BAKU, Azerbaijan, Dec. 4
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Armenia must fulfill the three basic demands of Ankara to establish relations, Huseyin Altinalan, press secretary of the Turkish Embassy in Azerbaijan, told Trend.
According to Huseyin Altinalan, in order to establish relations with Turkey, Armenia should first of all withdraw from the occupied Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, including the adjacent districts, then not claim to Turkish lands and also abandon claims regarding the 1915 events.
Huseyin Altinalan noted that in 1991, when Armenia gained independence, Turkey wanted to establish diplomatic relations with this country, but to start them, the solutions of existing problems with Armenia were needed, which Ankara always emphasized.
"As you know, at present, the historical Azerbaijani lands - Nagorno Karabakh and the adjacent districts - are under the Armenian occupation. First of all, Armenia should unconditionally withdraw from the occupied Azerbaijani lands," the Turkish diplomat said.
According to Huseyin Altinalan, as long as Nagorno Karabakh and the adjacent Azerbaijani districts are under Armenian occupation, the establishment of relations with Armenia is not possible.
Turkey cannot establish relations with a country that does not recognize its state borders, the diplomat noted, adding that Armenia's claims to Turkish lands are a known fact.
"As you know, the modern borders of Turkey and Armenia were established in 1921 as part of the Moscow and Kars agreements, and in this regard, all the territorial claims of Armenia to Turkey are groundless and absurd," Altinalan said.
The diplomat noted that based on this, Ankara cannot establish relations with a state that does not recognize the state borders of Turkey.
Regarding the 1915 events, Altinalan noted that Armenia impedes the opening of its archives and despite the calls of Ankara to create a commission of historians to investigate the 1915 events, rejects this idea.
"The claims of the Armenians regarding the events of 1915 have no documentary evidence or legal basis and these claims are unacceptable," the diplomat said.
Altinalan emphasized that the recognition of the events of 1915 as the "Armenian genocide", the payment of compensation to the descendants of deported Armenians, as well as the restitution of property to the heirs of the deportees as required by the Armenian side are claims that have no legal force.
"Turkey is not a party to any international agreement on the payment of compensation to deportees. Turkey is not ashamed of its history, since we have nothing to be ashamed of, and our conscience is clean," the diplomat said.
Huseyin Altinalan noted that Armenians should not politicize historical events and politicians should not make decisions based on historical events.
"Until Armenia withdraws from the occupied Nagorno Karabakh and the adjacent districts of Azerbaijan and renounces its claims against Turkey, it is impossible for Turkey to establish relations with this country," the diplomat said.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
Armenia and the Armenian lobby claim that Turkey's predecessor, the Ottoman Empire, allegedly carried out so-called "genocide" against the Armenians living in Anatolia in 1915.
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