Turkey's economic expansion biggest threat to Armenia

Despite the sluggish protests of the opposition and some pro-governmental parties, the Foreign Minister will sign the Armenian-Turkish agreement.

Little time is left for consideration till October 14, when Turkish and Armenian national football teams meet in the frames of a World Cup qualifying match. The question is whether to sign or not sign the Protocols on the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations. Discussions are held not only in Armenia, where the entire population seems to be engaged in the process, but also in Turkey.

PanARMENIAN.Net - In both countries there are supporters and opponents of normalization of relations but, frankly speaking, neither of the sides will be listened to at the decisive moment. Thus, there will happen what the world powers are pushing the two countries to. Nevertheless, it should be noted that the number of opponents and supporters, even for the simple opening of the border is nearly the same in both countries. For some reason people in Armenia consider that the Turks want the border opened for the mere aim to crush the Armenians economically and to dictate their political will. Indeed, there is a grain of truth in this fear, but it is only a grain since almost the same is believed also by the Turks: Armenians will stream into Turkey, build hotels on the shores of Lake Van and inflate property prices. And all this at the time of crisis and enormous foreign debt. The trouble is that we basically draw the information about Turkey from the Azerbaijani media which writes about everything from the standpoint of Official Baku. Hence the extreme nervousness of Baku, which neither the President nor the Prime Minister of Turkey will be able to dispel.

As for Armenia, despite the sluggish protests of the opposition and some pro-governmental parties, the Foreign Minister will sign the Armenian-Turkish agreement. The same applies to Ahmet Davutoğlu. And all these meetings with party leaders are simply a tribute paid to international and "democratic" standards. However, the Protocols have an excellent loophole in case of "unpleasant" turn of events: they shall enter into force only after being ratified by the parliaments of both countries. And this may result in a number of complications in the Turkish parliament, which, however, is almost completely composed of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) members. However, this majority is not like our silent majority that votes as ordered. Among the AKP members there are a lot of people really dissatisfied with Gul and Erdogan's policy towards Europe and Armenia. And there is also opposition, led by Deniz Baykal, which roughly speaking, is a lobbyist for Baku. There exist also ultranationalists who are ready to just kill anyone who would urge Turkey to reconcile with "unfaithful" Armenia. So, it is absurd to claim that Turkey merely "dreams" about conquering Armenia. It is true that Turkey, and before it the Ottoman Empire, is enemy number 1 for the Armenians. But from a different outlook, similar enemy to Turkey are the Armenians: disturbing, always demanding, writing letters to all international bodies. Only unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, no one wants to listen to them.

However, let us return to the discussions that are becoming more and more frivolous daily. Indeed, why should the Health Commission or the Public Chamber of the Republic of Armenia discuss the Protocols? Or why should it be done by the Agriculture Commission, whose concern, however, is grounded: the Armenian market might be flooded with cheap fruit and vegetables from the border provinces, as a result of which our farmers would eventually go bankrupt.

In our view the right thing to do would not be to discuss the contents of the Protocols, which are interpreted by politicians in a manner suitable to them, but to try to produce some legal mechanism that would help to avoid the negative consequences of the normalization of relations with Turkey. Instead of "exchange" of opinions we need laws that would prevent the import of Turkish food into Armenia and restrict the exports of manufactured goods. In other words, the economy of Armenia must be prepared for the possible Turkish expansion. This is very serious because in the view of imperfectness of the laws and the pursuit of profit, we may simply award the Turks a chance to buy real estate, and what the politicians say may come true with the connivance of those same politicians, by the way. In Turkey, for example, foreign nationals cannot buy real estate for any money. It is so also in Armenia, but for great amounts you can do everything. So, in the long run, all these "discussions" are useless; they are just a great PR-campaign for our politicians, analysts and experts.

In fact, everything will be signed, ratified, President of Armenia will attend the football match, and the Armenian team will lose again. The scenario will repeat itself..

Karine Ter-Sahakyan / PanARMENIAN News
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