US Envoy to Turkey Says Protocols Recognize Kars, Do Not Touch on Genocide

ANKARA—During an interview last week with the Turkish Sabah newspaper, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey said the Armenia-Turkey protocols recognize the Kars Treaty and do not touch on the genocide, explaining the Armenia’s Constitutional Court ruling did not negate any of the aforementioned issues.

Below is the transcript of the Jeffrey’s interview with Sabah correspondent Nur Batur.

Nur Batur: The protocol signed with Armenia has been one of the most important pillars of the “zero problems with neighbors” policy. Is the protocol dead now?

Ambassador James Jeffrey: No. The Armenian Constitutional Court has given the green light for the implementation of the protocol. [Turkey’s] Foreign Minister [Ahmet] Davutoglu is in contact with [Armenia’s] Foreign Minister [Eduard] Nalbandian. We are working with the Turks almost every day. We are trying to make progress with regard to Karabagh. Actually, these two are separate processes. But, Turkey considers them the same. Conflicts in the Caucasus must definitely be settled. These issues may keep different paces but all of them are important. These are parallel processes. U.S. ambassador in the Minsk Group was in Ankara last week. Nothing is dead.

However, Foreign Minister Davutoglu found the decision to be in contradiction with the spirit of the protocol. He wants an assurance that would protect the spirit of the protocol. Some expressions in the decision caused discomfort for Turks but we think that the decision is a positive one. It opens the way for passing the protocol at the parliament. I know, for instance, that when a constitution court reviews a decision, some paragraphs can be found to be in violation of the Constitution in some states. This is not the case with the Armenian court decision. We believe that both sides are serious about their commitment to the protocol.

N.B.: Nonetheless, the Constitution says that “the genocide is undeniable.” The court has made references to Paragraph 11. They do not recognize the agreement that defines borders.

J.J.: Paragraph 11 does not contain the term “border.” The decision says that “Armenian government shall not interpret the protocol in a way in contradiction with the genocide that occurred in ‘Ottoman Turkey and the Western Armenia.’” We had jurists review the decision. The protocol contains a clear commitment that the existing borders shall be mutually recognized in accordance with Kars agreement and others. There is not a covert reference to the events defined as “genocide” that took place somewhere in west Armenia, whereabouts of which are not really clear at all. We do not think there is a legal obstacle that would put the recognition of borders at risk. At any rate, the protocol does not touch on the genocide issue in any way. It only mentions a committee of historians that could be set up to investigate the 1915 events. That is, it does not introduce a limitation to the positions. Turks would not have signed the protocol if it had meant a change in borders.

N.B.: What happens if borders are opened and Armenians say that the genocide is indisputable?

J.J.: These are all intertwined steps in the protocol. Steps are being taken, including the establishment of a committee. These are linked to each other. Davutoglu underlined the spirit of the protocol. I understand that. Whenever the position of Armenia and the approval of protocol come up on the agenda, it creates a stir in domestic policy. We have similar problems in the U.S. Senate. But in legal terms, we think that the decision is only giving a green light to the approval of the protocol and that there is nothing else to read into it. Moreover, Armenian government has also stated that it stands by the protocol.

N.B.: Could Turkey get a written assurance?

J.J.: We are trying to understand what both sides exactly want. We would like to understand how the spirit of the protocol comes across.

N.B.: Do you mean mediation? Could there be a way out soon?

J.J.: It is not being a mediator. We are in touch with all parties only. Everyone exerts efforts.


  1. James Jeffrey is on hallucinogens again. His laughable claims are preposterous. The RA
    should immediately raise this with clinton et al and demand clarification pending any
    further discussion. Eastern turkey is Western Armenia and both the americans and the
    turks know this well.

  2. Any signing of the Protocols will be a disaster for the Armenian Nation. Especially the Kars Treaty, which is illegal since it was signed by the Soviets giving Kars & Ardahan to the Turks, when Armenia was occupied by the Soviet Regime.  Until Turkey recognizes the Armenian Genocide, makes land returns & reparations to the Armenian People, their can be no peace between the two nations.  The Sevres Treaty signed in 1920 by Turkey, Armenia, and 16 other countries is still a valid treaty which the Armenian Government of Pres. Sarkisian must push forward to the Turks along with Genocide recognition.  Our people have suffered enough and now that we have a free Armenia, our issues should be pushed to the United Nations and the world.  Wake up diaspora Armenians before it is too late.

  3. The notorious treaty of Kars, imposed on Armenia by Stalin & Lenin, has found a great champion in the  person of US ambassador in Turkey, Mr. James Jeffry. Isn’t that “wonderful”? By the way, no one had ratified that treaty, during about 90 yrs. of its signing. The dead has risen!!!  Shall we rejoice Sir Jeffry?

