17 April 2014, Thursday
Today's Zaman

Turkey strongly condemns Sarksyan’s ‘occupation’ remarks

26 July 2011, Tuesday /TODAYSZAMAN.COM
Turkey has condemned Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan's speech in which he urged school children in the capital of Yerevan to occupy eastern Turkey.

A statement released by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday said Turkey strongly condemns a response by Sarksyan to a question about occupying eastern Turkey. When asked by a student at a literature contest ceremony if Armenians will be able to get back their “western territories” along with Mt. Ararat, Sarksyan said, "This is the task of your generation."

Armenians attach great historical and cultural importance to Mt. Ararat on the eastern border of modern-day Turkey, around where an Armenian entity is believed to have first adopted Christianity as the official state religion in 301 A.D.

Sarksyan said his generation had fulfilled its task by “getting back” Karabakh, a part of what he called “our motherland." Nagorno-Karabakh is an Azerbaijani territory which is currently under Armenian occupation. Both countries have met dozens of times to find a settlement to the decades-long conflict but have failed to secure a peace agreement. Armenia currently occupies 20 percent of Azerbaijani territories, including seven adjacent provinces populated by ethnic Azerbaijanis.

The statement also said the primary duty of statesmen must be to prepare their societies, particularly youth, for a peaceful and prosperous future. Turkey said it is “very irresponsible behavior” to make recommendations to youth and future generations that could provoke animosity and an ideology of hatred between nations.

Turkey and Armenia took part in an attempt, which failed, two years ago to bury a century of hostilities by signing twin protocols on normalization of relations and establishing diplomatic ties, which also included opening the Turkish-Armenian border in two months if the protocols were ratified by both countries' parliaments.

The Foreign Ministry's statement said at a time when peace attempts have intensified in the region, the Armenian president's statements signaled that “he has no intention for peace.”

DIPLOMACY  Other Titles
US warns against damage to ties over recurring media claims
Chief ombudsman laments low implementation of KDK recommendations
KRG's Barzani visits Ankara for talks with Erdoğan
Villagers file suit against ministry over stray bullets from Syria
Chinese deputy foreign minister in Ankara for inter-delegation meeting
Turkey says deeply concerned over events in Ukraine
‘Turkey will not remain silent over 'genocide resolution' if adopted’
Russia welcomes Turkey's assurances on observance of Montreux terms
Poland: NATO should send troops to east Europe, ignore Russia's objections
US looks to Turkey to uphold checks and balances
Dubai may be a hub for Turkey and Iran's illicit transactions
US House Speaker meets senior Turkish officials in Ankara
EU Minister Çavuşoğlu says Füle's comments on Turkey ‘balanced'
US Ambassador Ricciardone has talks with AK Party officials
Turkey's honorary consuls meet to discuss foreign policy
Iran to build cultural center in the heart of İstanbul
Loğoğlu: No Turkish institution in US works against Turkey
Erdoğan will further polarize Turkey as presidential election approaches
European Union concerned about rule of law in Turkey
Turkey seeks to restore dialogue with Serbia with FM's visit
Turkish Rights groups slam Egypt over execution ruling
Turkey to boost relations with Afghanistan, backing stability in post-election era
Erdoğan's political ambitions clash with Turkey's long-term interests
Critics say Turkey no longer state with rule of law with MİT bill
Turkey might export domestic political tension to diaspora