A Chance to Normalize Armenian-Turkish Relations From the Other End

    • Comments - 02 March 2018, 23:52
Among opinions on Serzh Sargsyan’s decision to discontinue the process of ratification of the Armenian-Turkish protocols one stands out that the chance for normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations was missed.

In fact, obviously Turkey is blamed but in any case a missed opportunity is pointed at. At the same time, there is a question as whether there was such opportunity in real politics and whether it is about normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations, and what is normalization of relations.

From the point of view of the Armenian-Turkish football diplomacy these questions have not been answered. Was it normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey or conservation of the Armenian-Turkish issue under the normalization paper? In addition, the content is only Armenia.

Football diplomacy was apparently one of Serzh Sargsyan’s adventure with a plan that it would run into a deadlock at some stage and the protocols would never be ratified. Serzh Sargsyan’s plan worked, in a short term he resolved some external and internal issues, and at the end of the decade of his presidency he simply cancelled the ratification, creating a new situation.

The normalization of the Turkish-Armenian relations is technically impossible unless the Artsakh issue is not redone fundamentally. From this point of view, it is not a missed chance. The chance is forming in the Karabakh direction.

Technically, the Armenian-Turkish relations cannot be separated from the Artsakh issue. The mediators participating in the process of signing the protocols who said it was not acceptable to connect these two were apparently confused because they think that it is possible to normalize the Armenian-Turkish relations or their purpose was not normalization and there were other objectives and expectations on the table, at least for the Artsakh issue.

It is not ruled out that currently they do not have a clear understanding of the impossibility of connecting these two issues or the situation has changed, the priorities of mediators have changed, so Serzh Sargsyan thinks that by cancelling the protocols he will not walk against what the powers of force have in mind.

If the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations is there as an objective, normalization can start only with Artsakh. In addition, it should start with designing institutional mechanisms for maintaining the status quo under international political responsibility.

As long as the war is not forbidden by an “institutional” mechanism, as long as the approach of restraint rather than prohibition is used on Azerbaijan, the normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations is technically impossible because Turkey will have to follow Azerbaijan’s “right to war”, even it is reluctant.

Hence, the real normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relation is on a different direction. Other issues were and continue to be solved in this direction which are not related to the Armenian-Turkish relations. Hence, the Armenian-Turkish relations still have prospects. Moreover, currently the international tendencies in the Artsakh direction are such that they may lead to positive change of the situation.

It will not happen in the visible future but the Artsakh process contains a new opportunity for the Armenian-Turkish relations if it is possible to push the Vienna agenda forward, and Armenia is capable of being adequate to its share of responsibility despite internal changes happening there.