Sassounian: Ten Reasons Why Turks Won’t Allow Their Leaders to Ratify the Protocols

In earlier columns, I pointed out Turkey’s deceptive designs in negotiating and signing the protocols with Armenia on Oct. 10, 2009.

In addition to planning to deceive Armenia and international public opinion, Turkish leaders tried to mislead their closest ally, Azerbaijan, and the Turkish public about the potential benefits of the protocols. Even though the protocols were clearly in Turkey’s interest, its leaders tried to oversell the benefits of the negotiated agreement in order to overcome possible objections from critics at home and abroad, particularly Azerbaijan.

As expected, the Erdogan government did get into trouble with Azerbaijan when Azeri President Ilham Aliyev complained loudly that by planning to open the border with Armenia, Turkey would be abandoning its “little brother” by removing the key incentive for Armenia to negotiate the return of Karabagh (Artsakh). Azerbaijani officials, not appeased by Turkish assurances, retaliated by tripling the price of gas exported to Turkey, taking down Turkish flags from public places, banning Turkish movies and songs from Azeri TV, and shutting down Turkish-financed mosques in Baku.

Meanwhile, opposition forces in Turkey, seeing a golden opportunity to diminish Prime Minister Erdogan’s parliamentary majority, immediately accused him of betraying Turkey’s national interests by siding with their perennial Armenian enemies, rather than with their Azeri brothers.

In order to counter such accusations, Turkish leaders were forced to make a series of unsubstantiated claims, exaggerating the benefits of the protocols to both Azerbaijan and Turkey. They assured the Azeris that they would pressure Armenia into returning Artsakh to Azerbaijan before the Turkish Parliament would ratify the protocols and normalize relations with Armenia. Furthermore, Turkish officials reassured their own public that the protocols would put an end to “Armenian claims” of genocide and territorial demands in eastern Turkey.

The Turkish and Azeri public was not fooled by Ankara’s misrepresentation of the protocols. Here are 10 major reasons why the Turkish Parliament could refuse to ratify the protocols:

1) Despite repeated announcements by Gul, Erdogan, and Davutoglu that the resolution of the Artsakh conflict is a precondition for the ratification of the protocols, the United States, Russia, the European Union, as well as Armenia have repeatedly pointed out that there is no such stipulation in the protocols. In addition, they have counseled against linking the two issues or holding hostage the negotiations on the Artsakh conflict to the ratification of the protocols. Armenia has steadfastly refused to link the protocols to the Artsakh issue.

2) There is no truth to the Turkish claim that the protocols would put an end to Armenia’s pursuit of genocide recognition and its acknowledgment by third countries. It is also untrue that the protocols would set up a mechanism for the study of the Armenian Genocide. In fact, the protocols have triggered renewed efforts by Armenians in recent weeks to seek acknowledgment of the genocide by the British, Bulgarian, Israeli, and Swedish Parliaments. Moreover, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee has scheduled a vote on the Armenian Genocide resolution on March 4. A similar resolution is pending in the U.S. Senate.

3) Contrary to Turkish assertions, the “historical commission” mentioned in the protocols would serve not as a genocide review board, but as a platform for Armenia to present demands for restitution from Turkey.

4) The Turkish claim that the protocols would end Armenian territorial demands is belied by the fact that no mention is made of any past treaty that requires Armenia to renounce such rights. Rather than abandoning Artsakh or Western Armenia, Armenian President Sarkisian raised for the first time in his last week remarks the depopulation of the Armenian region of Nakhichevan, after Soviet authorities relinquished it to Azerbaijan.

5) Armenia and the major powers have rejected Turkish demands that the Armenian Constitutional Court “correct” its Jan. 12, 2010 ruling that limited Turkey’s exaggerated interpretations of the protocols. The Court insisted that the pursuit of genocide recognition cannot be abandoned, and Artsakh’s status cannot be negotiated with Turkey due to the bilateral nature of the protocols.

6) Turkish leaders have no reason to protest against the Armenian Court’s reference to the Preamble of the Constitution on pursuing the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. This Preamble is based on Article 11 of Armenia’s Declaration of Independence which has existed since 1990, long before Turkey first opened its border with Armenia. Indeed, Turkey’s leaders were well aware of this provision before signing the protocols in 2009.

7) Turkish officials have falsely stated that the protocols acknowledge the Treaty of Kars of 1921, which Soviet Armenia was forced to sign. There is no reference to the Kars Treaty in the protocols. Furthermore, the Constitutional Court of Armenia ruled that only those treaties that have been ratified by the present Republic of Armenia are valid.

8) Rather than achieving its lofty objective of “zero-problems with neighbors,” the Turkish government, by signing the protocols, has created a serious rift with neighboring Azerbaijan, where no problem existed before.

9) It is noteworthy that Turkish officials have not expressed any objection to Armenia’s demand that Turkey be the first to ratify the protocols. This is a humiliating imposition on Turkey as it implies—for good reason—Armenia’s lack of trust in Turkey.

10) Likewise, Turkish leaders have not responded to Armenia’s threat to rescind its signature should Turkey not ratify the protocols by the end of March—one month before April 24. This is yet another humiliating imposition by Armenia on a country whose leaders espouse grandiose neo-Ottoman fantasies.

The foregoing 10 points demonstrate a serious credibility gap between the Turkish government and its own public, as well as the international community. Ankara has tried to deceive everyone within and outside Turkey by creating the false impression of wanting to normalize relations with Armenia. Turkish officials have no one but themselves to blame for this predicament. They thought that by bluffing they could extract more concessions from Armenia. It did not work. They have now fallen in their own trap and no one is too eager to rescue them.


Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the Armenia Artsakh Fund, a non-profit organization that has donated to Armenia and Artsakh $917 million of humanitarian aid, mostly medicines, since 1989 (including its predecessor, the United Armenian Fund). He has been decorated by the presidents of Armenia and Artsakh and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.


  1. Turkey can never sustain it’s lies, genocide, invasions, occupations & violations forever. Eventually (which is looking very near by now) the world will get bored of Turkey’s big mouth & deluded claims of being a ‘regional power’. Turkey’s death warrant has already been signed, the moment Erdogan enacted his Davos blunder by showing the diplomativ skills of a barbarian & insulting Israel. Israel quite rightly told Turkey to think about the Armenian issue, the Kurdish issue & Turkey’s illegal invasion & occupation of EU member Cyprus, before accusing Israel of committing ‘savage acts against humanity’. Erdogan’s war of words with Israel, has most probably ended Turkey behind the dark political scenes already. Interesting to see the Jewish lobby in America joining the supporting camp for the Armenian genocide bill.
    Turkey’s enemies must love Erdogan!

  2. These people are decendants of Ghengis Khan, the great humanitarian, that history books have written som much about. Ghengis Khan’s ilk now want to have zero problems with neighbors after 900 years of occupation and theft of the indiginous populations’ cultures and genes.

    May the deniers visit their great grand father Ghengis and quickly.

  3. Mr. Sassonian, you forgot to mention that the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Armenia refers to the current boarder as set of checkpoints.
    I was one of the first to state that these protocols are dead. Even if they somehow ratified, accoirding to the  international law, they would be clouded by illegal conduct of Mr. Aliyev – threatening Armenians. Furthermore, forcing Armenia to pull out from Artsakh as only condition for ratifying these protocols is another reason for illegality of such agreement.

  4. “These people” are not descendents of Cengiz Han, and that is certainly not the only thing you got wrong.  Why ignorant shout their bigotry from roof tops, I never understand.

    I hope a way is found for the protocols to be ratified.  It is the right thing for both countries.  Without any movement, even symbolic, in Karabag issue, it will be very difficult to get the votes, but that is Erdogan’s problem.  Of course, it makes little sense for Armenians to just watch it passively, as they have the most at risk. 

    Regardless of protocols, it would be difficult to achieve true peace and normalcy in the area without a resolution of the Karabag issue.  No one should kid themselves.

  5. Murat, the Armenians found a “resolution” to the Karabagh conflict in 1994.  What resolution are you talking about?

  6. WHat means “symbolic movement in the Karabag issue” for you, Murat?
    “Regardless of protocols, it would be difficult to achieve true peace and normalcy in the area without a resolution of the Karabag issue. ” => I agree. We in Artsakh (Karabagh) exist, lead a rather acceptable existence, and we certainly have the right to have a say in the talks when everybody is talking about us. I, for one, would immediately put back Karabagh in the negotiations format.
    Anyways, the only major and true problem standing in the way of the development of South Caucasus is Turkey’s and Azerbaijan’s openly hostile and warlike attitude (including the blockade!) towards Armenia and Artsakh (Karabagh). If everyone would just leave us alone and ACCEPT THE STATUS QUO everything would be much better.
    And, to the topic of protocols, in case it will happen as Mr. Sassounian states in the last couple of points, it is a shame for Armenian leadership that it took such a dangerous situation like the current one for them to stand up on their feet and open up their mouth ( no, not even fight, in a long time nobody has done any real fighting in this issue) about their NATIONAL INTERESTS!

  7. Murat,
    Artsakh(ex Karabagh) issue is with Azerbeijan & not Turkey & they are not in the protocols & should not be linked.
    Should Armenia link the Cyprus issue/occupation by Turkey?Or Kurdistan????

  8. Funny, reads almost exactly like the Armenian Assembly’s statement.  Sounds like Sassounian has started whistling a different tune.

  9. Dear “Anon,”

    I suggest that you read my column once again, but this time, slowly and carefully!
    Among the many points you missed is the following line at the beginning of my column:
    “The Protocols were clearly in Turkey’s interest!”
    I have not changed my tune or my mind about the Protocols.
    I remain steadfastly and staunchly opposed to these defeatist Protocols!
    I am not afraid of signing my REAL name to my column and to my comment.

  10. Even though I won’t like to admit it, Sargsyan’s playing a pretty solid game since his disastrous Diaspora trip. Armenia’s Constitutional Court ruling, while not setting any new preconditions as Turkey would like the world to believe, did serve to explicitly throw out any possible interpretations of preconditions that would have been favorable to Turkey (ie Armenian Genocide being called into question and linkage of Artsakh issue).  No one is talking about it explicitly, but this really has weakened the ARF’s position on the protocols as the main points against the protocols were that they called into question the Armenian Genocide and recognition efforts and they linked “gave away” Artsakh.  Maybe Sargsyan is deservedly the president of the Armenian Chess Federation as it looks like the pieces of the game are falling in place and making him look really good.

