ANKARA (Armenpress)–Turkey must immediately apologize to Armenia’s for the “tragic events of the past,” said Volkan Vural Turkey’s former ambassador to Russia during the late 1980s, reported the Taraf Turkish newspaper.
“Although it is difficult to imagine that Turkey would recognize the Genocide, nevertheless, it must apologize to the Armenia’s and other ethnic minorities–Greeks, Assyrians, Kurds–for displacing them and massacres, and allow them to return to the land of their ancestors and become Turkish citizens,” said Vural.
“The return of assets and financial restitution are difficult issues to tackle. However, it would be possible to make a symbolic offer of financial restitution,” explained Vural, saying that making an apology is an “imperative for a country like Turkey.”
“The Armenian question cannot be resolved by a commission of historians. Such a commission can only help in the resolution process by analyzing some of the issues,” said Vural, adding that the Armenian question can be resolved only by political leaders.
“Diplomatic relations between the two countries must be established, without wasting any time,” added Vural, who said that the opening of the border with Armenia would not only benefit Armenia, but also Turkey.
The former ambassador said that Turkey lost a golden opportunity to establish relations with Armenia when the Soviet Union collapsed, adding that if Turkey had established diplomatic relations with Armenia in 1991, perhaps it would have averted the Karabakh conflict.
Vulral added that the establishment of diplomatic relations would also benefit Azerbaijan.
“Although the establishment of Armenia-Turkey relations will not entirely vanquish Armenia’s’ genocide claims, it will provide psychological reprieve. It is imperative to differentiate rhetoric with the realities of life,” added Vural.
“Turkey must have more faith in itself and not become hostage to the genocide issue,” said Vural, adding that Turkey must have strength to acknowledge what has happened in the past and work toward establishing neighborly and friendly relations.
“Armenia’s in the Diaspora will always force the genocide recognition issue," he said. "But if Turkey-Armenia relations are normalized, borders are opened, trade increases and people get wealthy, their pressures would lose effectiveness” said Vural.