Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug. 23 / corr Trend R.Hafizoglu /
Trend's interview with adviser to Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic Geybulla Ramazanoglu regarding the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border
Trend: Turkish media reported about temporary opening of the Turkish-Armenian border during NATO military exercises about after the Turkish President Abdullah Gul's visit to Azerbaijan. Earlier, the Turkish officials repeatedly stated that the border will not be opened until the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is resolved. Do you think Turkey will support Azerbaijan once more?
Ramazanoglu: I think it would be wrong to attribute protection of Azerbaijan's interest only to opening of the border. It is necessary to take into account the international relations between states, as each country, regardless of how big or small it is, has its own political, economic interests and international obligations. Each state strives to act within these interests and obligations without prejudice to another country's interests. As you know, Ankara is very sensitive to the Azerbaijani-Turkish relations and tries not to spoil them.
I would like to note that all the negotiations, which are underway at the moment, all the steps are taken in accordance with the mutual understanding between Turkey and Azerbaijan. President Abdullah Gul's recent visit to Baku is nonrandom. The officials' meetings discuss the issues that are not included in any documents or protocols. Everyone knows that in Soviet times all the questions were discussed in advance and included in a protocol, meetings were held on a pre-agreed scenario. In recent years, officials holds talks in the "tete-a-tete" format, and nobody knows what they discuss.
I think the Azerbaijani and Turkish officials discussed many issues. Only part of them was made public.
To my mind, Turkey will never take any step without considering Azerbaijan's interests. However, in some issues Ankara can face the need to make a certain decision and thus unpremeditatedly commit an act against Baku's interests.
Q: What is the motivation for President Gul's evasion of a direct answer to a journalist's question about the opening of Turkish-Armenian border during NATO military exercises at a news conference in Baku?
A: It is quite obvious that if one doesn't want to discuss any serious question he/she evades answering them. Diplomacy is the ability to hide the reality, not to talk about it. I think Abdullah Gul could specifically answer "no" to the question about the possibility of opening the Turkish-Armenian border during NATO military exercises
Q: It is supposed that Turkey will be forced to open the Turkish-Armenian border under the superpowers' pressure. Do you think the U.S. and Europe exert pressure on Ankara in this issue?
A: This issue has a real side and an open side, which was made public. In diplomatic circles you will not hear a phrase "we are under pressure" both by the Turkish officials, and representatives of other countries. But even someone without political education understands that nowadays there are certain countries, whose desire solves many questions. How do they implement their plans if there is no pressure? So, there is pressure, but its form of expression is different. Sometimes these powers can put the country before the fact.
Q: Could Turkey waive Azerbaijan's interests in accordance to its "quiet diplomacy" on the background of this pressure?
A: In fact, there is no connection between the "quiet diplomacy" and Azerbaijan's interests. The "Quiet diplomacy" is a policy aimed at resolving Turkey's internal problems. If the policy pursued within the country now is made public, many will oppose it. Therefore, preference is given to the "quiet diplomacy". For example, Turkey holds talks to resolve the problem of the Kurdish Workers Party. If to inform the public that similar talks are being held with any country, then there will be many problems. Therefore, the "quiet diplomacy" is used in addressing such issues. It is held among governmental officials and is not made public, or information about it will be made public when the time for it reaches. Such diplomacy bears fruit only after a certain time.