Armenian intellectuals, however, believe Turkey must still make other efforts to improve relations, such as opening borders with Armenia and better coming to terms with contentious historical events.
do not face our histories and create common values, we will not be able
to create a common future between the Armenian and Turkish societies,”
said retired Armenian Ambassador Davit Hovhannisyan.
collection of intellectuals and business leaders gathered Thursday at
Istanbul Kültür University for the “Turkey-Armenia Policy Discussions”
event, which was organized by the school’s Global Political Trends
Center, the Eurasia Partnership Foundation and the United States Agency.
said both societies should meet – especially within a university
setting – and force their leaders to normalize relations.
on Turkey’s close border with Armenia has been avoided by the European
Parliament but is still a significant aspect of solving the issue
between the two countries, according to Gegham Manukyan, a journalist
from Armenia’s Yerkir TV.
“As Armenians, we fear that the Turkish
government’s moves in the Armenia-Turkey issue will fail to be more
than [a pretense at being] in favor of a solution,” said Manukyan,
expressing the doubts of some Armenians about Turkey’s foreign policy.
improving relations with its southern and eastern neighbors began as a
result of its increased economic relations with these countries,
according to Noyan Soyak, the Turkey representative of the Armenian
Industrial Businessmen’s Association.
Although many Turkish firms
are using raw materials that come indirectly from Armenia, they fear
mentioning the fact openly because they risk an Azerbaijani boycott, he
said. “These relations should be done openly and we should make success
stories from these relations.”
Tanju Bleda, a retired ambassador,
agreed with Soyak, saying Turkish businesspeople could develop economic
and trade-based relations with Armenian business leaders living outside
Armenia as a start.
The participants of the meeting, including
members of the media and former civil servants from Armenia, are
expected to pay visits to Turkish parliamentarians and public employees
during visits on Friday.
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