1064) Imperialism Is The Main Obstacle On The Way Of Armenian-Turkish Relations; Neither Turks Nor Armenians Are To Blame


Imperialism Is The Main Obstacle On The Way Of Armenian-Turkish Relations; Neither Turks Nor Armenians Are To Blame
Dr. Hasan Oktay Assures

Hasan Oktay of the Institute of Armenian Studies in Ankara together with a coworker Banu is in Armenia these days. On September 3 Oktay visited Azg Daily publishing house and had a talk with editor-in-chief Hakob Avetikian. Apparently, the Turkish scientist is interested in the position of the Azg Daily as regard to the international acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide, Armenia-Turkish relations and the border-gate opening.

Oktay’s interview with Hakob Avetikian will be presented as soon as the former returns to Ankara. For that very reason we present our own interview with the head of the Institute of Armenian Studies. The interview was interesting regardless any disagreement over issues.

Q: What’s your main purpose for visiting Armenia?

A: To see the neighboring Armenia, to go sightseeing. When you see everything with your own eyes you become fond of it.

Q: As a head of an institute you must be interested in scientific establishments of Armenia. Which of those will you visit?

A: I shall be at the National Academy of Sciences, particularly at the Institutes of Oriental Studies and of History, I’ll also visit the Yerevan State University, Department of Oriental Studies and the Institute-Museum of Armenian Genocide.

Q: Have you visited other places besides Yerevan?

A: We had time only to visit Etchmiadzin. We’ll leave for Gyumri for 3 days, then we’ll visit the Sardarapat National Museum.

Q: What is your impression of Armenia?

A: I expected to see a better country. Armenia could have been in a better condition and Yerevan more orderly. Saying "better" I mean the reflection of economy on the city.

Q: What do you think of Armenian-Turkish relations?

A: I think they will improve in the near future.

Q: What do you consider the main obstacle on the way of development of these relations?

A: I consider the imperialism the main obstacle on the way of Turkish-Armenian relations; neither Turks nor Armenians are to blame.

Q: What about Turkey’s close cooperation with such imperialistic state as the USA?

A: The Turkish-US relations are not on a healthy ground at present.

Q: If the imperialists are to blame, why is Turkey striving for the EU? After all, such imperialistic states as France and Germany are there.

A: No matter how hard Turkey tries, it will never be a member. It seems to me that Turkey is being tricked. Don’t you think so?

Q: What do you think of Azg Daily’s online edition?

A: There in Turkey many people consider Azg Daily to be the only Armenian newspaper with a daily online edition. Turkey is attentive to Azg Daily’s publications. And we know that Turkey is always at the spotlight of Azg Daily.

Q: What can you say about the Institute of Armenian Studies?

A: Our Institute was founded in May of 2001 and operates within the frameworks of the Center for Eurasian Research. The Institute publishes 2 editions in Turkish and English. And we have 9 scientists at the Institute.

Q: What kind of researches are you carrying out?

A: We try to contribute the development of Armenia-Turkish relations. We want the world to understand the Armenians of Turkey correctly. Meanwhile we try to respond through researches to those attempting to spoil relations between the two nations. Our studies include the history of Armenia from ancient times till our days. We approach the historic issues from social, psychological views as well as from the angle of international relations.

Q: Do you have any message to deliver?

A: I appeal to Armenian people and the intelligentsia to join us in our efforts of raising Turkish-Armenian relations to the level of blessed old times.

By Hakob Chakrian
AZG Armenian Daily #156, 08/09/2004


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