Gul to Sarkisian: Turkey ‘Committed’ to Normalization with Armenia

ANKARA (Combined Sources)–Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Thursday sent a letter to his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarkisian assuring him that Ankara remains committed to agreements with Yerevan to normalize relations and open borders.

Gul’s message was in response to a letter from Sarkisian sent Tuesday, warning Gul that failure to implement the Turkish-Armenian protocols signed in October could roll back the rapprochement between the two nations.

“A situation when words are not supported by deeds gives rise to mistrust and skepticism, providing ample opportunities to counteract for those, who oppose the process,” Sarkisian said in a clear reference to ratification preconditions set by Ankara.

In his response, Gul thanked Sarkisian for the “kind message” but did not specify whether Turkey will unconditionally ratify the protocols anytime soon.

“I welcome the thoughts conveyed to us in your message,” Gul responded in the letter, which was also posted on his website. He said Sarkisian “should have no doubt” about the Turkish government’s determination to promote “mutual understanding and trust among our two neighboring peoples.”

“I also agree with you that responsible governance necessitates both standing behind words and supporting words with deeds,” he wrote. “Hence, we will continue to work for taking our normalization process forward based upon the understanding reached between our two countries.”

Gul said both sides need to be “aware that concluding this historic process will require honoring our commitments in their entirety as well as displaying adequate political courage and vision.”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other Turkish officials have said in recent weeks that the Turkish parliament will not ratify the protocols unless Yerevan addresses their concerns about a ruling handed down by the Armenian Constitutional Court last month. While upholding the legality of the agreements, the court made clear that they can not hinder Yerevan’s pursuit of broader international recognition of the Armenian genocide. It also noted that the protocols could have no bearing on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Turkish leaders say this interpretation is at odds with key protocols provisions, a claim considered to be “exaggerated” by the West and Armenia. Armenia has accused the Turks of seeking more “artificial excuses” to avoid normalizing relations.

Despite that, Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has warned the ruling threatens to derail the normalization process. He complained earlier this week that the court’s decision will limit the “mission” of a historical commission outlined in the protocols.

Turkey has made no secret of its intention to use the commission to question the veracity of the Armenian Genocide. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his government will not submit the agreements to the Turkish Grand National Assembly until Armenia endorses a settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict agreeable to Azerbaijan.

Gul’s letter, however, contained no specific demands to Yerevan. The Turkish president said instead that he will “remain personally engaged in this process hoping to see it reach a satisfactory conclusion for both of our countries.”

We present the letter in its entirety below:

“Your Excellency, Dear Friend,

I would like to thank you for the kind message that you have sent on the occasion of your flight over the Turkish territory. Please accept my reciprocal greetings to you and the people of neighboring Armenia.

I welcome the thoughts conveyed to us in your message. I do share the view that our bilateral efforts aimed at the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations attracted due attention world-wide by creating a new hope for peace in our conflict-ridden geography. Overcoming the long-established prejudices and nurturing mutual understanding and trust among our two neighboring peoples were indeed our main objectives when endorsing the process of normalization between our countries. You should have no doubt that our determination to take these objectives forward is intact, provided that this resolve and commitment remains reciprocal.

I also agree with you that responsible governance necessitates both standing behind words and supporting words with deeds. Hence, we will continue to work for taking our normalization process forward based upon the understanding reached between our two countries. We have to be aware that concluding this historic process will require honoring our commitments in their entirety as well as displaying adequate political courage and vision.

A future characterized by sustainable peace, security, prosperity and cooperation for all the people living in our region is our common goal and I will remain personally engaged in this process hoping to see it reach a satisfactory conclusion for both of our countries.

Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

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10 Comments

  1. manooshag said:

    Hye, Gul lies. As with all the ‘alliances’ Turkey has assumed…. in all these same ‘alliances’ a Turkey has dropped/destroyed/”insulted” and more… If the Turk is ever to be believed by Armenians – ever – it will be the dumbest and most stupid ‘alliance’… based upon a Turkey’s history – going back centuries.
    The Turks know not how to function in the civilized world. All the Turks, Ottoman and in subsequent Turkish leaderships know is to eliminate the existing populations, steal their lands and more, and then act as if they
    are worthy of be recognized by civilized leaderships – but for what?
    Recognized for what? Obviously, only for pursuing Genocides. Currently awaiting in the wings is the
    Kurdish Genocides – already being pursued over many years…. the latest: labeling Kurds as ‘terrorists’ so that the Turk shall feel free to ‘get rid of terrorists’… but Kurds are seeking relief from Turkish tyranny!
    But yet, the Turks, bullying their way into each and every ‘alliance’ each and every organizaition – with the whole world watching… until today, as Turks lie their way through the supposed agreements with the fledgling Armenian nation – still in pursuit of the Armenians – still needing to crush the Armenians….
    When shall the Turk be relieved of this need to destroy all that is Armenian?
    They have tried all their PLOYS – one after another, after many anothers, hoping the Armenians would eventually become extinct – and the Turk shall have won another Genocide. The Turk then shall not have to hire retired U.S. Congressmen (notice not Congresswomen) to whom the Turks has paid millions and millons of dollars to bypass the recognition of the Turkish Genoc ide of the Armenian nation. Well, if the Turks wait anoher 100 years – they may win.
    But today – the world shall know that the Armenians have a covenant with all those who were slaughtered, who were raped, who were kidnapped, burned alive in their churches and, worse, bastinados – vilest pain
    prior to leading to deaths. A covenant which has come down from the Surviviors, and now into the third and fourth generations since the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation – and we shall pursue relentlessly,
    before the world, not just for justice for the Genocide of the Armenian nation – but even further – to join with
    the civlized leaderships of the world to end the cylce of the slaughters, rapes, burning chuches filled with the
    Christian Armenians and shouting ” Where is your Jesus Christ now?” And the vile bastinados – too vile to describe – prior to their deaths!
    Such is the mentality of the Turks from the Asian mountains who still maintain
    their Ottoman mentality (and, believe it or not, even today are proud of this Ottoman history)! Such is the Turk who after living for centuries amongst the cvilized world still maintains the Asian hordes mentality and seeks
    to bully itself into processes where they have not any ability to complete – and then they just move on further to the next PLOY….
    As the Nazi Germans were removed from government in Germany the only hope for the civilized Turkish citizens is the same – removal of the exsisting Ottoman .lead Turkish leaders. Manooshag

