Change Yourself…Change The World.

Turkey To Open Borders With Armenia
October 7, 2009, 4:07 am
Filed under: Armenia, Turkey

Hi friends,

Just wanted to post an incredibly interesting and pertinent article about relations between Armenia and Turkey, that was written in the Wall Street Journal today.

Check it out Here.

A lot of people who find and read my website are those who search about Armenians, and I wanted to give a bit of information on relations between Armenians and Turks. First off, I would like to say that I am Armenian and my own great-grandmother and her family (and my great-grandfather) fled from Anatolia right before 1915 to the United States, and our family has passed down stories of the atrocities that happened there (this is stating my biases). I have traveled to Turkey and Armenia, and I did a research project in Turkey on the way the events of 1915 are viewed there (I say ‘the events of 1915’ to try to remain as unbiased as possible, even though I am part of the Armenian Diaspora), as well as the effects it has on Armenians in Turkey and Armenians in Armenia. I feel that this article is very interesting considering the research I have done, and I want to deconstruct it a little.

Personally I am shocked that it passed, and the reason why it did. I thought that Turkey wouldn’t agree to open borders with Armenia unless they negotiated the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Azerbaijan (For those who know little about this, in 1993 Armenia invaded Azerbaijan and took a large chunk of land where many Armenians lived. Consequently, relations between Azeris and Armenians are downright poisonous). Turkey closed borders with Armenia in 1993 because of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in solidarity with Azerbaijan. Why did they do this? One, Azerbaijan is a Muslim country. Two, Azerbaijan is an oil-wealthy country that has a direct pipeline to Turkey.

However, Turkey DROPPED the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia and the bill is set to sign on October 10th. Why they dropped the conflict from the bill, I don’t know, but I would be really interested to find out. Another thing that stood out to me in the article is that there is a general backlash from the Armenian Diaspora for this bill to be passed, and I don’t quite understand why. I can see that they make the arguement that Turkey could use this as a way to undermine the Armenian genocide- but overwhelmingly, I feel that this is a very good thing. The economy in Armenia will boom and prices for Armenians will drastically lower from imports, and it will also create jobs for many Armenians who would want to work in Turkey. It would also generally greatly improve relations between Armenians (in Armenia and Turkey) with Turks, maybe not immediately, but over time. However, it also seems that there are Armenians in Armenia that are unhappy with the bill, which is a whole different issue. I have no way to see the bill and what it entails (I wish I could), but maybe there is something a bit fishy going on here.

There is also a much larger issue here which is not being focused on. Turkey says that they plan to work on the Armenian genocide issue by jointly reviewing the events of 1915. This says to me that Turkey and Armenia would therefore be determining and working together on the events of 1915. What I take issue with here is that the Armenian Diaspora is not included in this committee, which is a key figure as most of the Armenians who were AFFECTED by the events of 1915 fled to other countries like Europe and the US, which is why there IS an Armenian Diaspora. To not take their accounts and opinions into consideration is a red flag for me, and something that should seriously be discussed. To be fair, I know that the Armenian Diaspora will probably put an enormous amount of pressure on Armenia to uphold the word ‘genocide’ in their commission with Turkey. However, I am afraid that Armenia will do what’s best for Armenia and not necessarily the Armenian Diaspora, the ones who were most affected by it.

Another issue I’d like to address are all of the Armenian monuments and artifacts in SouthEastern Turkey that are not properly taken care of; cities that were once key Armenian cities that are now in Turkey; and Mount Ararat, the mountain that is so revered by Armenians, that also lies in Turkey. What about the slander that the Turkish government use against the Armenians in their school textbooks? What about the way they approach the issue of 1915 and what they tell to their students? These are all things that Armenia needs to resolve with Turkey, and I dearly hope that they will continue to bring these up. While this is a big step for Armenian-Turkish relations and generally a positive thing in many ways, I hope that it will not end here and that all parties will continue to try to make progress for both countries.

Good night,

Brittany Boroian (gotta wave the Armenian flag here- most Armenian names end in ‘ian’ and mine is no exception).

1 Comment so far
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What I am going to express is strictly my opinion and nobody elses.
While Armenians suffered for over 70 years under the Soviet atrocities, we, the Armenians of the Diaspora managed to live quite well. What is going on in Armenia to-day is the problem of the Armenians in Armenia.
I think that if the Armenians in Armenia want to make peace with Turkey to improve their lives and living conditions, is their business and nobody elses.
Most of the Armenians who are making things difficult for outr country, are unfortunatly the “Tashnags” who caused the Arminian Genocide in the first place. They caused the loss of Gars & Ardahan and they want to give away the rest now.
Turkey is a very powerful country now and our being on good terms with them will not hurt us at all…!

Comment by John Minas Hovsepian

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