  11. With things looking much clearer for them in the political arena, our “political experts” are now beginning to run in circles trying to indirectly explain and excuse their obsessive, irrational and hysterical behavior when they foolishly attempted to derail the signing of the protocols last October. This comment is not only for Mr. Sassounian (who I have deep respect for) only, it’s especially for all the other “political analyst wannabes with a podium” in our communities, especially those here within ARF circles.
    Some food for thought: Because of various geopolitical and economic factors, Ankara, against its will, has been ‘forced’ to sit at the negotiating table with Armenia by Russia and the West. Russia is the primary puppet-master here in this matter, the West is simply acting as support. Regardless of all the rhetorical gymnastics one can perform to make a self-serving point, the fact remains that Armenia desperately needs to have normal relations with its neighbors to develop properly as a nation-state. Obviously, the normalization of relations with regional neighbors cannot come at any price. Thanks to our nation’s current ruling administration and Moscow’s support, it has not.
    As a result of the current financial crisis engulfing the Western world and the outcome of the Russian-Georgian war in the summer of 2008, a resurgent Moscow is using Armenia as a stable and powerful platform to project its power in the region. The recent Russian sponsored rapprochement between Yerevan and Ankara is a great opportunity, economically and politically, for the Armenian state. The political stature of Armenia as a nation-state has not been this elevated for centuries. The question is: are we ready as a nation, as a people, to exploite this opportunity?
    Say what you will about president Sargsyan, official Yerevan has played its political role brilliantly – thus far. As a result of how Yerevan handled the protocols, Armenia today is in a win-win situation despite any outcome the political process may have. And despite Turkish fears and apprehensions about engaging Armenia on an equal footing, the ball is currently in Ankara’s court and Ankara will be forced to play ball.
    As I said, Armenia’s political leadership has been nothing less than brilliant in this matter.  Mr. Sargsyan has again proven that the Republican Party of Armenia has more political savvy and diplomatic sophistication than all our traditional diasporan parties combined. Our hopelessly ignorant/naive people (especially here in the diaspora) are only now perhaps beginning to wake up from their genocide obsessed fantasies.  But I yet have to see a well composed and seriously thought-out geopolitical analysis by one of our self-proclaimed community representatives here in the diaspora…

  12. Avetis,
    Most Armenians on this planet are against the protocols in its current form. No one denies the fact that an open border will be beneficial, but mostly for the Republican Party oligarchs, which is what you mean by the “Armenian State”. However, true reconciliation and lasting peace must come first by including and then resolving the Armenian Genocide issue which the Turks have no desire doing.  The border was illegally closed by the Turks and not Armenians so the ball has always been in their court.
    The protocols in its current form are a major political blunder secretly hatched by a phony elected self serving thug that has very little credibility and trust by most Armenians. You give Sargysian way too much credit. It was the constitutional court that had to clarify Armenia’s position on the genocide or he was all to happy to not only concede the borders but send the Armenian genocide into a “historical commission” abyss, forever burying it while all the time falsely maintaining a position of  “no preconditions”.
    Last, you give the Diaspora, which was genocidal created, way too little credit. There are over 20 countries that recognize the genocide today because of the sweat of the Diaspora. The Armenian lobby in the US plays an important role in securing millions of dollars for Armenian Aid as does all other Diaspora organizations. The Lindsey foundation alone, donated over 250 million US dollars for road building, schools etc. All this was done without anything in return other then the betterment of Armenia and its people. Your beloved Russia gives to Armenia but always for its own benefit. It’s giving is self serving and always has strings attached. There is nothing from Russia without something in return.  Nothing is for free. Nothing. Sargysian on the other hand, rules to fill his own pockets as well as those of his friends. He lives lavishly while most Armenians live in poverty. His self appointed rule cost the Armenian nation 60 million US dollars  from the millennium package alone and anyone who apposed him received beatings and lengthy jail time.
    Before calling people “ignorant” understand that very few Armenians agree with your sometime rude and mostly skewed point of view.

  13. From Day 1, the protocols were never a good thing.  

    Even if a person believed the protocols contained good elements, ask yourself: Is this really the best we as a people can do –  that is, protocols that divide the Armenian nation and whose implementation is of dubious value?  Wow, that is shooting rather low, don’t you think?  Why not just shoot ourselves in the head and claim it’s only a flesh wound?

    If Turkey turns down the protocols, it is doubtful that this would have a negative affect on that country.  Turkey is made of Teflon, and problems usually roll off its back because other countries won’t stand up to it.   So please don’t think that Armenia will win much of a propaganda victory out of all this, and even if it did, was it really worth it? 

    Finally, I believe that Russophilism, like Turkophilism, is a certifiable mental illness.  I think that if you looked both of them up in the mental disorders  manual of the APA (American Psychological Association), you would find them.  Here’s the link:

    Yes, both Russophiles and Turkcophiles are in need of serious counselling, prescription medicine, or, as a last resort, institutionalization.

  14. Yup well said John.
    Avetis seems content towing the bears
    recalcitrant line despite the fact that
    An overwhelming majority of Armenians
    Despise Russia’s self serving tactics.
    If he’s got a KGB list of ‘I owe you’s’
    To return he should find other ways
    Of returning the bears favors…

  15. Avetis,
    The protocols are not a genuine diplomatic gesture from the Armenian government, nor from the Turks.  The only reason why the border is closed is because of the NKR war.  The sub-commissions and recognizing of the borders, as well as the need to ‘ratify’ them are unnecessary concessions that only a weak minded regime would allow.  They are just bonuses for the Turks.
    Your position has evolved through the months since the protocols were announced, and you have often contradicted yourself.  The only issue the protocols are meant to ‘solve’ are the illegitimacy issues of the regime.  In exchange for making it easier for America to ignore the genocide issue (amongst other, greater geopolitical concessions) — the West will ignore Sarksyan’s human rights violations and etc.
    Continuing to think that this is some great Russian adventure that are good for Armenia is being naive.  America is slowly creeping into the Caucasus.

