2945) Forward To The Past: Russia, Turkey, And Armenia’s Faith, Raffi K. Hovannisian

October 17, 2008

The recent race of strategic realignments reflects a real crisis in the world order and risks a dangerous recurrence of history. Suffice the testimony of nearly all global and regional actors, which have quickly shifted their gears and ushered in a new cycle of reassessment of interests and, to that end, a diversification of policy priorities and political partnerships.

It matters little whether this geopolitical scramble was directly triggered by the Russian-Georgian conflagration and the derivative collapse of standing paradigms for the Caucasus, or whether it crowned latently simmering scenarios in the halls of international power. The fact is that the great game—for strategic resources, control over communications and routes of transit, and long-term leverage—is on again with renewed vigor, self-serving partisanship, and duplicitous . . entanglement.

One of the signals of this unbrave new world is the apparent reciprocal rediscovery of Russia and Turkey. Whatever its motivations and manifestations, Turkey’s play behind the back of its transatlantic bulwark and Russia’s dealings at the expense of its “strategic ally” raise the specter of history’s return, recalling the days more than 85 years ago when Bolshevik Russia and Nationalist Turkey, not contenting themselves with the legacy of the great Genocide and National Dispossession of 1915, partitioned the Armenian homeland in Molotov-Ribbentrop fashion and to its fatal future detriment.

Mountainous Karabagh, or Artsakh in Armenian, was one of the territorial victims of this 1921 plot of the pariahs, as it was placed under Soviet Azerbaijani suzerainty together with Nakhichevan. The latter province of the historical Armenian patrimony was subsequently cleansed of its Armenian plurality and even of its Armenian cultural heritage, the most contemporary evidence of which was the Azerbaijani Republic’s (a Council of Europe member-state) total, Taliban-style annihilation in December 2005 of the medieval cemetery and thousands of Armenian cross-stones at Jugha.

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Forward To The Past Russia Turkey And Armenia's Faith.pdf


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