Editor’s Note: The following is the translated text of an article which appeared in the May 30 internet edition of the Turkish Milliyet newspaper–made available to us via the Armenian News Network/Groong. The article asserts that during the presidential elections former Armenian leader Levon Ter-Petrosyan had asked Turkey for help and for delivering the Armenian message had allegedly sent his chief advisor to meet with the former Turkish Foreign Minister. The newspaper further alleges that the said advisor had asked Turkey to assist Armenia in light of several actions taken by the former Armenian administration–including the suspension of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation. Ter-Petrosyan–members of the former Armenian government or the current Armenian authorities should respond to these allegations and set the record straight. We reprint the article in its entirety for the record.
"Ankara Pays [Ter] Petrosyan Price"
BY YALAN DOGAN Official visits to France "have been canceled."French firms no longer have a chance to win official tenders." Turkish firms that trade with France "have been warned." These are Ankara’s first steps.
The French Assembly yesterday passed the Armenian genocide bill with a unanimous vote. It was remarkable that "neither the French President nor the French Prime Minister talked to any parliamentary deputy despite warnings from Ankara." In other words–no attempt was made to block the bill. The bill is now before the French Senate. If it is approved there also–"France will openly recognize the Armenian genocide of 1915."
Ankara feels it is necessary "to resort to these political and economic sanctions" until the French Senate begins to discuss the bill–to stop the bill at least in the Senate. If it cannot be blocked there also–relations with France–which we have idolized in recent years–will become extremely strained.
How did such a bill suddenly come about in France? The answer to that question goes back to the Armenian elections.
During presidential elections in Armenia–[then President Levon Ter] Petrosyan "asked Turkey for help." To that end he dispatched his chief advisor [presumably Jirair Libaridian] to then Foreign Minister Murat Karayalcin. The chief advisor told Karayalcin precisely the following,
"Help Ter Petrosyan. He shut down the Dashnak Party [Armenian Revolutionary Federation] which has called for Armenian independence since the Ottoman times. The money the Dashnak Party receives from Armenia’s in the United States is more than the entire revenue of the Armenian State. Rich Armenia’s serve their cause with money. I am also a former member of the Dashnak Party–but the other candidate–is a hard-liner. You would have big problems if he gets elected."
At that time Turkey opened its air corridor to Armenia. As elections approached–Ter Petrosyan asked for additional help–but at that time Turkey was busy with its own internal squabbles. Moreover "more help could not be offered to avoid offending the Azeris."
Still–the archives of the Foreign Ministry are filled with "formulas to help Ter Petrosyan." During the elections–Kocharian harped on racist themes against Turkey. When he took office "he began to flirt with France." The Genocide Bill is a product of that flirt–because "rich Armenia’s" have influence in France also.
The unpleasantness of the affair is not limited to France. Genocide resolutions were earlier endorsed by Belgium and Greece. Now it is possible that other countries will also follow suit. Turkey is entering a period when it will get headaches from many directions.