  16. John,
    I would like to make a point that America was also once (as a matter of fact, it still is) run by corrupt “oligarchs” that unlike Armenia’s insignificant “Dodi Gagos” and “Nemets Rubos”, were for a long-long time engaged in worldwide slavery, segregation of non WASPS in the states, genocide against American natives, economic exploitation of all, annexations of neighboring countries, illegal wars and the accumulation of war plunder…
    This is essentially how America (as well as every other wealthy/civilized Western nation) became immensely wealthy. With the aforementioned acquisition of wealth coupled with relative peace and stability, America’s international trade flourished. Naturally, this prosperity initially helped the big wigs in the country; the Duponts, the Morgans, the Rockefellers, the Bushes, the Kennedys, the Carnegies… Within several generations, however, this wealth eventually, due to laws of nature, trickled down to the masses… The Western world’s financial elite is so immensely wealthy that the crumbs that fell of their tables are fully sufficient to sustain hundreds of millions of people under their rule.
    Regarding Armenia: It’s still a developing/fledgling nation. And, as a matter of fact, even with all its socioeconomic and political problems it is still better off today that most fledgling nations on earth are or have ever been. When the nation’s financial elite get fatter and fatter – so will eventually the nation’s middle class that essentially services the upper class. During the past ten years or so we have actually witnessed this in the country. What Armenia needs today is peaceful/normal coexistence with all its neighbors, especially Turkey, Georgia and Iran.  The Russian imposed political process we are currently seeing in the region is a historic opportunity for Armenia, an opportunity to potentially/eventually break out of its isolated third world existence.
    Anyway, I put is as simple as possible. I’m not going to be giving you an in-depth lesson in human nature, economics or history. These are things you should have learned growing up. However, I do realize that you, being an Armenian, will have a natural tendency toward irrational and emotional outbursts, which may be why you are not be seeing the big global/objective picture around you. Don’t worry, however, you are not alone in your emotional blindness; individuals like you represent the majority of us.
    Moreover, one day you will realize that there are two basic categories of nations that have recognized the Armenian Genocide:
    1) nations that do not have significant geopolitical/financial relations with Ankara; nations such as Argentina, Venezuela, Canada, Slovakia…
    2) nation  that have political/geopolitical reasons for them to do so; as in the case of Cyprus, Italy, Greece, France and Russia…
    Another news flash, John; bedsides the fact that the money sent to Armenia from Washington is merely used to impose American interests in Armenia and not help the nation, per se… Washington sends money to Armenia for the simple fact that it does not want to see Armenia ‘fully’ retreat into the Russian (and to the Iranian) camp…
    So, trust me, even if an Armenian lobbying group like the ANC did not exist, the US State Department would have created one for us… There are many examples for this throughout American history. The very close relationship between the American government and Albanian-Americans  today are a perfect recent example of what I am trying to make you understand. The US government instantaneously created American-Albanian “friendship” organization as a result of what it was planing to do in the Balkans…
    Assuming that you people here are adults, I’m embarrassed that I have to even mention all this…
    PS: I am not here to make friends. I am just troubled to see the low intellectual caliber of diasporan Armenians. And I am a diasporan :-)

  17. It is part of deep seated human nature to not hate the weak but to have contempt for the weak which is far worse. Why all the smiling faces at the protocol signing? Russia wants an Armenia without Armenians, an ambition since the mid 19th century, the turks want to finish us off so that no one would even remember that there ever was an Armenia or Armenians and the U.S. and european countries (most of whom are guilty of  genocide in Europe and the third world)  are only dreaming of cheap natural gas at the expense of  a weak little insignificant country like Armenia. But what do we want? The answers are varied as we all know. Why should this be? Dont we have an Ethos? Dont we have a drive for success for our Armenian Civilization? For most these ideas are alien and never thought of which is  where the problem lies. There is a national imperitive, an Armenian Ethos which includes a territorial imperitive for which our survival depends upon. We must expand to our natural borders at the expense of our non indigenous genocidal neighbors. We must be self sufficient in terms of food and fuel stocks. Make no mistake the barbarians wish to complete the genocide against us. Armed with this knowledge we have no room to make mistakes. There is black and white in these issues about our national survival. Those who believe in grey hues have already accepted defeat and inaction as a natural course. We have to think on our own terms living the tenets of our ethos not thinking in terms of others and how others perceive us. I am proud to be Armenian. I am proud of 3,000 years of Armenian Civilization. I will not let it die because of illiterate turk culture loving oligarchs. I remember my ancestors on a daily basis. I keep in my heart and mind the sacrifices and injustices done to my family and my greater family, the Armenian people. I have contempt for all those who try to get in the way of our national imperitives, Hye or odar. We have but one path and that is to decimate our enemies with prejudice before they destroy us.

  18. Henrik jan, my fast talkin’ Levin Petrostein salesman, how has my position regarding the so-called protocols changed? The fact of the matter is, since Mr. Sargsyan publicly reached out to Ankara in the spring of 2008 while he was in Moscow –  I have been repeating myself over-and-over-and-over again that Moscow was behind the issue and that this was a great historic opportunity for Armenia… Since Moscow defeated the West/Turkish/Israeli backed regime in Tbilisi during the summer of 2008 –  I have been repeating myself over-and-over-and-over again that Moscow is using Armenia as a platform from which to project its economic and political power in the region. I have also been saying that Armenia plays a long-term strategic role for Moscow by acting as a front against Turkic and Islamic expansion in the volatile Caucasus. I have also been saying that as a result of the Russian-Georgian war and the economic crisis engulfing the West – the West has been effectively evicted from the region and Moscow today is the sole puppet master in the Caucasus…
    So, Henrik jan, tsavd tenem, axpers, please tell me how my position has “evolved” or how I have  “contradicted” myself…
    Nevertheless, your take on the whole matter (especially the part about Moscow allowing American encroachments in the Caucasus – outright hilarious) reeks of amateurism, not worthy of a bright collage student like you. But allow me to give you a little hint here: While the Kremlin is pushing the protocol issue forward they have their personal in their news media claiming otherwise, Russian media is blaming the pesky Americans… This is a classic case of diversion, a smoke screen. See if you can guess why they are doing this…