    G. Apelian

  4. ** Genocide Acknowledgment with Accountability **

    ** Reparation * Land * Restitution **
    **  Keep Turkey out of the EU  **
    Kars, Armenia
    Mt. Ararat, Armenia
    Ani, Armenia
    Erzincan, Armenia
    Ardahan, Armenia

  5. Steven, Berge et al,

    Just like the spoiled litte children that you all are (“We want this, We’re entitled to that, We demand…, etc.”), you all must come to the realization that your DEMANDS for “Reparation, Land, Restitution, etc. is nothing more than a pipe dream of wishful thinkers! Get used to it…Get over it… and MOVE ON! 

    I do have a question for any or all of you…Let’s just say, for argument’s sake, that all of your “dreams” came true. Okay, how would you have in enforced? Which country will force Turkey to give up an inch of its soil and a penny from its treasury to a backwater nation who offers nothing to the rest of the world (other than terrorism)? Think about it. No nation has the right nor the will to even contemplate such a ridiculous thing! So, in reality, yours are nothing more than an excercise in futility! Seriously, it’s time for you all to move on.  

  6. Good for you Stephen Dulgarian, of course I completely agree with you!  Wake up Armenia proper and Diaspora Armenians.  We do demand our Western Armenian lands in the form of reparations from the Armenian Genocide.  Kars Treaty is completely illegal, since Kemal Ataturk was not the president of Kemalist Turkey then and he illegally made the Kars Treaty with the Bolsheviks.  It is therefore an illegal Treaty.  On the other hand the legal Treaty is the Sevres Treaty that was signed by numerous delegates by several countries and world powers as well as by our Avedis Aharonian, who was there as a delegat sent by Armenia.  The other legal document is the Wilson Arbitration Award that was signed by President Woodraw Wilson.  These are the real legal documents that the Republic of Armenia and all Armenians in Diasporan should pursue through world legal channels and the U.N.  

  7. Robert, (mehmet or whatever your real name is)
    This is not going to end. Tell all your murdering, raping and lying  kind to get used to it. Also, please tell me what Turks contribute to society other then brothels and sex shops and a majority of heroin trade that get funneled through Turkey to Europe? Lets not forget you guys are truly the ‘sick man of Europe’.

  8. Well John,

    Unfortuately, thanks to the editorial board (who has their tails between their legs as they cower in fear from an possibility of truth coming forth) only a small percentage of my posts actually see the light of day, while the rest are usually censored and then deleted (what more can one expect from cowards). 

    As to your statement and question (AND please note editorial board, the insulting and defaming context of John’s letter), obviously you’re not quite educated to the point where you can debate anyone yet! Please re-read your statement and see where you have numerous errors. Then when you’re mature enough (and a little better educated and informed), come on back and I’ll be happy to answer any well thought out question. Until that time, realize that your statements are textbook examples of a typically defeated, envious, jealous, frustrated and angry people who suffer from a low self-esteme, and as a consequence, have developed an inferority complex! 

  9. Robert, the turk, you are still in the Ottoman mode… unable to recognize the truths about your own
    leaderships as well.  You are still the product of these leaders who have you so well ‘programmed’ you are unable to comprehend that the lies your leaders feed you have made you the ‘being’ you are.
    A bullying Turk, using ploys after ploys, changing allies like Kleenex tissues, on again and off again with these ‘allies’… These are signs of the desparation of your leaders… Turkey is as a sinking ship – rotten and decayed – sinking.  The world recognizes the Turks, Ottoman and into today’s leaders,
    in their senseless denials – perpetrated the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation – stole these
    Armenian lands, Armenian cultures via  Genocide – not by war – Genocides.  Slaughtering, rapes, kidnapping, burning women/children forced into their churches – the brave, brave Turks – forced
    the unarmed Armenians into the deserts – walked until they died.  Oh, Robert, or whatever your real name is, the favorite torture of the Turk was the bastinado – beating the soles of the victims feet – until it bled and burst – death was the only release from this torture…  and all the bones of the victims, can still be found – unburied, still.  Picture this happening to your own nation… Manooshag

  10. Robert,
    Right, your facts are overwhelming and I’m jealous of not being called the sick man of Europe. Low self esteem is when you need laws banning anyone discussing the truth of your races’ genocidal past and pretending it’s an “insult to Turkishness” if any intelligent person does so. Imagine a country so afraid of it’s own past that it needs laws like that? I think your kind is the real cowards. Mehmet, the Armenians are still here even after almost completely being wiped out. It took Armenians 2-3 generations to regroup after our genocide. We are not going to “just forget about it” with out justice. The truth always prevails and all Armenians will see to that. This will not end.

  11. To Robert whom thinks Armenian demands are in vain. I guess the Turks have propaganded you to.  Shame on you to think the way you do.  If this world does not help the small nations for the disasters that befell them, then the whole world is in trouble.  Where are our Human Rights today?  My father & mother whom lived in different provences in Historic Armenia lost their wives, their husbands, their children, and many relatives that we will never put aside.  We will fight with our lives to the end until justice is served.  The Turks whom became Moslems have destroyed the 33 million Christians whom lived in Asia Minor.  Today it is 99% Moslems.  Do you Robert believe in all the massacres the Turks have created since 1064 to the present, not counting the millions they have Moslemized.  If you do, then you are as sick as the evil Turk.

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