ARF Begins Protest Against Armenia-Turkey Protocols

A poster released by the ARF asking Armenians not to give in.
A poster released by the ARF asking Armenians not to give in.

YEREVAN—The Supreme Council of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) on Tues., Sept. 15 kicked off its month-long protest against the protocols between Armenia and Turkey with a hunger strike and sit-in at the foreign ministry and government headquarters, reported Yerkir.

As 24 ARF members—symbolizing April 24—began their hunger strike at the foreign ministry, some 60 members began a sit-in at the government building. Chanting “No concessions to Turkey!” and “Nalabandian must resign,” the protesters also initiated a petition campaign against the protocols, collecting signatures from passersby in high-traffic Republic Square.

ARF Supreme Council of Armenia chairman Armen Rustamian told those gathered outside that the sit-in and the hunger strike would continue until provisions of the protocols are amended.

“These demonstrations are meant to reject the preconditions forced on us, and demand that the provisions of the document that jeopardize Armenian interests are reviewed,” Rustamian said. “No matter how hard the government is trying to say that there are no preconditions in the document, we believe they serve only Turkish interests. They say the Kars Treaty is not mentioned in the protocols; then why does it say that we have to recognize the current boundaries? These borders are described only in the 1921 Kars Treaty. No other treaty speaks of the borders.”

“We demand that authorities include our proposed changes in the protocols. These documents are anti-Armenian and cannot be signed in their current format. We’ll continue the protest and hunger strike unless all our proposals are considered,” echoed ARF parliamentary bloc member Artyusha Shahbazyan.

ARF Bureau member and parliamentary bloc leader Vahan Hovannesian said that the authorities had agreed to the protocols because they did not understand the inherent dangers and consequences to their actions.

“Officials also have national responsibilities,” he said. “They are responsible for our future generations.” The ARF has not abandoned its calls for Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian to resign, he added. For while in Turkey, the government has reached out to political forces on the matter, such efforts by Armenian officials have not been made in earnest. “The public at-large is not aware of the full scope of the developments,” Hovanessian said.

The ARF’s political affairs director, Giro Manoyan, said the authorities had not intention of amending the protocols.

“We are not given a chance to present our concerns to the people. There are two key provisions that disturb us: the recognition of the borders and the establishment of a commission tasked with addressing historical issues that would enable Turkey to discuss the issue of the genocide,” he said.


  1. Whatever one thinks of Turkey’s leaders, they seem to be genuinely Turkish, and they desire to cut the best deal for Turkey. 
    One wishes that Armenia’s leaders were the same.  Come to think of it, Armenia’s leaders like Sargsian and Nalbandian ARE the same: they are trying to cut a deal that is best for Turkey too. 
    You really have to admire Sargsian for throwing away all Armenian claims against Turkey and for letting the joint historical commission decide for itself what really happened in 1915, don’t you?  I mean, the guy is an Armenian Jesus Christ.  When Turkey slaps him in the face, he turns the other cheek.  The best part is, Armenians are bound to inherit the Earth. How so?  Well, the Bible says that the weak shall inherit the Earth, and we Armenians are WEAK to let Serge get away it the protocols.  

    This, then, is the role we have been given by God as the First Christian Nation on Earth: National Suicide.

  2. Protests in the US and diaspora must be the mirror of widespread protests in Erevan that harken back to 1988 Karabagh protests.  Otherwise, we are lending support to the inaccurate State Department argument that the genocide issue is only a diaspora issue, and not a national security issue for Armenia.   The articles in our papers do not reflect that the anyone beyond the handful of ARF supporters in Erevan are protesting the protocols.

  3. Always remember that all the answers are in history. Machiavelli said in The Prince ” The end justifies the means”  The means in which Turkey is trying to appear  to establish diplomatic unity with Armenia is a lie in order for Turkey to gain access into the European Union.  According to these protocols one of the stipulations is that Turkey wants to establish a historical commission with the Armenian government for what?  We all know that the genocide happened. This is another attempt by the Turkish government to deny the genocide. They tried it a few years ago with that joke TARC  ( Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Committee)  Turkey wants to keep all of the lands it stole from Armenia during the genocide Moush Erzourum, Bitlis. Furthermore Turkey is going to keep the economic blockade on Armenia to help Azerbaijian. 
    I think the ARF is doing the right thing by being a watch dog on these protocols. if you don’t have a watch dog then problems can arise. I don’t blame my people for being leary of  the Turkish government’s attempts to deny history and continue to oppress our people.
    I would like to see more reporting done about what the Armenian people in Armenia think about both the Armenian and Turkish protocols. What can be done to help Armenia’s political and economic infrastructure.   I would like to see more Armenians in the Diaspora be involved in Armenian politics. 
    In solidarity,

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