YEREVAN (Arka) — Turkey has been and remains a party to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, according to Cengiz Aktar, a political science professor at Istanbul University. Speaking today in Yerevan during a roundtable on the Karabakh conflict he said Ankara stepped up its involvement after the failure of the Zurich protocols.
“Turkey began helping its brother Azerbaijan, although the bulk of Turks have no idea where Karabakh is, even Turkish foreign minister,’ he said.
According to him, Turkey’s position on this issue is completely emotional – Ankara supports Baku in defiance of diplomatic rules.
“Turkish media offered very little information about what has been happening in Karabakh over the recent days. Reliable information appeared only in bilingual Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos,’ Aktar said.
Turkey and Armenia have had no diplomatic ties since Armenia became independent from the Soviet Union in 1991. Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in a show of support for its ally, Azerbaijan, which had a dispute with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, the ethnic Armenian enclave of Azerbaijan.
There are several sensitive issues complicating the establishment of normal relations between the two countries, particularly Ankara’s blatant support of Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution process and Turkey’s refusal to acknowledge the mass killings of Armenians the Ottoman Empire as genocide.
The thaw in relations between the two countries began in 2008 at the Armenian president’s initiative. In 2009 October 10 Armenia and Turkey signed “Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations” and “Protocol on the Development of Bilateral Relations” in Zurich which were to be ratified by the parliaments of both countries.
However, on 22 April 2010, the President of Armenia signed a decree suspending the ratification of the protocols, stating that Turkey was not ready to continue the process.