Turkey Preparing ‘Legal Assessment’ on Armenian Court Ruling

ANKARA (Hurriyet)–Ankara is working on a legal assessment to be sent to Yerevan and third parties that will seek to portray the Armenia’s Constitutional Court as having violated international law by conditionally affirming the two countries’ agreements. The document will seek to pressure Armenia into not including the court ruling as a preamble to the protocols when submitting it to Parliament.

Turkish Foreign ministers Ahmet Davutoglu and his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian signed two protocols on establishing diplomatic relations and opening their closed border in October 2009.

Armenia’s court published a ruling on January 12 affirming the constitutionality of the protocols. But the Court also said that the protocols could not have any bearing on the ongoing Karabakh peace process nor should they impede the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. To reinforce the latter point, the court cited Article 11 of Armenia’s 1990 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.”

According to the protocols, the sides are to form committees to solve bilateral disputes. Turkey has said a joint committee of historians should “investigate” the Armenian Genocide. Ankara has also stipulated that the Turkish Parliament will not ratify the documents unless Armenia agrees to settle the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in Azerbaijan’s favor—a precondition not mentioned in the agreements.

“The wording and spirit of the protocols should be protected. Any limitation or efforts at partially approving [the document] is against the essence of the protocols,” said Davutoglu on Friday during a joint conference with his Jordanian counterpart, Nasser Judeh.

Davutoglu phoned Nalbandian to express his worries and urge him to display a stronger political will. The minister had earlier discussed the verdict at a meeting with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“We began with a vision of normalizing relations with neighboring Armenia and worded the protocols in this manner,” Davutoglu said. “We continue to be loyal to the wording and spirit of the protocols and back it with a strong political will.”

In their telephone conversation, Nalbandian argued the court ruling had no affect on the protocol’s conditions, according to Davutoglu, who said, “We need to hear clearer and stronger remarks.”

The minister said he would make calls Friday to his U.S. and Swiss counterparts, urging them to pressure Armenia to uphold the basics of the normalization protocols. “We will convey our legal assessments and our worries to the related sides.”

He outlined the importance of continuing the process without any legal failures so as to reach a comprehensive normalization. “But the existing picture shouldn’t be changed. All aims including the planned commissions should be approved in total.”

Diplomatic sources said Turkey would soon convey its legal assessments and suggestions by calling on Armenia not to renege on the agreement or add stipulations to the protocols.

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian, however, is obligated by Armenia’s constitution to uphold the decision of the country’s high court and submit the Armenia-Turkey protocols to parliament with the reservations outlined in its ruling.

Turkey’s forthcoming statement, nevertheless, will cite the protocols, saying they are binding in their entirety according to international law.

Nalbandian, meanwhile, accused Turkey of giving him ultimatums, saying: “If Turkey is not ready to ratify the protocols, continues speaking in ultimatums, setting preconditions and obstructing the process, then I do not deny that negotiations will break down.”


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  1. John said:

    Oh okay Turk, are we are all stupid or just you?  Oh I forgot, Davutoglu is a self proclaimed scholar and historian. Dear professor, why not show us were in the ill hatched protocols it says that Armenia needs to give back Karabagh before Turkey ratifies the protocols. Apparently you are not “loyal to the spirit and wording of the protocols”.

  2. Norin Radd said:

    Armenians, the Armenian Diaspora, the Armenian government, and the Armenian judicial system, neither need, want, or will accept any international “ruling” on how Armenia should proceed or how Armenia “should” present the Protocols to its own Parliament. Armenia, Arstakh, and the Armenian people are an autonomous self-governing body that first and foremost only need to follow their own constitutional legislature which will NEVER EVER be superseded by international law for domestic matters. Drawing a US analogy, it would be preposterous to think that the US Constitutional rulings would ever take second fiddle to any international law regarding matters of domestic affairs in the US. As such Armenia, as a sovereign nation, is no exception to that rule which every single nation in the world has a God given right to exercise.
    Furthermore, this whole nonsense proves yet again how backwards, ten-faced, and corrupt the Turkish government really is and the fact that the US considers a government on this caliber a legitimate “ally” does nothing more than chip away at the legitimacy of other NATO nations.
    It is safe to say by now Turkey has proven to be unreliable at best when it comes to following through on its political agendas. 1) They proposed protocols that contain no official preconditions on the basis of “good neighborly conduct”  2) Then they stalled in order to tie the issue of Karabagh and the Armenian Genocide as illegitimate pre-conditions which hold no bearing whatsoever 3) Now, while continuing to stall and having been put into a political corner which clearly depicts their lack of political integrity to follow through on signed documents, they have the audacity to criticize Armenia for its own domestic constitutional assessment of the protocols with asinine suppositions and arguments on the “legality” of Armenia’s constitutional rulings.
    Turkey screwed up, they did not follow through on their political endeavors which the world was backing including the US, Russia, and France. Now after all the dancing the “big powers” did, Turkey is trying to change things around but its too late, any more delay on their part is not only embarrassing to them but also to the US, Russia, and France that went out of their way to push this protocol through for their own gain.
    Armenia has shown that it has both political class as well as integrity, while the Turks simply just turned out to be a bunch of Turkeys as usual. If they are so concerned about “international laws”, let them first worry about their own violation of pretty much every single Geneva Convention and Human Rights laws that were passed during the 20th century when they were busy systematically killing, murdering, and displacing 2 million ethnic Armenians. Then they can worry some more about international law and convention by writing a check to the Armenians to the tune of BILLIONS and BILLIONS of dollars owed for war crime reparations and crimes against humanity that Armenians have endured. Until then Edgoyan, Davatolu, and the rest of the clown should shut their mouths.

  3. Alex Postallian said:

    Davutoglu,a self styled scholar,historian,Prevaricator,is one of the 70% of turkies illiterate:believe in the old axiom-you tell a lie long enough it becomes the truth.I really feel sorry for the common people of turkey with leaders of such inferior quality.

  4. Kiazer Souze said:

    This is all a red herring. The Turks know it. They are trying to extract as much as they can before ratification. Enough is enough. If president Obama doesn’t come out and say the Genocide word in English this April, then I will be donating  my life savings on congressional races to overthrow the scum that voted against recognition [McCain, Lieberman, Byrd etc…..] and I want to see at least one senator, and 10 or 15 congressman with their last names ending in IAN.  

    • Kevork Chavush said:

      Exactly! I want to see more young Armenian American politicians running in these races. I don’t care if their rep’s, dem’s or ind’s. Just get them up there!

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