Within the context of Armenian-Turkish rapprochement, Ankara is in the driver’s seat; the first news about the appointment of the representatives of the two countries was announced by Mevlut Çavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, to the surprise of news media in Armenia.
The second wave of news is also emerging from the same source; indeed, Mr. Çavusoglu recently announced that Armenia’s foreign minister would be participating in the Antalya Diplomacy Forum scheduled to take place March 11 to 13, also with Armenia’s representative to the negotiations, member of parliament Ruben Rubinyan, while Armenian official sources are maintaining that Turkey’s invitation for the forum is still under consideration.
Leaders and foreign ministers from 45 countries will participate in the forum to discuss and resolve regional and global issues in international relations.
Turkey’s foreign minister has already defined the agenda for Armenia’s delegates. He stated that Azerbaijan will also be represented by Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and that Turkey would like to see each side express its own positions. After supplying drones and jihadis to Azerbaijan during the 44-day war, in Antalya Ankara is wearing the mantle of an unbiased mediator seeking to restore peace. As a matter of fact, Turkey is trying to impress on the international community that it has adopted the same role between Russia and Ukraine, after supplying Bayrakdar drones to Kyiv and announcing that Ankara does not recognize Russia’s takeover of Crimea.
As the Armenian side approaches the negotiation table, our historic experience has to serve as a guide, to gauge and understand Turkey’s intentions and goals. Turkey’s current policy is derived from its perennial goals of developing and leading a Turanic empire. Some historians and analysts believe that this idea is a figment of the Armenian imagination, but this was countered by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself in Baku, celebrating on the ashes of Shushi and evoking Enver Pasha’s presence in the Caucasus and in Central Asia to muster forces to build a sultanate with him at the helm. Erdogan revived that dream by stating during that same celebration that “we are here to achieve the dream of our ancestors.”
In order for Turkey to achieve that “dream,” it has to eliminate an independent republic of Armenia, which now stands in its way.