Official Yerevan seeks to keep power: Turkey’s Ishik University professor

Politics Materials 7 April 2009 17:57 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, April 7 / Trend , R. Hafizoglu/

Turkey's Ishik University professor on international relations says Armenian officials want to preserve their power by denying presence of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue in the Ankara-Yerevan talks.

"Armenian opposition is concerned with the development of Ankara-Yerevan ties. Armenian officials deny presence of the Nagorno-Karabakh issue in talks with Turkey to preserve their posts," Ankara University professor Bulant Aras told Trend .

Different circles in Turkey claim Turkey-Armenia borders will be opened.

Armenian-Turkish ties have been severed since 1993 due to Armenia's claims of an alleged genocide, and the country's occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul visited Yerevan on Sept. 6, 2008 upon the invitation of his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sarkisyan to watch an Armenia-Turkey football match.

Efforts have been made to normalize ties between the two countries ever since.

Aras said the Turkey-Armenia talks are more likely to result in opening of the borders soon.

"Turkey aims to restore ties with all neighbor states. Therefore, Turkey-Armenia border is expected to be opened soon," he said.

By seeking dialogue with Armenia, Turkey wants to gain more means of influence on Yerevan. Turkey-Armenia ties can improve only after the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is resolved.

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts. Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.

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