  19. Aveli lav klni axperov tsavd tanemov hetes che khosas.  Amota, metz mart es.
    Anyway, you said the Turks will be “forced to kneel” by the Americans.  Why are the Americans forcing the Turks to kneel and ratify the protocols if the Russians are the ones behind it?  And, also, you haven’t explained to us idiots why, if it is so brilliantly in Russia’s interests, why is America so tenaciously supporting the deal?  Are these cold cut masterminds in the state department so stupid?  Or is this one of those “this is good for everyone” type of things — good for Russia, Armenia, and America, except Turkey.  It’s bad for Turkey, right?
    Aveli lav klini internetits durs gas u gnas ashkhates, mek mek yerexanerit het khakhes, mek mek.  Yes ko masin shat em mtatsum Avetis jan =).
    You seem to be the token Republican party advocate here.  Didn’t you say the Republican party is the “wisest” political party in Armenia — able to be politically mature and so forth?  Oh that’s right, Edward Sharmazanov is a genius!  You would think with all that smarty-stuff and knowledge about “real” Armenians and the “real” Armenia, you would know that political parties seldom push through policies or have real ideological platforms — let alone the REPUBLICAN PARTY.
    So strange Paron Avetis, you are so much more older, more mature, and much more educated than I am yet you seem to lack a fundamental ability to control your tantrums long enough to carry a decent conversation without calling someone an idiot.  Why this gap in your personality?
    The most reliable polls suggest somewhere between 10-15% support for the Republican Party. The biggest ‘lead’ they’ve ever had in a somewhat reliable poll is 30.  Yet they control 60+% of the parliament?  Wait a minute…I forgot, you don’t even believe in democracy!

  20. Lava vor im masin es mtatsum, tsavd tenem axper jan, bayc du indz lav ches hasgacel – I said eventually Turk swill be brought to their knees by “Russia” and the “West/America”. But it won’t be easy, cos’ Turkey is a big guy. Know what I mean…
    US is reluctantly supporting the agenda because it desperately needs regional stability, and secure access to the region’s oil/gas for its regional client states such as Israel, Turkey and south-eastern Europe. Like I said, Moscow today is the sole  puppet master in the region. Since Georgia is knocked out of commission for the foreseeable future, Armenia, Moscow’s regional favorite,  is on center stage. Too bad for the Turks/West/America Armenia is more-or-less run by Moscow. Moscow is using Armenia as a platform to project its economic and political power in the region. That is why they are forced to sit at the table with Armenia.
    Projects on the table include, at the very least: a new oil refinery plant in Armenia, a new nuclear plant in Armenia, regional rail network, regional superhighway network, regional gas/oil pipeline network…
    And, like I said, I don’t believe in “democracy,” the Hollywood contrived fantasy that the ignorant masses (especially in developing nations) can or should be entrusted to make wise political decisions. Nor do I believe in polls. LOL
    Jogir axpers?

  21. To the editorial board,

    CENSORSHIP = DELETION = FACISIM!! I guess you all love to deny a person’s 1st ammendment rights, huh!! Now you have no basis to whine about “censorship” in Turkey! What hypocrites!!!

  22. Yes shat ban em “jogum.”
    You have finally exposed your primitive thinking and flawed reasoning.  America is definitely not supporting the Protocol process “reluctantly.”  It seems to be vigorously pursuing ratification.  The U.S. clearly thinks this is in its best interest — somebody in the State Department would have been as wise as you are to see how this is a way for Russia to “assert” its new political/economic power through Armenia.  No?  Setting aside your distorted version of history, it is clear that Russia ‘economic’ strength was and has been for a long time founded on weak commodities like oil.  Russia is so keen on keeping Armenian markets isolated from the West precisely because it knows its Ladas and what not can’t compete with American or European anything.  This economic crises has severely weakened Russia.  That 2008 agreement between China and Russia on oil proves they are having some ‘cash’ problems to put it mildly.
    The U.S. needs regional stability?  Huh?  U.S. energy has been fine and nothing drastic has happened in the region to suggest other wise.  In fact, the opening of the Armenia-Turkey border and the resolution of the Artsakh conflict gives Armenia more wiggle room to flirt with the West.  If the Turkish threat is nullified, the American argument might go, the Armenians will have less need to rely on Russia for support, and will thus be more prone to the U.S. sphere of influence.  Doesn’t Russia want a closed border to keep those NATO infested Turks and their companies and their diplomats out of Armenia?  What exactly is Russia gaining from an open border?  Is it being NICE to Armenia?  At best it’s interfering with the Azeri/Turkey connection, but that plays just as much into America’s hands as it does for the Russians.  And nobody really even knows if all of this nagging from the Azeris will amount to anything substantive.  There is too much at stake for them to get emotional and do something that would jeopardize their entire operation, especially because Aliyev is heading the oil games there.  AND LASTLY on this issue, EVEN if this Azeri/Turkish fission DID serve Russia’s interests, it would DEFINITELY not serve Armenia’s.  Who’s to say Russia doesn’t see Armenia-like control over Azerbaijian as better for Russia than control of Armenia?  Who’s to say it wont throw all its weight behind the Azeris?  They have more resources to serve their interests. As history shows, paron yesaser, the better Turko-Azeri relations are with the Russians, the worse off the Armenians seem to be.  Yet another reason to not support the protocols.
    Yes, Russia is ‘run’ by Armenia — but your pathetic and naive defeatist attitude renders Armenia to serfdom and slavery — subject to the whims of grand foreign powers, incapable of thinking or acting on its own.  If that were the case, Armenia would have never started the Artsakh war — neither Washington nor Moscow wanted it.
    Why is our God-king-master Russia forcing a concession like the “genocide commission”?  A little convenient for the Obama administration, isn’t it?  The sad truth is Russia can convince Armenia to sign “protocols,” perhaps, but it definitely cannot convince Turkey to do anything.  It cannot project its power against Turkey.  Your equation is incomplete.  If Russia is projecting its power against the West/Turkey — how could it convince the Turks to come to the table?  And why are the “recognize borders” clauses even in there?  That is in no way shape or form related to why the border is closed — it is an unnecessary concession.  The ONLY reason why Armenia and Turkey have a closed border is the NKR war.  Solving one will solve the other.  Everything else is an unnecessary concession — a concession that favors TURKEY AND THE WEST.  In fact, historical commissions might be against the interests of Russia — wouldn’t Putin want this genocide issue to get in the way of Turkey-America-Israel ties?  Why is it giving the West the perfect cover up to let it go?  And why are they being “ratified” — giving Turkey and America time to put pressure on Armenia to “solve” the NKR issue in their favor?  Ratification is a joke — if they really wanted to establish ties, they would just establish ties with no nonsense protocols.
    Anyway, have a good night.

