Turkey to Seek ‘Dialogue’ With Select Armenian Diaspora Groups

ANKARA (Combined Sources)—Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with Turkey’s diplomats in North America on Wednesday to relay orders for the envoys to start “opening dialogue” with certain Armenian Diaspora groups in the United States and Canada, the Turkish Today’s Zaman newspaper reported.

The Turkish Foreign Minister met with Ankara’s ambassadors to Washington and Ottawa, as well as the Consul Generals of Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and Toronto. He told the diplomats to “engage in dialogue with the Armenian Diaspora and to strengthen this dialogue.”

According to anonymous diplomatic sources quoted by the Anatolian News Agency, Turkey would prioritize contact with Armenian groups who are open to dialogue. The same sources indicated that dialogue with “hard-line groups” was not a priority for Turkey, at least at the moment.

“It is impossible to finalize the normalization of bilateral relations with Armenia without having the Diaspora involved in the process,” Davutolgu said, according to diplomatic sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, the Anatolia News Agency reported.

Davutoglu, meanwhile, told reporters Wednesday that Turks and Armenians “in Paris and Boston” should sit together and attempt to reconcile their memories of what the Turks call the tragic events that took place in 1915.

In 1915 the Ottoman Turkish government set out to annihilate the indigenous Armenian population inhabiting the lands under its dominion. Between 1915-1923, the government executed a systematic campaign to exterminate the Armenian people and remove them from their historic homeland.

The Armenian Genocide, recognized as the first genocide of the 20th century by historians the world over, resulted in the death of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians and the loss of millions of dollars in property and land now under occupation by the Republic of Turkey.

Turkey, however, insists there was no crime and the murders were merely terrible deaths resulting from the collapse of an empire.

“We made some outreach to the American Diaspora,” he said in remarks that appeared to reference the Boston area as home to a large Armenian community. “We told them ‘Our archives are open. We are ready to discuss everything.’”

Davutoglu said that members of the Turkish parliament have discussed passing a resolution condemning the US genocide against Native Americans in retaliation for the bill in Congress, but that he has not encouraged such a measure.

“You can create a success story out of history,” he said. “You can create hatreds as well.”

He said that Turkey had reached out to neighboring Armenia with signs of friendship and he remains hopeful that the Turkish parliament will eventually pass a law that will help normalize relations, although he said he is not sure if there are enough votes yet.
“As Turkey, we are ready to share the pain of our Armenian neighbors,” he said.

But his comments fell far short of the acknowledgment of suffering that millions of Armenians want to hear.

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9 Comments

  1. rostom said:

    Davutoglu to Turkish Ambassadors and Consuls: “Let the divide and conquer begin”

  2. agabri said:

    This is another ploy by the Turkish government to divide the Armenian Diaspora. Starting a dialogue with “selected” Armenian diaspora groups will certainly start a flame among Armenian groups. Those who are left out of the dialogue, namely ARF and other hardliners, will call the other groups (i.e. AAA) traitors. This is reminiscent of the infamous TARC which caused a big rift between ARF and AAA. I hope These two diasporan advocacy groups will not fall into this trap and will not allow the Turkish government to marginalize the Armenian Diaspora in United States.

  3. Vacheh said:

    Mr. Davutoglu was partially successful in 2009 to create spilt between Armenian Government and the Armenian people living in Diaspora. Lator on the Armenian administration adjusted its approach on the issues of “Genocide Recognition” and “not Linking protocols to the Karabagh issue”. Now the Turkish administration is trying with a second trick to create another split among Armenians living in Diaspora. This is perhaps based on their experience in 2004 by the formation of “failure bound” TARC group. Two Points:

    1)- Given the wisdom of the past experience, it is certain that ARF shall never entertain such devious attempts by Mr. Davutoglu. It would be very unlikely that the Turkish diplomats will ever dare to talk to ARF.

    2)- I hope that the Armenian government and all Armenian prominent parties will send a clear and loud message to Mr. Davutoglu to indicate that Armenian people speak with one voice and such futile attempts would never produce a desirable outcome for Turkey.

    Turkey should realize that it has an internal homework to do to fix his past approaches, before talking to us.

  4. SARKIS YERAMIAN said:

    This is a wake up call to all Armenians all over the world. I am not membership payin Tashnak but I see that the ARF is an organization with the best discipline in our reality with all its branches.
    Therfore I call upon all Loyal Armenians, particularly those who are breaking our unity we have to be UNITED to cary our obligation towards our nation that comes from thousand of years.
    Those who break the line are not Armenians.

  5. Vazken said:

    Does this conniving clown think he can drive a wedge between diaspora Armenians, for some reason he must think highly of himself, typical Turkish hubris.

  6. katiakarageuzian said:

    Since when does a criminal negotiate with the victim's party to see if he can coax them into forgetting the crime? The Diaspora should be warned about this new “attempt to weezle out of the obvious”, and should be discouraged to take part in this new denialist program. Turkey's attempt to approach the Turkish Armenians especially should be viewed as “harrassment”.

  7. mihran13 said:

    Diasporans should'nt allow turkish policy makers to devide our united front….it is tempting and fragile..we all know that armenians and Armenia need to dialogue…therefore the best way out is to work together with our goverment…creatinfg a common front …even if not everything is to the diasporan understandings.otherwise we might lose our gains..this is a new test to our unity….

  8. barkevasadourian said:

    TO TURK REGIME REMEMBER!!!
    NO DIALOGUE UNLESS RECOGNIZATION OF GENOCIDE BY YOU.
    NO DIPLOMATIC RELATION AS MENTION ABOVE
    NO GOOD NEIGHBERHOOD DITTO AS ABOVE
    NO ANY TYPE OF CONNECTION UNLESS TO REGONIZE THE GENOCIDE DONE BY YOUR PEOPLE
    NO BORDER OPENING UNLESS THE ABOVE REASON AND LOT MORE…..CRIMERS AND NAKED PEOPLE
    ENOUGH LIENG TO THE WORLD FOR 95 YEARS
    YOU ARE STILL WHOLE ARMENIANS IN THE WORLD NO ONE ENEMY STOP DENYING
    THIS IS MAJOR ALL ARMENIANS REQUIST

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