  2. Frank said:

    I am not sure but I think Gul is half Armenian or has a grandparent that is Armenian
    If that is true he is a disgrace to the Armenian side of his family.
    What kind of a name is that to give to a group of people
    Turkey.
    I love animals and the animal Turkey is a beautiful animal.
    Unlike those disgusting people Turks
    To use the name of that bird featered specie should not allowed

  3. Lusik said:

    “Mr. President,

    I would like to believe that one day Turkish and Armenian people will be able to send a kind message to each other and actually mean it. I would like to believe that one day Turkish and Armenian people will be able to visit each other land with no other feeling but naively kind. Naive in a sense of natural and coming from the heart. Because hatred in the heart is like no man’s land. None wants to have it. Hatred was your nation’s gift to us.

    Armenians are interesting people – as was many times reiterated since Lord Byron stated. Armenians grasp new spiritual engines, adopt them masterfully for preserving their identity, no matter what are the disasters they face – natural or human made. This resilience to fake – also many times ascribed to my nation, negates any success for a bilateral efforts aimed at the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations. Because even you, even today, Mr. President, do not display a will and a courage to assume that it is not “the long-established prejudices” that fill the abysses of space and time between our nations, but lost and wandering souls of million people massacred in their homes, gardens, schools, …. . You should have no doubt, Mr. President, that Armenians know the legal value of the historical memory. Recognize the Armenian Genocide, Mr. President.

    Protocols turned to be not more than words. The word “sword”, for instance, has simply an extra “s”. But what a big difference it makes! Armenians have chosen more than thousand years ago to secure their identity by cultivating words – Mesrop Mashtots was commissioned to find/create Armenian graphic for Armenian language. Turks, meanwhile, have chosen sword to establish themselves. Yes, there is room for a future between our nations. But Armenians must not see Turks unhappy and unsolved with their past. Armenians want to see their neighbor open minded and speaking freely about his ancestors. Help us to help you. Recognize the Armenian Genocide, Mr. President.

    Future! What a sweet word!

  4. Vacheh said:

    His excellency Sargsyan and his counter excellency Gul think that the Armenian people of Diaspora are naive not to see the games being played. The so called protocol deal will be dragged until about one week prior to April 24 and then it will be ratified swiftly in both parliaments, thus becoming a done deal. If the excellencies are truly committed to opening borders, there is no need to have protocols. There are many neighboring countries in the world that once they decided to open their borders to each other, they did it without any protocols being even written. The true nature of these protocols at this juncture of time is to solidify the “Kars Treaty of 1921″, this time with the signature of the Armenian President.
    My dear fellow Armenians, please visit the museum in the Tsitsernakaberd and see the true nature of the beast. The neo-Ottomans are this time entering with their economic weapons and his excellency Sargsyan is opening the door on them.
    May God be between us and the harm.

  5. Grigor Markaryan said:

    Bravo Manooshag, you said it all! Turks will always stay Turks and the world community knows it very well.
    Turks will never be civilized.

  6. Barry said:

    I am beleiving more and more that Gul has Armanian routs
    He was accused by a female MP in Turkey, that his grandmother was armenian, taken during the genocide by Turks,but eventually told her family her real origin. Gul has that innocent face reminding me of lots of armenians I see in L.A., and have seen in Lebonon before moving here. He is in contrast to snake looking Orgodan or whatever his name is, the PM of Turkey ,or the fox Fm the son of Davood.

  7. Araxi said:

    Forgetting and denying genocide is a recipe for committing yet another genocide.

  8. Hye said:

    Oh PLEASE……!
    Just another stall tactic!
    Just another carrot to dangle in front of the US while begging them not to pass the GENOCIDE resolution!
    I predict this will all be dead come April 25th.
    Unless…….Turkey figures out a way to milk this for another WHOLE year and then they can use it to stall off a vote in 2011!

  9. Ishkhan said:

    DEAR COMPATRIOT MANOOSHAG, YOU ARE 100% RIGHT SOMEBODY (ARMENIAN OR ANY EUROPEAN) SHOULD BE VERY STUPID TO BELIEVE WHAT GUL SAYS…….

  10. Henrik Dumanian said:

    Manooshag,

    I disagree. Turks can be trusted — just not yet.

    The Armenians will know that they can trust the Turks when we see fundamental changes in their society. Half-honest and deceptive diplomatic ventures, open borders, or the like shouldn’t mean we should embrace them. It means we should extend our left hand to them and hold a stick in the other. These fundamental changes in their society will start with, of course, recognition of the genocide — but also a much broader recognition of their past sins, and a shift towards a truly tolerant policy towards minorities, Turkish civil society, and academia.

    But the “the Turks can never be trusted mentality,” while understandable, is equally destructive.

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