ANKARA — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has reportedly criticized his predecessor’s visiting Armenia in 2008 to attend a soccer match between the Turkish and Armenian national teams as part of reconciliation efforts between the two countries, Today’s Zaman reports.

Speaking to a group of academics and historians known for their expertise on the conflict between Turkey and Armenia, Erdogan targeted his predecessor Abdullah Gül’s visit to Yerevan to attend a football match years ago. Gül had visited Yerevan in 2008 for a match between the Turkish and Armenian teams, which at the time had been dubbed “football diplomacy” between the two countries who do not share diplomatic ties with one another.

Historian Mustafa Armagan, who attended the meeting held at the Turkish presidential palace Ak Saray on Thursday, claimed that Erdogan thought Gül’s visit had played into the hands of Armenians and failed to yield any substantial result on the diplomatic front. “He [Erdogan] stressed how moves like Gül’s visit to Yerevan to attend the football match gave an upper hand to the other side and paved the way for them to exert pressure on us,” Armagan said.

Following Gül’s visit, both countries embarked upon a number of diplomatic meetings mediated by Switzerland, resulting in the Zurich protocols to normalize ties between Turkey and Armenia. The protocols were signed in Zurich on Oct. 10, 2009 with the aim of establishing diplomatic relations and opening the two countries’ land border.

The process for reconciliation between the two countries has been deadlocked since then.

On Friday Abdullah Gül said that historian Armagan must have misunderstood President Erdogan’s comments and that he probably didn’t mean to denounce the Yerevan visit.

1 comment
  1. The Historian Armagan is not a stupid to announce
    On a thief and unethical comments of Erdogan…
    Everyday he has a new just-less phrases on everyone
    He think he is a sultan
    Nothing comes without a reason …
    And what Armagan said, it came from facts …
    Otherwise he will be in jail like many journalist there
    Every Armenian welcomed p. Gul from his land Kayseri …
    Kayseri was full with many Armenian homes, palaces,
    silk factories, shops, Churches, Cathedrals…
    No Armenian was against President Gul’s visit
    Being of Islamist party… because he is a real human…
    He knows who are Armenians and what they did for Turkey …
    He is from Kayseri born and bread with many hidden Armenians*
    and he feels with their hidden sacred, scared pain,
    and stories of genocide from many centuries and never one …
    Who can deny is not born from honest mothers’ wombs yet.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~
    *they say Gul’s mother, Adavia Satoglu, has Armenian roots …every name ends with Oglu you must suspect that is converted to so-called Turkish (turkified)…See how many Turkish Armenians have that name …which means son…
    Adaviya: The exact name is “Adawiya” is very Arabic female name used by Egyptians…Other Arabs they don’t use this name …

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