  23. Silly boy, you’re funny, your article actually proves my point, read it carefully and juxtapose it to my formula. But knowing that you are a college brat (and a Levinakan to boot), I realize that you’re ego is getting in the way of your rational…
    Let me try this again: because of recent Russian advances into the Caucasus Baku today is a more-or-less a hostage to Moscow. Moreover, America, that was once whispering sweet-nothings into Baku’s ears, is now more-or-less expelled from the region and is reluctantly backing Moscow’s regional agenda for the following reason: Moscow’s back in charge in the Caucasus. Moscow controls a very large amount of the essential energy entering Europe, Turkey and Israel. Moscow’s stronghold in the Caucasus is Armenia
    This is why Washington, London, Ankara and Brussels are forced to swallow their pride, put aside their interests for now, and deal with the Kremlin and Yerevan. As a result of all this, Baku is forced to somewhat distance itself from the West in order to survive in the Moscow dominated region. Baku is simply upset because their 1990s era derived fantasies, when Russians were on their knees and various Western oil corporations were running the political show in the region, is all but over now. However, regardless of how dissatisfied Baku is with Washington, it will nonetheless be more than willing to continue selling its energy to whoever will buy it, be it Europe, America, Turkey, Israel or Russia.
    And where do you get the idea that I take any single political think thank like Jamestown seriously? A serious political analysts will monitor all sources be it American, Russian or European and come up with his/her assessment. That fact that you are assuming a single organization should speak for someone is very primitive and amateurish. You Levinites are a funny bunch.
    Seriously, monitoring these types of sites for some time now, never in my life have I been this disappointed at our people’s collective ignorance and lack of  rational thought. How did we ever expect to survive in a dangerous and complicated place like the Caucasus with such a primitive take on the world around us? I guess this is why I rather see an “undemocratic” strongman in office who knows what he is doing when it comes to international relations…

  24. The article was not intended to offer sober analysis, I posted it precisely to show that you take your cues from such skewed and misinformed think tanks.  It was SUPPOSE to “prove your point,” — and in doing so prove mine ;).
    You keep arguing that America is reluctantly pushing the protocols when that couldn’t be further from the truth.  They are ACTIVELY and aggressively lobbying for it.  And I still don’t understand why a Russian backed deal which is going to make Turkey ‘kneel’ has clauses pertaining to historical commissions, border recognition, and or why does it have to be RATIFIED?  Those are unnecessary concessions that Armenia did not have to make, especially since you’re saying the West has no choice but to support them.  Wouldn’t they ‘HAVE’ to support the protocols even if there was no historical commission or what not?  According to your analysis of the geopolitical situation..yes, they would.  Furthermore, we know as a matter of fact that these protocols are nothing new — in fact, they have been offered in their identical form to every single Armenian administration.  Thus, they are a Turkish/NATO invention dating back to the mid-1990s.  Your pretending as if Russia engineered them.  That is factually incorrect.  We also know that each previous administration has ‘refused them.’
    And also, your history and views on international relations contradict each other.  On the one hand, you claim this is Russia’s ‘plan’ and, being the dominant player in the region, it is using (see forcing) Armenia to project its own power.  Essentially, the Armenians are not in control of the process.  Yet on the other hand, you claim Serge Sarksyan has magical wizard like powers and the Republican party is the wisest and most thoughtful political party in Armenia for having initiated th protocols.  How can Serge be wise if he really has nothing to do with this?  And how can the Republican party be wise if the vast majority of its members are businessmen completely detached from politics and policy making?  You really think Muk has the intellectual capabilities to put any of this together?  Do you now see how you contradict yourself?  It doesn’t matter who is in power, you’re arguing, they would have to go along with Russia’s grand designs (which inadvertently help Armenia) and thus take credit for enhancing Armenia’s standing.
    Anyway, your flawed view on democracy is sad.  It is very characteristic of people who truely and consciouslly support Serge and Kocharyan.  Democracy is not just a vote — an independent judiciary, free press, freedom to organize, freedom to appeal, a diverse legislature, and an executive that draws its power from the people, are all part of ‘democracy.’  They are democratic traditions and features of democratic poliics.  The political, economic, cultural, and intellectual decay of Armenia directly reflects our unfortunate governments.  It is by no mistake that young kids today in Armenia want to be mafiosos and bodygaurds.  It is by no mistake that 9/10 of the TV shows on Armenia have to do with MAFIAS.  If you can’t understand how a disenchanted and pessimistic public, no matter how ignorant, is not a good foundation for a state, army, or nation, then I don’t know what else to tell you.  The fact that the West will be ignoring gross human rights violations in Armenia and give Serge a blank check to do what he wants with the people is disturbing.  Your fantastic geopolitical arguments do nothing to counter that.
    You seem to go on rants that address none of the questions or counter arguments that your opponents make.  I understand you put thought into your writings, and, while it might be amusing, it is ultimately a waste of time.  To save you some time (and me), you should make it a point to respond to the ACTUAL points we make and not the ones you IMAGINE we do.

