May 4, 2013 - 16:12 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Hopes that Turkey could ever solve its almost intractable Kurdish issue have never been as high as they were in the first quarter of 2013. If this peace process can continue with all its ups and downs but without rupture, it could that suggest that another perennial issue as old as the Kurdish issue, the Armenian question, can also be tackled, Turkish journalist Cengiz Çandar says in “No Incentive for Turkey, Armenia To Normalize Relations” article published by the Assyrian International News Agency.
“Of course, there is a fundamental difference. The Kurdish issue directly concerns 15 million people living in Turkey as Turkish citizens and more than 30 million other Kurds living in the region and majority populations of tens of millions living in those countries. The Armenian question is about the perishing of a national community on the land they have been living for time immemorial. Today, the question is more about its deep psychological scars rather than its physical aspects,” he says.
“For the Armenians, a large part of historical Armenia, what they call Western Armenia, covers a substantial portion of today's eastern Turkey. It is not unusual for countries and lands to change names but for the Armenians and Turkey, the issue is more than losing land but the almost total annihilation of a nation on the land where they used to live,” he says.
“In the meanwhile, we have to remember that the assassination in 2007 of Turkey's most influential and best known democratic figure, Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, constituted a breaking point in Turkey's Armenian issue that heralded the emergence on the political stage of the "Turkish Armenian" identity, even though they are but a 60,000-strong minority living only in Istanbul, down from 1.5 million in 1915,” Çandar continues.
“Since that time, an increasing number of Turks and Kurds of Turkey, in solidarity with Armenians, began to discuss the Armenian issue and to observe April 24 as Genocide Remembrance Day, first in the center of Istanbul and then, this year, in many provincial capitals, led by Diyarbakir.
Turkey faces a complex structure of Armenia-Diaspora-Turkey's Armenians. For the late Hrant Dink, normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia was a life mission. A year and half after his assassination we came very close to his ideals,” Çandar says.
“2015 will be the 100th anniversary of the genocide, and Armenian mobilization in the international arena in 2015 will be a potential irritant for Turkey. But, then, Turkey's own domestic developments and bringing in the Diaspora to share April 24 observances, also means that genocide will no longer be something Turkey owes to Armenia. In other words, the need for closure of the Genocide File is no longer an incentive or sine qua non for normalization of Turkey-Armenia relations. No Turkey-Armenian normalization is detected in the horizon. And there won't be unless there are mutually enticing and strong incentives,” he concludes.