Turks and Azeris Alarmed that Tuvalu May Recognize Artsakh

Harut Sassounian


March 16, 2012 was like any other day at the United Nations, when the representatives of Armenia and Tuvalu signed a joint declaration establishing diplomatic relations. Tuvalu is a tiny state in the South Pacific, much smaller than Manhattan, with a population barely over 10,000! Who would have thought that such a routine announcement would alarm Turkey and Azerbaijan?

This news item would have been ignored by the world media were it not for the “acute” eyes of Ugur Ergan, the “astute” reporter of the Turkish Hurriyet newspaper. He brought Tuvalu out of its obscurity for a short while, making it the most talked about country in Turkish and Azerbaijani circles. Ergan quoted unnamed Ankara officials as stating that Armenia had established diplomatic relations and offered tons of money to Tuvalu, so that it would be the first country to recognize Artsakh (Nagorno Karabagh) as an independent state!

Ergan further disclosed that Ankara is “disturbed” by Tuvalu’s possible recognition of Artsakh, suspecting that Armenia would do what Turkish officials have done for decades — buying political favors in return for lucrative gifts. They attribute to others what they routinely practice themselves. As the Holy Bible states, they see the splinter in someone else’s eye, but fail to notice the beam in their own eye!

Even more alarmed were Azerbaijan’s officials who assumed that Tuvalu would shortly recognize Artsakh. Aydin Mirzazade, a Parliamentarian from the ruling New Azerbaijan Party, in an interview with reporter I. Isabalayeva, ridiculed Tuvalu’s readiness “to recognize any state, even a non-existent country, for a small amount of money.” Mirzazade understands well the practice of buying favors. It has been widely reported that Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister put his country’s immense petrodollars to “good use” last year by providing generous financial inducements to poor nations in exchange for their votes for a UN Security Council seat.

Azerbaijan was following its elder brother’s, Turkey’s, footsteps at vote buying at the UN. Gareth Jenkins reported in the Eurasian Daily Monitor that the Turkish government had enticed to Istanbul the leaders of Tuvalu, Tonga, Nauru, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Palau, Fiji, Micronesia, and Samoa to secure their votes for Turkey’s membership in the UN Security Council. Those who have never heard of these Pacific islands should not feel embarrassed. Turkey’s former Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Shener had the honesty to confess: “I had never heard of the names of some of them before, but they all have a vote at the UN.” Turkey’s scheme succeeded. It gained a seat on the UN Security Council in 2008 by offering tens of millions of dollars to dozens of little-known countries in far-flung corners of the world.

Yilmaz Ozdil, a more forthright commentator for Hurriyet, boldly countered Ergan’s report, confirming that Turkey was the first to offer “bribes” to Tuvalu and many others. Ozdil disclosed that, to obtain a seat on the UN Security Council, Turkey provided as kickbacks:

— medicines to Angola, Ethiopia, Gambia, Sudan, and the Comoros;
— trade center to Zimbabwe;
— stables to Mauritania;
— drinking water network to Niger;
— water wells to Ethiopia;
— school kits to Ghana;
— field hospital to Sudan;
— cattle-breeding technology to Mozambique and Mauritania;
— electric grid to Benin;
— smelting house to Gambia;
— training schools to Eritrea, Togo, Lesotho, and Uganda;
— police training to Guinea;
— vaccines to Mali;
— humanitarian assistance to Tanzania and Chad;
— school to Congo;
— sewer system to Liberia and Sierra Leone;
— VIP minibus to Palau;
— computers to Antigua;
— wined and dined visiting Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, stuffed his pocket with gifts, and placed a private jet at his disposal to fly to Izmir;
— donated soccer balls and pumps to Tuvalu.

Another Turkish commentator, Deniz Zeyrek, wrote a hilarious column in the newspaper Radikal, headlined: “Tuvalu: give our soccer balls back.” To buy votes at the UN, Zeyrek reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu asked the visiting Tuvalu Prime Minister if his country needed anything. Tuvalu officials made a surprising request — that their children liked to play soccer, but had no balls. Turkey immediately dispatched to Tuvalu hundreds of soccer balls along with pumps. Tuvalu then complied with Turkey’s demand, supporting its bid to join the UN Security Council.

