Politics 16:15 31/03/2023 Armenia

Armenian expert reveals key messages of Erdogan's latest statement

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is seeking a third consecutive term in office in presidential elections in May, unveiled his party’s policies in case of winning the upcoming elections. In particular, Erdogan said the authorities in Ankara “will not allow the country to be dragged into a war.”

Panorama.am has talked to Doctor of History, Professor Ruben Melkonyan, who heads the YSU Faculty of Oriental Studies, about Erdogan's statement, Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for May 14, as well as the candidates favored by the Turkish Armenian community.

Panorama.am: Turkey has been involved in all wars so far, from using mercenaries, providing officers and military equipment, to launching military offensives, and now, if re-elected, Erdogan says he will not allow Turkey to be dragged into a war. What does Erdogan have in mind when he makes such statements? Does he simply want to please the people, or are his challengers more radical and make calls for war at an election period?

Ruben Melkonyan: Erdogan's statement can be viewed from at least three perspectives and, of course, in the light of historical background.

Turkey joined NATO in 1952 and took part in the Korean War, where 2,500 people were killed. This Korean War has left a negative impact on Turkish society in terms of undue involvement in the wars of others. The participation in this "senseless" war has a certain perception in Turkish society and political life. Erdogan's statement is primarily addressed to his domestic audience, claiming that Turkey is on an equal footing with the West and will no longer participate in wars not directly related to it sought by the West and will not suffer casualties as a result of participation in other wars.

The next observation is that Turkey distinguishes between its "own wars" and "foreign wars." Turkey’s own wars include attacks on Syria, Iraq or Cyprus, but those wars fought by NATO or its Western allies are considered foreign, and Turkey avoids direct involvement in them as much as possible.

I guess Erdogan's statement also refers to the Russian-Ukrainian war and is a response to Western pressure on Turkey to step up its military support for Ukraine. And, of course, we can also consider this as a sign of reverence, a positive message to Russia. Erdogan’s statement is absolutely clear and acceptable to Turkish society.

Turkey, indeed, has always tried to fight through mercenaries or other means, but as far away from its borders as possible. Even when Turkey helped the U.S. in the war with Iraq or, even earlier, with Egypt and others, it tried to be as careful as possible. For example, it allowed the use of its airports, but avoided deploying Turkish troops to a place where the U.S. or NATO waged a war.

Given Iran's active efforts in the recent period, Erdogan's statement could also include a message to Iran, since Iran's statements about Azerbaijan and, for example, a possible clash between Iran and Azerbaijan, imply Turkey’s direct involvement in it to support its ally Azerbaijan. Consequently, Erdogan's position is that he will try to prevent an escalation of tensions between Iran and Azerbaijan and a possible war.

Nor can we overlook the special Turkish-Israeli relations and the tensions between Iran and Israel in this light.

In other words, Erdogan's statement can be called multi-vector, addressed both to foreign and domestic audiences. At the same time, it is aimed at strengthening Turkey's vital interests once again. In essence, the statement is addressed to the United States, the West, Russia, Iran and Turkey's domestic audience. This is a highly saturated message.

Panorama.am: Is Erdogan more belligerent or more radical compared to other candidates?

Ruben Melkonian: This is an extremely important question. His main challenger, opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu is considered to be a more understandable and acceptable candidate for the West and the United States. Erdogan’s message to his domestic audience is that if Kilicdaroglu were to win the elections, Turkey could be involved into various wars by the order of the United States as he is “so weak and unable to resist the U.S.”

The message is as follows: if the opposition wins, Turkey will more easily comply with U.S. orders to join a war, but now Turkey, led by Erdogan, is resisting it and even after strong calls from his NATO partners will not step up its participation in various conflicts far from itself.

The other side of the coin is that his rhetoric is more bellicose than that of the other candidates when it comes to attacks on Artsakh, Iraq, Syria, but it should be realized that these are Turkish wars and fought for Turkey's interests.

In other words, Erdogan's rhetoric is bellicose in those wars that are considered "their own, Turkish," and more restrained in those wars that are considered "foreign”, i.e. the wars involving NATO and the United States. Meanwhile, he accuses the opposition of being meek and succumbing to the calls of the United States and NATO to join other wars.

Panorama.am: I guess none of the candidates is preferable for Armenia.

Ruben Melkonyan: Of course, no Turkish authorities, president or political force can have a different stance on Armenia and the country continues to be targeted by Turkey, with all ensuing consequences.

Panorama.am: So, whoever is the president, they will stick to the same policy?

Ruben Melkonyan: Presumably yes, except for some minor changes. I believe the general policy line will remain unchanged for Armenia, including the military aggressive conduct.

Panorama.am: Do the Armenians living in Turkey have a favorite candidate?

Ruben Melkonyan: The approaches of the Armenians in Turkey are traditional, even somewhat predictable. The more active part of the community will vote for the left-wing Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) which Garo Paylan members. Journalists and those rallying around the Agos daily will most likely support and vote for the left-wing forces, primarily Garo Paylan’s party.

A part of the Armenian community supports the government and always votes for the ruling team, in this case for candidate Erdogan and his alliance. They make up the so-called oligarchy of the community rallying around the Armenian Patriarchate.

The other part of the community may vote for the opposition Republican People's Party, especially since its leader is taking some steps to address the minorities and ethnic communities in Turkey.

The distribution of votes in the Armenian community has almost always been like this.

Panorama.am: Thank you.