  25. Iraq, is a good example.  The Soviet Union, is a better one. Afghanistan under the Taliban, another one. The Colonial experiments are others.  Georgia, yet another.  Armenia was able to muster up the strength to win, not only because of help from the Russians between 93-94, but because our people had a vested trust in the government of the time.  (And also, some of the ‘garbage’ Fidayis you mentioned might have done a few good things too). The Azeris weren’t/aren’t that lucky.
    Good thing REAL Serge and Kocharyan supporters (not just the HyeLur watchers) are so rare in our community.  You guys drag down and debase every debate and discussion to the point where — forgetting all the important issues we face today — have to argue fundementals like whether or not we even believe in democracy or want it.  Sad, indeed.

  26. Henrik jan, first of all there are no black and white, no right and wrong, no right or left in politics. Your thinking is very rigid. Politics is dirty, fluid and dynamic. Try to think of it as a cross between – chess, robbery, murder and prostitution. Yes, America is reluctantly “actively” pushing the protocols forward because it is afraid of what would happen if Georgia and Iran get drawn into a war and Turkey’s, Israel’s and Europe’s oil/gas from the Caspian Sea region is cut off. It’s an attempt to secure energy routes which happen to be under Moscow’s umbrella. Its an attemtp to derain a world war if/when another war erupts in the region. Strategic planners in Washington, Brussels and Moscow are basically readying their  playing field and not leaving anything to chance.
    And it is not by chance that Mr. Sargsyan reached his hand out to Ankara in the spring of 2008 while on an official visit to Moscow – and Gul suddenly decided to visit Armenia in the immediate aftermath of Georgia’s defeat in summer of 2008. Everything was planned meticulously by the Kremlin. And the fall guy for all this and the trigger that commenced this agenda was none other than Saakashvili, the idiot child in Tbilisi that fell into Moscow’s trap.
    Today, in large part thanks to Moscow, Armenia is positioned to benefit from this geopolitical situation.
    Regarding the concessions in the protocols: In reality, there were none. I don’t know what you are crying about. Actually, Ankara’s concern and hangup over the protocols is just that; there were no real concessions on the part of Yerevan. The vague wording of the document which everybody freaked over was simply put there to make the Russian sponsored document a little easier for the military authorities in Ankara to digest.
    In real political terms, this was a massive victory for the Armenian side. Our history will someday reflect this. Remember that Turkey closed their border with Armenia as a direct result of Armenia’s liberation of Artsakh, and for years they were saying they won’t open it up until Armenian forces withdrew… Well, the document they signed in October made no mention of Armenian troops pulling out of Artsakh. The document also did not mention the Armenian Genocide, just some vague “historic commission” that the Armenian high court later specifically stated had nothing to do with the Armenian Genocide… And now everyone is looking at Ankara to make a positive move. Brilliant game of chess by Yerevan.
    So, again. Here we have Turkey, a regional military and economic giant, that for twenty years was actively working on isolating and undermining Armenia, forced to swallow its pride and sit at the negotiation table with a tiny, impoverish, landlocked nation that they consider – an enemy. But we Armenians today are so far removed from politics that we foolishly, like pathetic peasants, lamented the victorious signing of the protocols as a black day in our history.
    And, in your case: your obsessive and irrational hate for Mr. Sarsgayn and Mr. Kocharyan is clouding your ability to think and see.

  27. Abris Bravo one more time dear Mr. Sassounian!!!!   I have been and still am as you are steadfastly and staunchly opposed to these defeatist Protocols! 

    Your 10 points very well taken and I hope and pray that it shall come true by Turkey by the end of March, and Armenia will refrain from signing these defeatist Protocols.

    To John:  I agree and appreciate all your comments made to Avetis.  Well said John!!!