Zeyrek concluded his article with the following sarcastic question: “Will Turkey now ask for its balls back, if Tuvalu recognizes Karabakh’s independence?”

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  1. Arman said:

    Sun Tzu would be proud…alliance making and winning people over are a hugely helpful tactic in war and politics. Turkey is taking the first step and offering small gifts like soccer balls and school supplies and in return wins over allies little by little. If you notice that all those countries on that list are poor, African countries, you can see that Turkey is collecting the poor masses to itself as allies, especially among the Islamic third world countries.
    Armenia ought to reach out to its regional allies which are the Orthodox Christian nations like Serbia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Rumania, Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus. Also extremely important are the Catholic Central Europeans like Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Poland. Cooperation with all these friendly states has huge potential in all fields.

    • bigmoustache said:

      i couldnt agree with you more!
      theyre doing it especially in the middle east. trying to be the mediator in the israeli/palestinian conflict.
      armenia needs to be a little more like cuba in donating and helping other poor nations or oppressed people.

  2. Jack said:

    Tuvalu? Are you kidding me? Here’s an idea: how about ARMENIA recognizing Artsakh ?? What would happen…more threats from Azerbaijan? What would be different? Armenia should have recognized Artsakh a long, long time ago. Maybe then other countries would have followed.

    • bigmoustache said:

      that too! diplomatically this is a disaster for us. how can we get other nations to recognize artsakh if we dont do it. azerbaijan will always be pointing that out.
      its clear the people never want to live under turks again, and we live under the shadow of war, always prepared.
      recognize it already!

      • Fred said:

        I wonder how much money the Armenian government and MP’s are getting from the Turks and the Azeries, so as not to recognize Artsakh as independant from Azerbaijan. The true enemies of Artsakh should be put against the wall and shot for crimes against Armenians of Artsakh. The Armenians in Armenia should protest and demand the reconition of Artsakh from their government, or hang their heads in shame for the rest of their lives.

  3. Leo said:

    So these little islands are like prostitudes,they sell their votes for some football balls and clothes.. lol
    Well why not we should buy some of their votes too,recognizing one member in UN the independence of Nagorni Karabagh will have great political influence and meaning regardless how small and unknown that member is.

  4. robig said:

    Jack is correct! Armenia needs to recognize Artsakh. Why would Turkey be ‘alarmed’ if Tuvalu recognizes Artsakh? The local mall down the street on a given weekend has a greater population than this country. They needed a few hundred soccer balls for a vote/support on Karabagh? Give me a break……. I’ll buy them the soccer balls myself ($1,000) if that’s what it takes for supporting Artsakh. In fact, I’ll throw in a few dozen portable goals with nets as well……….

  5. Stephen Bekian said:

    I do agree with Arman we should make freinds with those countries that are orthedox

    and the western european countries as the count is higher than those little Islands that Turkey and his little

    cousin are befriending .

  6. Hrant K. said:

    Sofar the so called-illegal ” Northern Cypriot Prepubilic” hasn’t been recognized by any country except by the Artificial Ataturkic Bloody Fascist State! There was a time, where Pakistan was thinking of following suit to the turkish junta state, but then refrained later on!
    Armenia has no other choice but to recognize Artsakh officially, when objective and impartial states do so. The real deal is the “de jure” recognition of Artsakh! Tuvalu, Uruguay or the Serbian Bosnia (formerly) Serbia, Kosovo and Macedonia nowadays, have high potential to do so. Only then, will Armenia’s recognition have a significant meaning and a catalyzing effect on reuniting the 2 Armenian Republics. Wisdom is of essence (not hastiness) to score a high point in the pursuit of the Armenian Cause’s long awaited just and fair solution!

