PACE President’s Agenda Could Spell Trouble for Armenia

BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

President of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe, Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in Yerevan Wednesday amid controversy because he refused to visit Dzidzernagapert, forcing Armenian authorities to change the nature of his trip from an “official” visit to that of a “working” one and sparking a boycott of meetings by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.

Cavusoglu met with President Serzh Sarkisian, who expressed hope that the PACE delegation visit would shape a more objective view of Armenia and the challenges in the region. “This visit will provide an opportunity to discuss issues on our agenda, and I’m confident that it will contribute to the deepening of cooperation between the Republic of Armenia and the Council of Europe, particularly the cooperation between the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Armenian National Assembly,” said Sarkisian.

The PACE President said “a close cooperation has been established with the Armenian delegation to PACE.” He also praised Armenia’s progress in implementing democratic reforms and fighting corruption. Cavusoglu said that as newly elected PACE President he prioritizes the deepening relations between the Assembly and member states, and excludes the use of double standards toward member states to ensure an objective and balanced attitude toward everyone. But is Cavusoglu sincere in his assertion of not applying double-standards? Upon his election, Cavusoglu, who is one of the founders of the ruling Justice and Development Party in Turkey and has served in the Turkish parliament since 2002, expressed his intention to reestablish the PACE subcommittee on Nagorno-Karabakh, which has been dormant since 2008 after the death of its chairman, Russell Johnston.

However, soon after assuming the PACE presidency, Cavusoglu told the Azeri APA news agency that “Karabakh is referred to as Azerbaijani territory in all Council of Europe decisions.” “The Karabakh conflict is one of the most urgent issues in the region and hinders the normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey. I’m saying this not because I’m a Turk, but because this is the truth,” added Cavusoglu.

However, in a phone conversation with the Armenian Parliament Speaker Hovik Abrahamian, Cavusoglu refuted the above statements, saying “it was a result of bad translation and wrong perceptions in Azerbaijan.”

In a later interview with the Turkish Haberturk TV, Cavusoglu discussed the Armenian Genocide in the following manner: “Although Armenia accuses us of committing genocide, it has no proofs of the fact, since we have not perpetrated genocide. Armenians themselves have perpetrated genocide in Khojaly and its history is still very fresh.”

His statements before visiting Armenia, coupled with his insistence on not going to Dzidzernagapert are enough to justify the ARF boycott of the Cavusoglu visit to Yerevan. “In effect, Mr. Cavusoglu is making no secret of the fact that he is visiting Armenia not so much as the head of the PACE but as a Turkish politician. Given these circumstances, our faction does not find it appropriate to meet with him,” said a letter sent by the ARF parliamentary faction to Abrahamian Tuesday announcing the party’s decision to boycott meetings with the visiting PACE leader.

Government sources confirmed that Cavusoglu informed the Armenian authorities that he would not make the customary visits that all foreign dignitaries make to Dzidzernagapert. In an interview with RFE/RL’s Armenian service Tuesday, ARF parliamentary faction president Vahan Hovannesian said: “Naturally, Cavusoglu was always going to be a Turkish president [of the PACE] and place Turkish interests above everything else,” he said. “For no Turkish politician has reached the level of European broad-mindedness and will reach it in the foreseeable future.”

In a customarily Turkish manner, by praising Armenia’s “progress in implementing democratic reforms,” Cavusoglu exonerated official Yerevan of all of its past wrongdoings vis-à-vis the March 1 incidents and gained free reign to govern PACE as he sees fit. When the Armenian authorities agreed to change the format of the visit at Cavusoglu’s insistence, they effectively gave the PACE president a green light, instead of actively working to neutralize this dangerous and politically-charged approach.

The so-called opposition and ruling parties’ naïveté in moving forward with meetings plays right into the agenda that Cavusoglu is eager to advance.

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17 Comments

  1. Grish Begian said:

    Cavusoglu does not represent PACE, he represent Turkey in European Contint, he is for Europe, in order to promote Muslim Turks into EU …this should be a good warning for those sympathizers, who wish Turkey to be joined with EU department..

  2. MihranK said:

    Don’t be ever fooled that Mevlut Cavusoglu represents the interests of Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe,NO,he represents Turkish and Turkic interests.

    Armenia should move against this background.

