ANKARA—Turkey on Tuesday rejected a call by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to normalize relations with Armenia, citing a 2010 ruling by Armenia’s Constitutional Court on the validity of the Turkey-Armenia protocols.
While in Yerevan Monday, Clinton said that the “ball was in Turkey’s court,” when asked about the two countries’ efforts to normalize relations.
“We are committed to seeing Armenia and Turkey normalize relations because we think this is a better path forward for the citizens of both countries and we strongly support ratification of the protocols [of normalization] without preconditions,” said Clinton. “We believe these are countries that should have open borders, should work together, should trade, and they should have people to people exchanges because it would be mutually beneficial to all concerned.”
“Turkey’s position on the issue is clear,” a Turkish diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News, adding that the Armenian court’s 2010 ruling made reference to the Armenian Genocide, which has angered Turkey.
At the time Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Armenia’s Constitutional Court reference to the Armenian Genocide was against the spirit of the normalization process with Yerevan.
“We have never taken the protocol to our Constitutional Court. We took it directly to our Parliament, without making changes. We didn’t employ a mediator on the text. We didn’t carry out any read-between-the-lines operations. This is proof of our sincerity. Armenia has tried to change the text,” Erdogan said at the time.
The Turkish diplomat also cited a provision of Armenia’s Declaration of Independence, which was referenced in the Armenian court ruling as problematic for Turkey. That provision 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.”