Source Panorama.am
Share |
Տեքստում սխալ կամ վրիպակ նկատելու դեպքում, ուղարկեք խմբագրին հաղորդագրություն` նշելով տվյալ սխալը, այնուհետև սեղմելով Ctrl-Enter:


Azerbaijani armed forces units discharged fire against Armenian combat positions near Verin Shorzha
The Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Armenia refutes the statement by the Ministry of Defence of Azerbaijan, which claimed that on...
Armenia Hires U.S. Law Firm in Amulsar Arbitration Case; Government Refuses to Reveal Contract Price
The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) panel has begun hearing a U.S. investor’s treaty claim against Armenia...
Temperatures to drop further in Armenia
Rain and fog are predicted in Armenia during the weekend and on Monday, with snow set to hit the country’s mountainous areas. The...
UK court freezes Azerbaijani lawmaker's £39m properties
U.K. authorities have frozen 22 London properties that the Azerbaijani lawmaker Javanshir Feyziyev and his wife are suspected to have bought...
Gevorg Papoyan to be named Armenia's new economy minister
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s Civil Contract party has endorsed MP Gevorg Papoyan as new minister of economy. His candidacy was...
Analyst: Pashinyan's CSTO message addressed to the West
Relations between Armenia and the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) have long been frozen, Yerevan-based political...
France plants flag in Russia’s backyard with Armenia arms deals – POLITICO
France wants Armenia to know it has its back — amid increased tensions with its neighbor Azerbaijan and strained ties with its historic...
Synergy chief expresses gratitude to IT and business community for their unity
Ashot Hovanesian, the founder and CEO of Synergy International Systems, issued a statement on Saturday expressing gratitude to the IT and...
King Charles overwhelmed by public support as 7,000 messages sent after cancer diagnosis
King Charles has been overwhelmed by messages of support from around 7,000 well-wishers worldwide since his cancer diagnosis, The Independent...
Fallen soldier's father hospitalized
Garik Galeyan, whose soldier son Mkhitar was killed in the 2020 Artsakh war, has been hospitalized after a suspected heart attack, his lawyer...
Moscow street named after Soviet spying legend Gevork Vartanian
A street in Moscow has been named after legendary Soviet Armenian spy Gevork Vartanian, who helped foil a Nazi plot to kill Allied leaders in...
Armenian Foreign Ministry reacts to reports about Zelenskyy's possible visit
The Armenian Foreign Ministry has commented on the news that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is reportedly planning to visit...
Political analyst: Armenia-CSTO relations in crisis
Relations between Armenia and the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) are basically in crisis, claims political...
U.S. State Dept: Russia not concerned about Armenia’s interests
The U.S. Department of State has responded to an inquiry of the Voice of America’s Armenian Service regarding Prime Minister Nikol...
Opposition MP vows to push for Artsakh Armenians' repatriation
Opposition Hayastan faction MP Levon Kocharyan vows to keep pushing for the repatriation of the Artsakh Armenians and their safe life in their...
Karen Khachanov reaches Qatar Open final
Russian-Armenian Karen Khachanov, the second seed, reached the final of the Qatar Open by winning against Australian Alexei Popyrin 7-6 (12),...
New Azerbaijani attack on Armenia 'highly likely', Pashinyan tells France 24
A new Azerbaijani attack on Armenia is “highly likely,” Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan warned in an interview with France...
Azeris destroy sculptures in Artsakh capital
Azerbaijan continues intentional destruction of Armenian cultural heritage in the occupied Artsakh Republic (Nagorno-Karabakh), warns Cultural...
Cellist Astrig Siranossian plays Komitas at Panthéon in Paris
Armenian cellist Astrig Siranossian played Komitas’ “Groong” (The Crane) at the induction of WWII French Resistance hero...
Kremlin: Putin did not talk with Pashinyan about Armenia's CSTO membership
Russian President Vladimir Putin has not yet discussed statements about the suspension of Yerevan’s membership in the CSTO with Armenian...
Armenian community of Jerusalem initiates legal action to protect Cows' Garden
On February 18, the Armenian community of Jerusalem's historic Armenian Quarter has officially filed a lawsuit to invalidate the lease...
Armenian defense minister warns of risk of Azerbaijani attack
Armenia seeks to renew and modernize its armed forces and defense capabilities, Defense Minister Suren Papikyan said at a joint press conference...
Kremlin seeks clarity from Armenia over CSTO
The Kremlin said on Friday that Russia plans to contact Armenia after Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said Yerevan had frozen its participation...
How come Armenian government gets hold of major private companies' shares?
Babken Tunyan, an MP from Armenia’s ruling Civil Contract party who heads the National Assembly Standing Committee on Economic Affairs,...
Scientists announce discovery of 240 million year-old 'dragon' fossil
Scientists have revealed a new, remarkably complete fossil – a 16ft (5m)-long aquatic reptile from the Triassic period, BBC News...
CSTO responds to Pashinyan's statement on membership suspension
The Collective Security Treaty Organization’s (CSTO) Secretariat told Sputnik on Friday that it had not received any notices from Yerevan...
Armenian defense minister hails 'far-reaching' military cooperation with France
The visit of French Minister for the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu to Armenia testifies to the systemic and far-reaching military...
Biden meets with Navalny family in California
President Joe Biden met Thursday with the widow and daughter of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died in prison last...
European Parliament to discuss visa liberalization resolution with Armenia next week
The European Parliament will discuss a resolution on visa liberalization with Armenia next week. German member of the European Parliament, Viola...
French army minister arrives in Armenia
French Minister for the Armed Forces Sébastien Lecornu has arrived in Armenia at the invitation of Armenian Defense Minister Suren...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}