    • Fred said:

      Hrant. When turks were commiting the first genocide of the twentieth century. Our town falk and villagers were holding local meetings and bickering on wether to form a resistance against the Otman Army. We have to stop this cycle of indiscition. The fact is simple. Artsakh has always been ours. Is our’s and will always be ours. So lets not bicker about it and get on with recognising what has been ours for the last bloody 12000 years, for God sakes

  7. gaytzag palandjian said:

    We Armenian are a noble people.Witness our St.Vartan battle of Avarayr,all the way down to Sardarabad and Artsakh.We cannot act like turco azeris and buy votes or bribe people to recognize Artsakh. We did not bribe Uruguay -the First state to recognize the Armenian Genocide- We did not do so with further 20 and more countries to do that. Even the 40 soemthing U.S.States….
    Let them Turks indulge in that. We are certain to win recognition soon by some good state near or far away.No need to scurry around and pay /bribe states-even small ones-to that.Let them do that it brings them FAME(READ, the other way around)-You think people did not understand what happened in France,when the Constitutional Court voted against penalization of Denialism in that country…
    There are always people who can be purchased-unfortunately- but then at the end JUSTICE prevails.Again witness the ongoing Arab spring revolts, in which the people at the end triumph.What is more Armenia is not in a position-like spomeone above writes-to reach out and bribe Russia.Latter´s natural resources/riches are uncountable.Never mind if they also-like Armenia and other ex-sovit republics OVERNIGHT became wild free market Economy republics.Instead of going through a Transitional period of first a European style Socialism(like , take Sweden) then by and by ,like Portual ,.Greece and Spain become Free market economy. Bygones are bygones.Armenia now is forging ahead in that fashion albeit very slowly.I wish there would be some important changes there too. In this respect I request to those who might be intertsted to read my artoicles in http://www.armeniannews.info….`please click on top Users articles.One latest to come out soon too,on same Web site.

  8. Steven Kocay said:

    Why Armenia always push for unnecessary and disconstructive politics?
    All the world says enough is enough with your claims and strange wills. and you still try to exploit the christian identity of europe and america as they do the same to you by promising to accept the 1915 tragedy as genocide.
    Do you believe that if you reach your targets you will live a better life, do you think you will get more honorable or richer?
    If you do, you must be crazy. Only way for these is leaving strange demands and be more transparent with the rest of the world. so that you will have a better position the world and in the Caucasus.

  9. Hrant K. said:

    Steven Kocay, of all people you guys are the last to talk about transparancy! Don’t you follow Hrant Dink’s
    trials for the last 5 years. Where is your “so called” transparancy, when your Justice Minister& Police Dept. are
    hiding the evidences of the people (turkish leaders that gave the order of assasinating), who have tampered with them and not forwarding them to the court(then made the assasin/criminal a hero, just as Talaat, Enver and Jemal Beys did 95/96 years ago? I think artificial turkey’s and Stalinistic
    azerbaijan’s positions are at stake here, where freedom of press in the latter so called state is just above Eritrea’s standards!!
    Your values are seeking honor and richness, which you will never have, as long as you are not in harmony with
    your history, as Germany has dared!! Trust me we will reach our targets because we have Integrity, we know the Truth(don’t deny it as you do) and have a much richer Culture , than yours’ . and by the way all the World does not say ‘enough with our claims’, on the contrary , more States and parliaments are recognizing the Armenian
    Genocide, carried out by the ottoman/turanic/young turkish/ataturtik Quartet and is making the azeri and turkish leaders more and more suffocating!!!! We have respect only for people such as Taner Akcam and Orhan Pamuk,
    who have the audacity to put their fingers on our wounds and stand up for justice!!! It was not in vain, when Adolf Hitler in 1939 sent Talaat’s remnants back to Ankara, where there is a Plaza in the biggest Criminal of Humanity’s
    name. Where can you find a street or a place in Hitler’s name in Germany today? You glorify Monsters instead of demonizing them, that way you get closer to the Devil! As long as you stay denying the truth, God’s curse and our
    innocent martyrs’ souls will haunt you forever till you burn in hell forever and ever after…!!!

  10. Heghapokhagan said:

    I WONDER…… What were the BRIBES to Obama, H. Clinton, Pelosi !!!!!

  11. Hrant K. said:

    Heghapokhagan, you forgot J. Biden’s name on your list!!!(Where we so naive all those years believing or
    trusting all those 4?? Well, I know where my vote goes this time, riding the Elephant makes you see how
    lowsaddled the donkey is!!!!