Following recent statements on expected “extraordinary decisions”, “new climate” and “new developments” between Turkey and Armenia, some Turkish reports suggest that Obama’s victory in the US presidential election made opening borders with Armenia a mater of priority and strategic importance.
Today’s Zaman reports:
Democrat Barack Obama's landslide victory in the US election is a dream come true for most ordinary Turks, but it could mean more pressure on the government to speed up reforms for a better state of human rights in the country.
It is also likely to spell a definite end for the long-held Turkish policy of dealing with Armenian claims of genocide through counter-measures to suppress pro-genocide resolutions in Congress. [...]
Turkey has managed for decades to block Armenian efforts to win US recognition for genocide claims, but with the White House readying for an Obama era, it is high time for Ankara to promote a more comprehensive policy that goes far beyond addressing immediate challenges at the US Congress, experts say. Many fear that Obama’s use of the G-word in his next message for April 24 -- a traditional occasion when US presidents commemorate Armenians who perished in Anatolia in the last century -- could shatter Turkey-US ties and that following up on a recent drive for dialogue with Armenia might be the only way to save relations from a catastrophe.
“There is nothing to be afraid of; Turkey should trust itself. What needs to be done is further improving the relations with Yerevan and marginalizing the Armenian diaspora in the United States,” said Ömer Taşpınar, an expert on Turkey with the Washington-based Brookings Institution and a Today’s Zaman columnist. “By opening borders with Armenia and taking other appropriate steps, Turkey will have the trump card in its hands.”
President Abdullah Gül paid a landmark visit to Armenia in September, and officials of the two countries, which currently have no formal ties, have been having talks since then on normalizing relations.
Marc Grossman, a former US ambassador to Turkey, advised the Turkish government to keep improving ties with Armenia during a teleconference at the US Embassy in Ankara early on Wednesday. Dialogue and open borders with Armenia will give Turkey an advantage in discussing the issue with the Obama administration, he said.