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Saturday, 6 September 2008

Dashnaks plan airport protest actions to 'greet' Turkish president

Young Dashnaks (nationalist ARF-Dashnatktsutyun party) were distributing their main Yerkir newspaper free of charge today in central Yerevan. As Turkey’s president Gul is making his landmark visit to Armenia to watch what many call historic Armenia-Turkey World Cup qualifying match (“football diplomacy”), Dashnaks plan to stage some sort of protest actions.

Few expect major breakthrough from this first ever visit of Turkish president to Armenia but it may pave the way towards normalisation of relationships. Most Armenians in Republic of Armenia seem keen to see opening up a new page in relationships between two countries without any preconditions from both sides. Dashnaks seem very out of touch from the realities on the ground.

Newspaper contains speech transcripts of Dashnak leaders during their last rally few days ago which although formally called for marking Karabakh independence day, was effectively devoted to Turkey-Armenia relations and other regional problems, and possible protest actions which Dashnaks may stage re Turkey president visit.

Particularly, Dashnaks (via Yerkir newspaper) call all supporters to gather today at Zvartnots airport and surrounding areas at 5pm local time to ‘greet’ Turkey’s president upon arrival.

Dashnaks also drive around central Yerevan streets today urging people via loudspeakers to join their protest actions. Few seem enthusiastic to do so.

1 comment:

Onnik Krikorian said...

Yeah, I just came back from the airport. Really small turnout and also very quiet.

Not well organized with very few signs, flags etc. Still, at least nothing bad happened.