  3. manooshag said:

    Cavsuoglu, when he speaks of the Karabagh/Artsakh issue – as a representative from the Turkish government, says he speaks the truth – but all shall know, there is the TRUTHS

  4. manooshag said:

    Cavsuoglu, when he speaks of the Karabagh/Artsakh issue – as a representative from the Turkish government, says he speaks the truth – but all know, there are TRUTHS – and there are the Turkish
    ‘truths’ as only the Turk can lie… as only the Turk’s convoluted Ottoman mentality interprets – lying –
    that there was never a Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation – Cavsuoglu, the world recogonizes…
    Turks guilt. You are as the in the children’s fairy tale, THE EMPERORS’ CLOTHES, thinking he was parading his new clothes – until a child called out – the emperor is wearing only underwear!!
    Manooshag

  5. Frank said:

    Cavsuoglu is s Turk that is only interested in the agenda of Turkish government, they have no understanding or concept of real European values, which by the way is derived from Christian democratic values.

    Turkey has no place in Europe, simply adopting Latin alphabet and acting European does not qualify them, they talk the talk but refuse to walk the walk.

    Thank you ARF for standing up for our 1.5M martyrs at the hands of Cavsuoglu’s ancestors.

  6. Barkev Asadourian said:

    ABSOLUTLY, FRANK
    TURKEY IS NOT A MEMBER IN EUROPEN UNION,
    WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON IN EUROPE?

  7. Seervart Kerbeykian said:

    I agree with all the comments above, and I must add that I fully stand with A.R.F.’s boycott not to have the Turkish Cavusoglu to come to Armenia and not visit Dsidsernagapert mustn’t be taken lightly. He is a real denialist Turk in a sheepskin — he is a denialist turk in a european attire. What business does he have coming to Armenia on behalf of Europe is beyond me. The Armenian government should have stopped him and sent him back where he came from. I wish our government officials in Armenia would start showing their strength towards the enemy and start following in ARF’s footsteps.

  8. Bobken said:

    I have no idea why The Armenian government is always and always have to step down on these issues.
    why they never and ever speak up, come on that is an insult.

  9. Ergun Kirlikovali said:

    Cavusoglu is correct in pointing out to Armenia that Karabakh conflict is blocking normalization efforts. Armenians may still think that might makes right, but it doesn’t. Armenia must end its brutal military occupation in karabakh and the sevne Azeri rayons surrounding it, if Armenia wants to snap out of its poverty, corruption, and violence. These may be hard for manipulative and deceptive Armenian radicals like the ARF lot to swallow, but swallow they will, sooner or later.

    On the alleged genocide front I can simply say this: these claims are based on a racist and dishonest interpretation of history designed to white wash the terible mistakes of the ARF leaders during WWI when they led the Armenians down a path of revolts, treason, terrorism, and thus, self destruction. Don’t believe me? read your own literature: Read Katchaznouni’s 1923 address to ARF convention in Bucharest “ARF Has Nothing To Do Anymore”. And the letters written by Boghos Nubar to Paris Peace Conference and London Times. read and, please, wake up. This obsession with deception and lies is taking Armenian down the path of self destruction… AGAIN!

  10. jacque said:

    Mr. Ergun.
    Wake up and smell the truth.
    Turkie is build on the blod of the natives of that land. If the ARMENIAN GENOCIDE was a hundred years ago
    and the memorie of that is a little fuzie for you, look at what your governement is doing to Kurds today.
    History is repeating it self, and Turkie should be stopped.
    Don’t talk about radicals, when your countrymen are gunning down jurnalist in the midle of the streets and silencing the free will of honest Turks.
    By the way from corruption, violence and poverty stand point , Armenia is doing much better then Turkie
    consedering the ages of the two republics.
    In the end the only people whoe are going to swallow anything are the Turks.
    Justice will prevail and the truth can never be tainted.
    As for your Azeri brothers, they will realise that oil wont change the reality of the day and they should SWALLOW theire pride and move on with theire lives. Artsakh was never and will never be part of Azerbeijan.
    In the end we are all neighbors and we should start to think on how to get allong, fairly.

  11. Seervart Kerbeykian said:

    Dear Jacque, you made excellent points and I agree with you wholeheartedly.