  28. Avetis, once again — you addressed NONE of your contradictions and flawed perceptions of history that I pointed out.  What you said in your post, you have said many times over and over again.  I get it, there is a credible case to be made as to how the Protocols are in Russia’s interests, if not exclusively than in part.  I understand that.  Thank you.  Do you mind answering the above points I made?
    And also, you keep preaching to me about how politics isn’t black and white, isn’t perfect, isn’t idealistic — it’s more like prostitution, says the wise old man Avetis.  Trust me, no supporter of Levon Ter-Petrosyan has any delusions about corruption or politics.  I know better than you do what Levon and his gang took, who took it, how much they took, when they took it, which pocket they put it in, and which door they used to leave with.  It is from this fundamental understanding that politics is corrupting and immoral that I draw my allegiances and partisanship from.
    Did you just seriously accuse me of irrational hate for Kocharyan and Sarksyan?  If anybody has been blinded by HayLur propaganda, it’s you and the like my friend.  The fact is, between 1991-1998 — under the LTP administration, the Armenians gained their first (hopefully) lasting republic by becoming the FIRST state to break away from the Soviet Union (and peacefully nonetheless).  The Armenians won their FIRST WAR with no asterisks or footnotes attached.  Armenia began registering a 1% increase in GDP right when the war ended (since 1994, Armenia’s GDP has gone up 1% every year, contrary to what you believe, Kocharyan did not preside over a time of economic prosperity, Armenia’s growth had been happening for sometime now).  And Armenia was ranked among the top three or four democratic countries in the entire ex-Soviet space.  He was also right about many things — including how the Dashnaks would be crooks, how Vazgen Manukyan would be a sellout, how we shouldn’t invest hope or trust into the Spyurk, how we need to be a state-centered nation, not a nation-centered state, how we need to establish relations with all our neighbors to survive in the geopolitical arena.  Hmm…come to think of it, you’re starting to sound like him.
    The only irrational and delusional people who need to ‘take courses’ on anything are people who believe his Jewish wife has been funding his campaigns with international Jewish finance.  Really, Avetis — have you run out of people to scorn that you have to attack a 70 year old woman?  People who need ‘courses’ are people who oversimplify the internal politics of Armenia to phrases like “Levon Petrostein.”  If I’m not mistaken, it was his administration that invited the Russian army to monitor the the Turko-Armeno-Persian border, thus firmly planting Armenia on the Russian side of the new silent Cold War.  It was also under his administration that Russia tilted her support to Armenia, thus helping us win the war.  Nor has he shown any hints or willingness to be the ‘puppet’ of the West, beyond promising to bring in ‘democratic’ reforms. If anything, as helpful Russia has been — we have been too reliant and we need to engage the other power centers of the world.  Something I think we were doing in the 90s and something which we have stopped doing since Kocharyan came to office.  His support base and network of supporters are the old HHsH folk — oh yeah, I see a lot of Jews in there!  And lastly, you claimed all our problems that we face today in Armenia (we seem to face problems of democracy and freedom — as far as you’re concerned you don’t even consider those problems) stem from his ‘gang of thugs.’  Well, if we were to apply that line of thinking and logic to Levon’s period — we could easily blame all our problems like corruption, abuse of power, lack of democratic freedoms, etc. on the PREVIOUS Soviet regime.  Can’t we?  In fact, that seems to make more sense.  Of course, Armenia as made giant leaps in all fields from the Soviet regime to 1998.  If the goal of our leaders is to take Armenia a little forward — then Levon clearly did his job.  In what areas has Armenia gone forward since 1998, exactly?  In fact, in all fields, it has gone BACKWARD.
    And don’t remind me about your crazy conspiracy theory about Levon being against the war that he helped start, and trying to sabotage it.  (And also, the great logic loop-hole in your argument which forgets that Serge was a HIGH RANKING member of the LTP cabinet).
    Your continued and obsessive hatred for this man is a typical Armenian syndrome that tries to belittle and chip away from the accomplishments of our greatest contemporaries.
    Talk about delusions.  Too bad too — I was beginning to think you were a serious person.
    Anyway, I hope this is the last time I have to address the LTP issue with you Avetis.  My public challenge to any and everybody to debate this issue still stands.
    And I hope you can understand that democracy and the empowerment of the People of the Homeland is the only way we are going to move forward.  I no longer want to be part of a nation that “survives.”  I want Armenia to become the dominant player in the region on all fronts — democracy, technology, militarily, and culturally/intellectually.

  29. Henrik jan, I don’t like debating obvious matters such as whether or not the sun rises in the east… As such, I don’t like debating the obvious fact that Levon and his gang of criminals represent everything we today hate about our republic. The fact is, we’ve seen this group operate once, and considering what they did then – once was more than enough. One must be a total idiot (no other word to describe them) to wish them back again. As bad as they may be, thank God for Kocharyan and Sargsyan.

  30. Dear Harut,
    Your article really leaves the impression that you’ve changed your position re the protocols;  even your response to “Anon” above, says so: “The Protocols were clearly in Turkey’s interest!” What has changed? Why aren’t (as opposed to were) they in Turkey’s interest anymore? If your response will be the Armenian Constitutional Court’s decision, I think you’ll agree with me that it doesn’t change the protocols, so long as the Court’s decision’s main points are not included in the ratification instrument by the Armenian parliament.
    Anyway, I’m glad you “remain steadfastly and staunchly opposed to these defeatist Protocols!”, but with this article, that’s not the impression of some here in Armenia.
    I believe the only reason Turkey is not willing to ratify the protocols in a “the timely progression,” is not because they were “forced to make a series of unsubstantiated claims, exaggerating the benefits of the protocols to both Azerbaijan and Turkey,” nor because “The Turkish and Azeri public was not fooled by Ankara’s misrepresentation of the protocols,” but rather because they have a lot of other, more pressing issues on their plate right now (internal and external Kurdish issues, problems with the army, constitutional changes, etc.), and because the AKP government is steadfast in its announced policy of not establishing diplomatic relations with Armenia and not lifting the blockade, so long as the Karabagh issue is not resolved to their satisfaction. This is a policy declared by Erdogan before, during and after the signing of the protocols. I don’t agree with your “ten points,” because if I do, then I’ll have no reason to be against these protocols. I think in their present form, that is as they were signed on October 10, 2009, the protocols are against Armenian interests and benefit only Turkish interests. Turkey will never get anything better, ever. For Turkey, establishing relations with Armenia is not a priority, but keeping the process running is; that’s why Armenia should tell the world that because of Turkey bad faith approach this process has failed and there’s no reason for anyone to wait for Turkey’s next move any longer.

  31. LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE HYPOCRITICAL VIOLATORS OF THE 1ST AMMENDMENT!!! WAY TO GO EDITORIAL BOARD!!! You’ve single handedly demonstrated the ultimate hypocrosy…DOUBLE SPEAK!! Now none have a basis to claim censorship in any form in Turkey when you commonally practice the very same thing here!! Oh BTW, I’m in the process of filing with certain government agencies! You keep forgetting that this is not Armenia but the UNITED STATES of AMERICA!!!

  32. This is a sincere question.  Can you explain to me both on a scientific and anecdotal terms what the Levon gang DID, and how is what Kocharyan did/Serge is doing better/different?  I mean in terms of personalities, government organization, policies, etc.
    (I just realized I’ve never had any Serge/Kocharyan supporters explain it to me.  I’ve heard your above argument, but I’ve never heard the necessary follow-up.  This would definitely help.)

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