YEREVAN – During his visit to Armenia, Armenian member of Turkish Parliament Garo Paylan pledged his efforts to establish relations between Armenia and Turkey.
On September 22, as a part of his visit to Armenia for the sixth Pan Armenian Armenia-Diaspora Conference, Paylan spoke at a press conference where he stated his willingness to build a bridge between Armenia and Turkey.
“The stalled relations between Turkey and Armenia hamper the democratization process of the both countries,” said Paylan. “Only a democratic Turkey can open the Armenian border and speak about genocide recognition.”
Therefore in this regard, Paylan stated that he is ready to assume responsibility to establish democracy in the country.
“We need to start dialogue from scratch,” said Paylan. The lawmaker added that Armenia’s government leadership seems prepared to create dialogue with Turkey. When he returns to Turkey, he stated that he will check to see if Turkey’s leadership is ready.
“I would like to open, even slightly, the door of dialogue. I know that it will be difficult, but even in the darkest of times the door of dialogue must be kept a little open,” Paylan told the news conference according to RFE/RL Armenian service.
Despite the ban on the use of the term “Armenian Genocide” in the Turkish Parliament, Paylan said that they have to find a way to speak about the events of 1915.
When discussing the election of the new Armenian Patriarch of Turkey, Paylan said, “the process drags out because of the adverse political situation in the country among others, as the state has its own interests and perspectives connected with the person that will be elected.”
Due to the conditions of deepening nationalism in Turkey, the state wants to see a patriarch it prefers.
“Currently, there are 5 or 6 candidates and we would want a patriarch that our community prefers because he’s going to be our religious leader,” added Paylan.
The lawmaker wants the election to be organized as soon as possible.
On September 22, Paylan also had the opportunity to meet with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian.
Welcoming Paylan, the President hailed his participation in the pan-Armenian conference dedicated to issues of pan-Armenian importance, and the willingness to contribute to the solution of the problems placed on the forum’s agenda.
Paylan briefed President Sarkisian on the current status of the Armenian community in Turkey, talked about tissues related to community life, which the Armenian MP has repeatedly raised in the Turkish parliament.