By Ara Papian
Until now we were saying and they were confirming, that diplomatic relations were to be established with Turkey without preconditions. Many believed it. They believed it perhaps because it would have been impossible to imagine otherwise. The opposite would have simply demeaned Armenian statehood it would have turned blood into water, debasing our land. Today we can say that the reality is more startling than even the most pessimistic predictions. The current protocols propose that the leadership of the Republic of Armenia accepts all three preconditions of Turkey.
The first precondition set by Turkey is relinquishing our rights and abandoning the territorial demands we have with regards to Turkey, that is to say, recognising the current border. The fourth clause in the protocol “On the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey” fulfills this Turkish demand.
Turkey’s second precondition is the insistence on a Nagorno-Karabakh within Azerbaijan, that is, a resolution to the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute solely on the basis of the principle of territorial integrity. The same protocol fulfills this demand as well, since the second clause, reconfirming those principles upon which international relations are based, fails to mention the right to self-determination of peoples.
The third precondition for Turkey is doing away with the process of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. This demand, too, is fulfilled. The protocol “On developing bi-lateral relations” calls for the creation of sub-commissions, including one “on historical issues”, which has to deal with “defin[ing] existing problems … between the two nations”. And which issue is the most controversial issue, exactly, which requires such definition? Certainly, the Armenian Genocide.
It is evident that, if Armenia were to accept the proposed protocols, then Turkey would entirely acquire what it desires. And what are we to expect in return? Are we that short-sighted as to legalise the illegal occupation of territories of the Republic of Armenia and the illegal possession of our national property by the Republic of Turkey, ultimately sacrificing the future of our people?
If the aforementioned protocols get ratified, then we will need a new Movses Khorenatsi (Moses of Khoren, the classical Armenian historian and chronicler), to write, “I lament thee, o Armenian world, for thy king and clergy are undone, and ignorant decadence reigneth”.