Amid threats from Ankara, including the closure of Turkey’s airspace to overflights by an Armenian airline, over the unveiling of a monument to the heroes of Operation Nemesis, Yerevan city hall on Tuesday signaled that city officials have no intention of “dismantling” the Nemesis Monument.
The Yerevan municipality made the statement in response to a query from Azatutyun.am’s Armenian Service, which had asked for clarification given threats of reprisals from Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Cavusoglu demanded that Armenia demolish the monument, calling it an affront to Turks and Azerbaijanis. He warned Yerevan that if the monument is not removed Ankara will “take retaliatory measures.”
In an interview with Azatutyun.am last week, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called the decision to create the monument “wrong.”
Armenia’s National Security chief Armen Grigoryan told reporters on Tuesday that whether or not to have such a monument was a domestic issue for Armenia and “no one has the right to interfere in these issues.” He said that the issue of the the monument was within the purview of local government officials.
Grigoryan emphasized that normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey should proceed without preconditions.
Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Paruyr Hovhannisyan directly corollated the heightened rhetoric from Ankara on the monument to the upcoming elections in Turkey.
“Let’s not forget that there are [presidential and parliamentary] election processes in that country [Turkey] and many statements should be viewed from that point of view,” Hovhannisyan told reporters on Tuesday, saying that election campaigns tend to become “emotional.”