe his medication is running out? Isn’t it him that has totally deviated from the initial signing of the protocols by linking it to a resolution to the Karabagh conflict in favor of the Azeri’s?

  4. raffi said:

    And now he has another problem to deal with rather than Nagorno-Karabakh conflict .

  5. Grish Begian said:

    Armenian leaders should learn from our sad and terrible history, and avoid to engage any political activities with Turkish speaking nations…they are not and will not be our friends…if they don’t kill us, but they will cheat , lie, back stab us, in international communities.. they will represent Armenians, as unimportant, stupid, war maniac people, nothing else, just the way they do to Kurds…

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  7. Papken Hartunian said:

    ““We have never taken the protocol to our Constitutional Court. We took it directly to our Parliament, without making changes. We didn’t employ a mediator on the text. We didn’t carry out any read-between-the-lines operations. This is a proof of our sincerity. Armenia has tried to change the text,” he said.”
    false false false

    Linking settlement of Artsakh before ratification of protocols is reading-between-the-lines. This is clear counter-example of your theory of sincerity. Therefore, you do not have sincerity.   If you are the dictator of the protocols, then, of course, you don’t need to change it before submitting to your Parliament. Furthermore, your Constitution does not require doing so. However, our Constitution requires submitting the protocols to clarify their constitutionality before ratification. Our Constitutional Court is not a mediator. If you are planning to be our friend, you must respect our institutions first. If you have a democratic nation-state, then you should not speak for your Parliament. Let your Parliament to decide whether the protocols are not acceptable. And, I hope they don’t. By the way, your friend under your supervision continuously is threatening Artsakh and Armenia. For your information, any agreement reached under duress is voidable under international law as well as according most national laws. Under these circumstance, claiming good faith does not hold that much water. So, how one can find any sincerity in your mind.

  8. Samvel said:

    Regardless of who started 1st and what they said/commented, miss presented or put any sort of preconditions … I’m glad to hear that this protocol is going to die in a shitty trash can. It was a mistake in the 1st place to have deal with Turks. Sarkisyan/Nalbandyan did mistake to sign these protocols; Turks overwhelmed with their victory; asked more and loose everything. I truly applause Turks stand that killed these protocols…hurrah…
    Sometimes we have to count our enemies stupidity to expect an outcome like this…
    I’ll give a credit to Sarkisyan/Nalbandyan if they had planned this kind of outcome by saying YES then expecting Turks to shut down the show with their own hand…bravo…
    But wait…
    Turks can still go head and ratify protocols…Armenians must pursue the same “letter and spirit” of this last development to CLARIFY MUCH MORE DETAILS on provisions and underline texts then it spelled in the protocols. Namely the border issue…

  9. John Karasarkissian said:

    Typical Turkish diplomacy. What else you expect from a Turk. The problem is, they have all the trump cards that count in front of all the powers that are trying to impose this protocols on Armenia.

  10. Dave said:

    The protocols might be derailed?   Terrific!
    What else can be done to make this happen sooner?

  11. Nairian said:

    Is this guy real?  As a democratic country which Turkey is not, Armenia must take the protocols to a Constitutional Court before submitting to the Parliament for ratification.  It is not our fault if Turkey is not a democratic state.  Turkey is the one who closed their borders with Armenia for 18 years – a fact that under international law is illegal and they must remunerate Armenia for doing it in the first place.  Furthermore, it is Turkey who put the pre-conditions in the protocols demanding No. 1) that Armenia must recognize their borders, which are stolen lands and Western Armenia belongs to the Armenian people; No. 2) Despite the fact that the Armenian Genocide was recognized by 20 countries, including the League of Nations and a respectable Committee has been formed for almost 30 years; denialist Turkey demanded another sub-committee to be formed to verify the Genocide recognition; No. 3) They now wish to link Nagorno-Gharapagh “Artsakh” to be given back to the Azeri-tatars, something that was not initially linked or written in the protocols.

    Let the world see that Turkey can never be relied upon and they are showing their true colors once more.  Sarkissian and Nalbandyan were at fault to begin with to try and gain friendship with the Turks.  If the Turks cannot annihilate us, they will cheat, lie and speak from both ends of their mouth and continue to deny; a fact that is the continuation of the Genocide.

