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Turkey Reaffirmed: Ankara Is to Be Blamed for the Failure of Zurich Process

About 8 years after the signing of the Armenian-Turkish protocols, the fact that Turkey was the one that overthrew the Zurich process, was reaffirmed again. Many years ago Armenia announced its readiness to normalize Armenian-Turkish relations without preconditions, and the Armenian side initiated the "Football diplomacy" and the Zurich process. Despite the agreements reached earlier, Turkey did not show enough political will in this process and began to speak with Armenia in the language of preconditions, overthrowing the whole process.

And now, the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu once again publicly and officially states that the Armenian-Turkish protocols will not be ratified until the preconditions put forth by Turkey regarding the Karabakh issue have not been fulfilled. Moreover, Cavusoglu said in his statement that Ankara had signed the Zurich protocols with Yerevan on certain terms. “Armenia should leave the occupied territories, after which we settle our ties, this was the main condition," he said.

It is obvious that Ankara has started a campaign of distorting the facts and the reality concerning the Armenian-Turkish protocols to mislead the international community and to blame Armenia for the failure of the process. Nevertheless, it is clear that Armenia will not stand back from its position on normalizing the Armenian-Turkish relations without preconditions and in this respect the ball is now in the Turkish field. And no matter how much the authorities in that country will try to blame Armenia for the failure of the process, it is clear for the international community, especially for the countries that had this or that relation with the Zurich process, that it is the Turkish side, which suspended the Zurich process. Moreover, in this context many countries and structures have made critical statements, which, unfortunately, did not change the situation.

It is also important to note that such behavior of Turkey was, of course, expected for the Armenian side. Although there was optimism towards the Zurich process, Armenia started this process with a pragmatic calculation, not excluding any development, including the failure of the process.

Taking into account Ankara's destructive approach to the Zurich protocols, the international community must make several conclusions, first of all, that Turkey is not a reliable partner, second, that the Turkish authorities continue to pursue a hostile policy towards the neighbors and finally that the Turkish authorities wanted to use the Armenian-Turkish protocols for their interests by pursuing an imitation policy.

In Armenia this awareness is dominant. Perhaps it was not accidental that the President of the Republic of Armenia from the UN General Assembly declared that Armenia will declare the 2009 Armenia-Turkey Protocols “null and void” if they are not ratified by the spring of 2018. He also clarified for the Turkish authorities that they are mistaken if they think they can take those documents hostage.

Most likely, we will witness the change in the situation with the Armenian-Turkish relations, when more responsible and balanced authorities come in power in that country.


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