    Ergun, you seem to be another specimen of your denialist government’s lies, obsessions with ARF and more lies. Jacque above made very good points that it is you who should wake up and smell the coffee. Todate there are 21 countries who accepted the Armenian Genocide, more than 40 states in America and it has been proved by more than 30 years of vigilant, honest study of reputable historians who were made up from various nationalities. We know that your Turkish government tries to cover up their past government’s belligerent and murderous behaviours who have atrociously killed innocent civilians of more than 1.5 Million Armenians; just because they were Armenian. They also atrociously murdered 800,000 Christian Assyrians and 800,000 Christian Greeks.

    Ergun, history cannot be rewritten by you, the likes of you nor by your denialist Turkish government… not today nor in the future.

  12. rany said:

    if turkey and the turks want to show good will toward Armenians firsly they should admit the Genocide secondly they should withdraw from west Armenian ocupied lands then we can can think how we can be good nieghbours who cares with Turkish ecomomy when China exists

  13. harut said:

    Hayer jan axr es b….i vastake ova vor sra hamar el energia ek varum turke mnuma turk uzuma voski lini uzuma arsat lini mi hat xosk unem yes turke inchkan el voski lini hens dnes grpanet vraz ksakvi grpanet
    inchem uzum asel turki het sexan nstele izura joxovurt jan ha haskanum em politica en xaxum bays esor mer joxovurte et jamanake chuni vor xaxer xaxan arek mtasenk te vonsenk patrastvelu vor versnenk azerbejani myus 20% ay arek drans masin mtasenk kamel myus 25% u enens anenk vor mer papenakan
    harstutyune ayo hens Mantashovi yuxi hankere het versnenk

  14. Vatche said:

    Mr. Kirlikovali,
    Don’t pretend to be concerned for Armenia’s well being. Why don’t you pay attention to the poverty, illiteracy, corruption and violence in your native Turkey first? At least 20% or your people live in poverty by international standards; 40% of your people in Eastern Anatolia can’t read and that is a chronic problem; corruption is such a big problem in your country that your government has publicly made it a priority to fight it; and each week several women are killed in cold blooded “honor killings” that are tolerated by your society. Why don’t you worry about your own problems instead of feigning concern for Armenia or Armenians? And who are you to talk about a brutal military occupation of any territory? Turkish history is full of brutal military occupations of other people’s territories including the native territories of the Armenians, the Kurds, and the Greeks. There is no brutal military occupation of Karabakh. There is peace, stability, and democracy in Karabakh. Your comment is meant purely to add false drama to a situation that doesn’t exist. These are the kinds of ridiculous comments that you also post on your website, which is full of the racist and dishonest interpretations of history that you accuse Armenians of putting forth. You live in a glass house Mr. Kirlikovali. You should not throw stones.

  15. Garo said:

    Vatche jan,
    Don’t waste your time with Ergun effendi. He is the President of the ATAA and is also the individual who demanded that campus police eject three Armenians from the genocide denial lecture held at Northwestern University on April 10, even though they were sitting quietly. Like his neo-Ittihadist buddies in Ankara, his solution for dealing with Armenians is to get rid of them.

  16. Vatche said:

    Thank you Garo. These are the program notes for the Northwestern lecture that you mentioned.

    Turkish American Cultural Alliance of Chicago (TACA)

    in collaboration with the

    Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA)

    Capital Forum and National Speakers Bureau Program

    Proudly Presents

    *Prof. Türkkaya ATAÖV**

    “Turks & Armenians: What Really Happened on April 24, 1915”

    &

    *Ergun Kırlıkovalı**

    “Advocacy: The art of influencing public policy through proactive public
    education”

    *Date: Saturday, April 10th 2010*

    *Time: 2:00PM-5:00PM*

    *Place: Baldwin Auditorium – Lurie Research Building*

    *Northwestern University*

    *302 E. Superior Street, Chicago 60611*

    *Sponsored by Turkish Coalition of America*

    There has been a big question as to what really took place on April 24,
    1915, in the Ottoman Empire. Various ethnic interest groups have offered
    conflicting versions of the events.

    On April 24, 1915, 235 leaders out of 77,735 Armenians of Istanbul were
    moved to and placed under house arrest in the Anatolian city of Çankırı.
    They were free to move about the city in the day time, and confined to house
    arrest at night. All were eventually released. One died due to natural
    causes. Two were murdered by two hooligans, who were tried and executed for
    their crimes.

