Turkish opposition rep criticizes government’s policy against Armenia

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600732.jpg“Turkey’s main opposition’s foreign policy specialist and former Ambassador Osman Koruturk has criticized the government’s policies toward Armenia while reiterating his party’s election promises following his visits to the religious leaders of Turkey’s Armenian, Greek, Syriac and Jewish minorities this week,” Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review reports.

“The painful [events of 1915] were reciprocal; we need to talk tete a tete [with the Armenians.] The diaspora claims they were the only ones to suffer; the pain of the Muslim Turks needs to also be recognized. We can move forward if we dress our wounds and leave the past to historians. Even the Germans and Jews have managed to overcome all this. Why shouldn’t we?” asked Koruturk from the Republican People’s Party, or CHP. He added that they wanted good relations with Turkey’s neighbors and signaled the possibility of reinvigorating the issue of Turkey’s closed border with Armenia,” the daily reads.

“Koruturk also said significant mistakes were committed in regards to the Interior Ministry’s decision to appoint Aram Atesyan as the acting deputy patriarch of the Armenian church. The CHP representative said the spirit of the Lausanne Treaty should have been followed in this regard,” the daily says.

“The AKP failed to act in coordination. Azerbaijan was not kept sufficiently informed … The Karabagh problem requires many years to be resolved, just like the Cyprus problem. When they received negative reactions from Azerbaijan, the AKP took a wrong turn and pushed forth the issue of Karabakh, [as a result of which] the process lost its momentum. If things were coordinated with Azerbaijan and [Azerbaijan] was kept sufficiently informed, all this would not have happened,” said Koruturk, referring to the protocols initialized in 2009 between Turkey and Armenia to normalize relations,” the daily reports.

“The CHP representative noted that Armenia conducts a significant portion of its trade through neighboring Iran and Georgia, and added that Turkey is still Armenia’s second largest export market despite the closed borders. All the benefit from this trade, however, go to Iran and Georgia,” the source reads.