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

Will the genocide guillotine fall tomorrow?

The opening of the border between Armenia and Turkey is progressively taking on a more complex form. I fear we might face a big fiasco in the end. I don’t know the contents of negotiations or the background. Nobody knows about the details except the formal authority anyway.

All evaluation is done based on formal announcements, statements and information leaked to the press. I would like to reflect the situation based on these data and information given by people participating in negotiations. Was Washington assured?

Let’s start with why the opening of the border is so important: Turkey becomes progressively trapped in the Armenian genocide allegation with each passing year. The genocide allegations are now at a point where they are internationally accepted. The last castle the Armenian lobby cannot destroy is Washington. But they are trying. In case Washington adopts the "genocide" thesis one needs not to be clairvoyant to tell that Turkey’s international business and respect will be hurt.

The only way to slow this process down is to pay attention to relations with Armenia and start a new period of mutual benefits. If the border opens Yerevan will stop turning genocide pressure into a diplomatic imposition, at least for some time. Under these circumstances the key country is the United States and the person its new president Barack Obama. Before elections he said he would accept the Armenian genocide. Now the only way to postpone his promise for a while is to stress the avoidance of undermining the new period between Turkey and Armenia, and to declare not to pronounce the genocide thesis. Meaning, he needs to strengthen his hand.

President Gül’s historic visit to Yerevan and statements thereafter created an atmosphere for a very clear message to the Obama administration. As a matter of fact, before Obama’s visit to Ankara, Ahmet Davutoğlu is said to "have sent positive signals to the U.S. administration" during his contact with Washington. American authorities say that Obama went with such high hopes on his Ankara visit and had the impression in Ankara that "this matter has been finalized." I wonder? I wonder if Turkey really gave a different hope to the Obama administration. Has Azerbaijan not been paid enough attention? We are facing a weird situation at the moment.

Washington believes that the border will be opened and is expectant. Yerevan persists on the border issue, even points to a date. Whereas in Ankara minds are confused. One day we encounter an extremely soft atmosphere, the other day abstaining.

Within this chaos it seems the Baku factor has been forgotten. Behind closed doors Ankara might consider the opening of the border under the condition that Armenians withdraw from at least part of Azerbaijani territory, but this has not been reflected to the public. It seems that it has also not been reflected sufficiently to Baku as well because Azerbaijanis’ reactions are still strong. They have still not eased off. The prime minister for the first time has spoken clearly in a group meeting connecting the opening of the border with the ending of the occupation of the Armenians. He gave the message that as long as the Armenians do not withdraw the border will not be opened.

Baku puts embargo on Turkey’s Armenia politics
The situation at the moment seems very chaotic. The Azerbaijanis showed reactions they never showed before and lobbied as they have never before. The Azerbaijani have taken Turkey’s Armenian politics completely under their control. Ankara used to pay attention to Azerbaijani sensitivity but Baku never imprisoned Ankara like this before. Turkey’s Armenian politics will from now on progress fine tuned with Baku and no important step will be taken without the approval of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani leader Aliyev has successfully obtained what he wanted and interlocked Ankara. Let’s wait for a genocide decision from congress

The situation at the White House is very chaotic at the moment. One wonders what President Obama will do when he sees that the opening of the border and Turkey fails for one or another reason. Tomorrow is April 24. Announcements will be made from the White House regarding the anniversary of the 1915 events. With great possibility there will be no mention of genocide in his messages. We will probably survive tomorrow but if the border is not opened within this year we should expect the possibility of a decision regarding genocide to pass the U.S. Congress and President Obama not to spend much effort to prevent it.
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