    • Papken Hartunian said:

      “Turkey is the one who closed their borders with Armenia for 18 years. …they must remunerate Armenia for doing so ”
      I agree. However, I would like to add the followings.
      We must stop talking the current boarder as between Turkey and Armenia. The  so called “current border”  is between Armenia and Armenia. We must call it the checkpoints as the Constitutional Court is referring to. My argument with the government of Armenia is that they claim the opening these closed checkpoints will enhance the economy of the Armenia tremendously. If it is true, then how come Armenia does not claim its loss of economy for last 18 years?  By the way, I suggest all Armenians to consult with Webster Dictionary regarding the meaning of the word “Turk.”

      • Nairian said:

        Thank you Papken, your addition and insights are well taken.  Of course, the borders are closed between Armenia and Armenia as the Western Armenian lands have been and still is Western Armenia.  Good point and it is right there in our Constitutional Court’s verbatim.  Your second point is close to what I was referring to that after Turkey closed their borders with Armenia, they owe Armenia a tremendous amount of money for the economical loss and plus they are not allowed to do that with a neighbouring country as per international law, otherwise they are liable to pay up, that’s what I was referring to.  And you added another good point, that if it meant so much for Armenian economy than the governments of our Republic should have made that claim, what they have been waiting for?  In other words; who are they kidding?  Papken, also read the word “Turk” in

  12. Rich said:

    Why did the Armenian Government get mixed-up with these untrustworthy Turks in the first place??

    Turkey’s agenda is PanTurkism nothing less. They will physically kill again if given the opportunity, but now choose a bloodless killing through draconian foreign policies.

  13. Haro Mherian, Ph.D. Mathematics, UCLA said:

    Այս մարդը բարեկենդանի պատմութիւնը երեւի չի լսել։ Դէ ուզում ես Սահմանադրական Դատարանում դատապարտուես Ցեղասպանութեան համար, այն էլ բոլոր աշխարհի լսափողից։ Լաւ բան են սարքել դատարանում, բայց երանի մի քիչ աւելի բարձրաձայն ասէին աշխարհին։ Ինձ թւում է այստեղ Ազնաւուրի խելօք հոտն է գալիս։

  14. immortal Souls of western Armenia risen said:

    Oh yeah bebe, you go man you go, you go be mad bebe, you go be mad, yeah bebe, yeah! am loving it when this guy speaks anywhere anytime, yeah you go bebe! oh, it’s so fun! he is now complaining that he doesn’t want the protocols to be under the principles of international law, ooh, don’t you love it? you go prime minister of Turkey, you are the man! good thing, now everyone in the world can see Hitler reincarnated, Nazi’s are back run bebe run!

  15. Alex Postallian said:

    How naive will the Armenians continue to be,believing the politicians promises,i.e. Bush,now obama.Do you know when a turk lies,when he moves his lips.We are also  ignoring another factor.. Our state dept,misguided,incompetent people,or on the take,babseech oriented.

  16. Kiazer Souze said:

    The declaration of independance, the preeamble, the constitution are things Turkey or the oligarch stooges are things that they cannot change. The minute they do that, then you will have Armenia go down the toilet because no one will trust it (not that anyone trusts it now). That translates into: no business, no commerce, no foriegn investments, no EU membership, no foriegn aid, no cooperation with other countries, etc…etc….

    That is what they want.  

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  18. Nairian said:

    If the government of Armenia (namely Sarkisian and Nalbandyan) ignore the Constitutional court’s decision and do not amend the protocols along the lines of Armenia’s Declaration of Independence and only then submit it to the Armenian Assembly for ratification; then the people of Armenia with the help of the Diaspora must do an immediate coup d’etat.  Because a democratic governmnet MUST adhere to their Constitution’s court and their country’s Declaration of Independence.  Something that the ARF said and infomed them about a month ago that if Sarkisian and Nalbandyan go against Armenia’s Constitution and the Declaration of Independence; ARF will sue the government.  I believe if and when that happens, Armenia’s population must rise and do coup d’etat to the existing government for the sake of the State’s sovereignty.  For the sake of their existence and the future of owning their land. 

  19. Kiazer Souze said:

    He spoke like a true Ghengis Khan mongol. Funny thing, I used to think eating too much rice gives you Down Syndrome.

    I think he has some of that.