    In May 1915, many Armenians in the eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire
    were relocated from the war zones in response to the Armenian Revolt which
    reached its most destructive point in the Van Revolt of March 1915. In June
    1915, the relocation reached port cities in Western Anatolia, where Armenian
    rebels were importing and transporting arms and ammunition to Armenian
    nationalists in the east.

    In November 1915, the relocation ended. The relocation was a military
    response to a military problem. Having initially “slaughtered about 120,000
    non-Armenians” in Eastern Anatolia, as recorded even by the British, and
    seized control of the Ottoman city of Van, with the backing of the invading
    Russians, the Armenians posed a great military danger to the 3rd, 4th, and
    the 6th Ottoman armies, as well as to the Ottoman civilian Muslim and Jewish
    populations.

    There is absolutely no similarity between the Armenian case and the
    Holocaust, as Jews never engaged in an armed revolt to create a Jewish state
    in Germany. To equate the Armenian case with genocide, is to dilute the
    definition of genocide and understate the suffering of the Jews.

    Whether the events of 1915 constitute genocide is not a political question,
    where truth may be sacrificed for election purposes at Congressional
    district levels. History and jurisprudence have their own methodologies
    that should be respected by all.

    In an ATAA national speaking tour, Prof. Türkkaya Ataöv, a highly respected
    historian and professor will give a lecture on the political landscape and
    events of April 24, 1915 which will serve to enlighten the general public
    with a view toward reconciliation based on truth. Details of this lecture
    are included herein.

    ** Türkkaya Ataöv is Professor Emeritus in International Relations at Ankara
    University, Turkey. He did his graduate work in the United States, where he
    received two M.A.s (NYU & Syracuse Univ.) and a Ph.D. (1959, Syracuse U.,
    NY). He taught at Ankara Univ. for more than four decades and lectured in
    several American, British, Russian, German, Dutch, Indian, Chinese, Middle
    Eastern, African and Australian universities.*

    *He is the author of close to 140 books (most of which have been in foreign
    languages and printed in Europe or in the Americas), a few hundred academic
    treaties, and a few thousand newspaper articles. His writings have been
    translated into 20 languages and appeared in 17 European, 13 Asian, 5
    African, and 3 American states plus Australia…*

    *He was elected to central executive positions of UN-related international
    organizations, dealing with racial discrimination, human rights, terrorism,
    nuclear war, and exchange of prisoners of war.*

    *Professor Ataöv published 80 books or booklets on the Armenian issue, was
    invited (as “witness of authority”) by the Paris court to the two (1984 &
    1985) trials of Armenian terrorists, participated in the UN (1985) Geneva
    meetings of the Human Rights Commission on the Genocide Convention, and
    partook in several meetings of the European Parliament that dealt with the
    Armenian issue.*

    *Professor Ataöv received 17 academic awards or medals in recognition of his
    published works and activities. They include two (Italian and Federal
    Yugoslavian) presidential medals, two UN-affiliated awards, and several
    honorary doctorates and academic citations.*

    ** Ergün Kırlıkovalı is the President Elect (2009-11) of the Assembly of
    Turkish American Associations. He was born in Izmir, Turkey, attended Robert
    College, Istanbul, Turkey, received his BS degree in Chemistry from Bogazici
    University and MS degree in Polymer Science from the University of
    Manchester, England. He conducted research on polymers in Holland and
    Austria. He was employed as a product development and research chemist in
    San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York. Currently, he is the founding
    president of his company, which conducts research and development on new
    materials based on interpenetrating network polymers.*

    *Mr. Kırlıkovalı found himself in need of promoting and defending Turkish
    culture and heritage due to a relentless barrage of unsolicited and
    unjustified anti-Turkish attacks by Armenian and Greek lobbies and others in
    America. He had written more than 5,000 letters to the editors, news
    programmers, panelists, politicians, academicians, and other opinion-makers.
    He also appeared on TV and radio shows and participated in conferences and
    panels in universities and colleges in an effort to present the other side
    of the story and fight against discrimination and censorship fostered by a
    surprisingly racist and dishonest version of history persistently promoted
    by anti-Turkish lobbies.*

    *He has served as president of American-Turkish Association of Southern
    California, Public Relations Committee Chairman and later Western U.S.
    Regional Director for the Federation of Turkish American Associations in New
    York and ATAA in Washington DC.*

    *He is married, has one son, and lives in Southern California.*

*

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