ISTANBUL — The “deportation” of Armenians in 1915 was inhumane, and Turkey has never supported the move, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said yesterday as he made a landmark visit to Armenia for the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) group meeting. The Foreign Ministers of Armenia and Turkey had a meeting on thee sidelines of the summit.
“We are very pleased with the meeting with Edward Nalbandian; it was candid. The primary aim is to build an environment of dialogue on a strong basis,” Davutoglu said after the meeting, while dismissing claims that he suggested to Armenia that it withdraw from two regions in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Davutoglu expressed his hope that a collective consciousness between the two countries could be created with a “just memory.”
“We say ‘just memory.’ What I mean with that is we should know the facts. Then we see that Turkish-Armenian relations do not date back like German-Jewish ties. In every street, there is a common sign.
After you discover this, then you see the deportation, which I see as a totally wrong practice done by [the Ottoman-era rulers under the Committee of Union and Progress]. It was inhumane,” Davutoglu told a group of reporters en route to Yerevan, the Huriyet Daily News reports.
“Our primary aim is not only to open the Turkish-Armenian border but also to form a foundation that will pave the way for a comprehensive peace,” Davutoglu said. “It has three pillars. The first one is relations between Turkey and Armenia. The second one is Azerbaijani-Armenian relations. This also includes Georgian-Abkhaz ties. The third one is relations between Turks and Armenians,” he said.
“If one of the pillars is crippled, it will create distress. Let’s say we opened the Armenian border gate. If a war breaks out between Armenia and Azerbaijan, then we would be forced to close it again. The hardest thing is to defrost the iceberg of the status quo. You could start a war when you trying to defrost it,” he said.