Türkiye'nin en iyi köşe yazarları en güzel köşe yazıları ile Hürriyet'te! Usta yazarlar ve gündemi değerlendiren köşe yazılarını takip edin.

Davutoğlu: We did not promise anything excessive

After my article was published yesterday Ahmet Davutoğlu, chief advisor of the prime ministry, called to say he wants some corrections to be made. I wrote that word "was out" about Davutoğlu. During his trip to Washington before Obama’s visit to Ankara, he exhibited behavior that increased Americans’ expectations about the readiness to open the border.

Especially during Clinton’s and Obama’s visits, Ankara reflected the impression in the press that it approached this matter with sympathy.

Based on these impressions I said that people wondered whether or not "The Turkish side gave exaggerated hopes to the Obama administration and, if so, if Washington feels deceived then might a genocide decision pass through congress." Ahmet Davutoğlu said, "There is no such thing." Neither during contact with Washington nor during Clinton’s and Obama’s visits did we promise "the opening of the border" and repeated insistently they have not engaged in any commitment they cannot fulfill. He said, "I called because I did not want to be misunderstood."

Davutoğlu stressed the fact that they have never exhibited behavior that might mislead the American administration. Then why did the Azerbaijani take on such a brisk attitude? Davutoğlu is very clear about it. "We shared each development with our Azerbaijani siblings. We did not hide anything from them. In any event that cannot be the case. Would we take a step without the Azerbaijanis?"

Now a new period begins
Davutoğlu did not want to go beyond this point in our conversation. He only said, "What we talked about with the Americans surfaced with the announcement last night. We negotiated with the Armenians, informed the Azerbaijanis and started a new period." The purpose is the opening of the border between Turkey and Armenia, get relations back to normal and at the same time solve the Karabakh issue. Consider a two-way road. Armenia will take a step and Turkey will answer with a corresponding step. Turkey will make a gesture and the Armenians will answer in the Karabakh issue. One needs to view this as a package agreement. And the parts in this package are interconnected. The content of the process to normalize relations is top secret and it has no timeframe.

Azerbaijan being punished like this and speculations being made regarding the new period is only natural. For, now the 17-year-old frozen Karabakh issue is trying to be thawed. The Minsk Group with its 10 members (including its co-chairs the United States, France, Russia) was established to solve this problem, but has not been able to change the status quo for 17 years. Countries like the United States and France that house Armenian diaspora especially did not want to change the status quo. For, the status quo serves Armenia well.

The realization of the agreement between Turkey and Armenia depends on an agreement between the Azerbaijanis and Armenians regarding Karabakh. And to provide for this agreement the Minsk group needs to spend some effort. This means that Washington and France need to roll up their sleeves and provide support.

One needs to show understanding for reactions in Baku. They are suspicious and concerned about any change after 17 years of status quo. They want to be on the safe side of things in the new balances to be formed. If Ankara increases dialogue with and response to the sensitivity of our Azerbaijani siblings then there won’t be any problems. But this will be a long process. We will see in the future if we can come to the end of the tunnel.

In summary, Turkey has taken a step and started an intelligent process.