Today.Az » Analytics » Political blindness: Bargaining under Armenian Constitutional Court's codes
12 January 2010 [12:22] - Today.Az
Armenia's domestic political temperature is once again approaching the boiling point.

On Jan. 12, Armenia’s Constitutional Court will start reviewing the very protocols to normalize bilateral ties between Armenia and Turkey signed in Zurich by Foreign Ministers Edward Nalbandyan and Ahmet Davutoglu.

The procedure seems to be routine. Armenia’s Constitutional Court checks the compliance of all international agreements and treaties with local laws and especially the Constitution (by the way, not only that of Armenia). This is the usual procedure. Moreover, such a procedure is often a mere formality in countries with professional diplomats. At the preparatory stage, the "expert’s team” tries to remove controversial points from the text of the agreements.”

But everything is different in Armenia’s case because the Constitutional Court is not actually expected to answer the question whether the Zurich protocols meet fundamental laws of the Republic of Armenia. The issue is more serious: the realities in Armenia define the country’s future tactics in Armenian-Turkish talks. To me more precise, they are looking for an answer to the agonizing question – what to do with these negotiations?

Turkey’s clear statements that the borders with Armenia will not open until resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are the focus of attention for obvious reasons. Due to the efforts of Armenian lobbyists, the "1915 Genocide,” which Turkey does not recognize (because it did not commit any genocide), was remembered, and Armenia poses as outraged virtue in response to a proposal to establish a joint commission of historians arguing that it will not question the "fact of genocide."

The six Eastern Anatolia provinces claimed by Armenia are probably the third, or maybe the first, most difficult problem left without attention of the international community, which warmly welcomed the start of a dialogue between the two countries.
Simply put, we can argue until we are hoarse whether the text of the Zurich protocols makes mention of the Karabakh conflict and an obligation to recognize borders, and whether the "Armenian genocide" is a controversial issue for which a joint commission will be established.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Armenia will have to recognize Turkey’s borders before it establishes relations with the country although Armenia does not want to do so.

Moreover, in a cruel twist of fate, the Constitutional Court has sufficient powers to maneuver. Thanks to the efforts of Armenia’s then-President Levon Ter-Petrosyan,  territorial claims to Turkey were excluded from the constitutional text. But "Hai Dat" and these six provinces are mentioned  in the preamble created on the basis of thhe declaration on Armenia’s sovereignty. Agri-Dagh is depicted not for beauty on the coat of arms of the country .

It becomes clear that under the current situation the constitutional decision will define anything, but not right and legal technicalities. A real political bargaining will start in this case where each will pursue own interests and demonstrate own patriotism.

In the meantime, the most tragic for Armenia is that there is simply no "win-win" option Because, let’s s recall once again that the Constitutional Court verdict will determine not the fate of the protocols, but the status and future claims to the so-called "Western Armenia". Armenia’s current political leadership cannot denounce these claims since after many years of territorial claims to Turkey, it hasmeticulously collected a "national homage" and set up committees and commissions  for obvious reasons.

It's not so easy to announce that all these years Armenia’s political “dealers” deceived their compatriots and collected money under the "great dream" which a priori could not be realized. Given Armenian traditions of political terror, such an attempt could cost too much, and Serzh (Serjik) Sargsyan, who led Armenia’s special services during the "creeping coup" in 1998 accompanied by a series of political assassinations, knows this better than others. He is also aware that to bring claims to Turkish on the official level would be too risky for Yerevan.

The most remarkable point starts here. Claims against Turkey persisted in the Armenian political "couteri" already in the 1920s. Gradually, the myth of "Western Armenia," a kind of "lost paradise"  turned into "national idea"  for the politicized part of the Armenian diaspora uniting "right" and "left," "Dashnaktsutun" and "Gnchakanovs” in a unified diaspora. Due to the diaspora, the Armenian people preserved kind of "national policy" even in the Soviet period. But diaspora leaders seemed to be satisfied with this. This happened in such a tightly corked tin where any "new developments" from the outside could not penetrate. The Armenian "coterie" simply did not accept anything that happened after 1915. They were left alone with the passions of the early 20th century.

The most amazing thing is that no one noticed it even at a time whenArmenia announced its independence after the Soviet collapse when relations between Yerevan and Ankara were frozen at the "zero point." Armenia’s leaders were aware that they cannot afford a war with Turkey. Absence of diplomatic relations allowed to think about the "Hai Dat" at home and keep quiet about it on the international arena.

But the time when one could "keep quiet” expires. The most unpleasant will begin. Welcoming beginning of "revolutionary change in Turkish politics," "Armenian-Turkish relations" and arguing that "the ice between the two neighboring nations begins to melt”, analysts did not think that this dialogue is “uncorked" the very tin, where the notorious passion of early 1920s turned into poison, deadly for those who wish to take advantage of its contents.

A disease called botulism have long known medicine. It is sometimes called "canned poison.” This deadly poison is formed mostly in cans, especially if they have capacity for more than three liters, and their contents are not well washed before "closing". Baku physicians told more  on condition of anonymity that most patients with botulism in Baku were local Armenians because of the love for home-canned vegetables and especially pickled purslane.

Now Armenia risks to poison those who today have decided to "promote dialogue" by its age-old passions of the 1920s.

However, there is far more dangerous analogy. According to not toxicologists, but firefighters, sometimes a smoldering fire which was almost extinguished due to lack of fresh oxygen breaks out with renewed vigor when a door of the room is opened. On this backdrop the negotiations between Turkey and Armenia, which were perceived as a "step towards peace," could end up quite differently as it seemed to unnamed co-sponsors of the peace process. Because the Armenian political elite is simply not ready for peace with Turkey and Azerbaijan...

... From ancient times humanity puzzled on the mystery of life and death. A set of the most complex and important magical rites were associated with birth and death. In the most ancient times, rituals associated with death and burial not only helped to honor the dead. They also were meant not to let evil to bring world of the dead to the world of living. It is no accident that a man who was buried and then resuscitated was considered embodiment of evil in a variety of nations.

But after the death of Hitler's Reich, after which mankind re-evaluated  "witch hunting" and the Inquisition, Ivan Efremov summarized historical experiences as follows in his "Hour of the Bull":

Ioda slid in a passage between the tables. She was a silent and ardent, considered to be look like ancient South Asian women carrying dagger in their belt or hairs who boldly used them to defend their honor. 

“I just read about the dead civilizations in our galaxy, not murdered, not self-destruct, but dead,” she said in a low voice. If the legacy of their thoughts and deeds are kept, sometimes it is a dangerous poison able to poison the more immature society, blindly taking imaginary wisdom.”
Those old "accounts of life and death" come to mind today in anticipation Armenian Constitutional Court’s consideration of the very Zurich protocols signed by Nalbandyan and Davutoglu.

Day.Az writer 

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