Will Turkey Present Additional Preconditions to Armenia?

The events of the last weeks turned out to prove the theses that I put forward in my previous articles, particularly related to the preconditions put forward by Turkey and Azerbaijan before normalizing relations with Armenia. In particular, I argued that Turkey will demand that Armenia amend its constitution, abandon the terms “Western Armenia and Eastern Armenia,” abandon state symbols, including the use of the image of Mount Ararat on the Armenian coat of arms, as well as adopt a new Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence is the founding document of the third Armenian Republic. If there is no Declaration of Independence, then there is no Republic of Armenia. That is why Armenian officials are talking about the necessity to form the fourth Republic of Armenia.

The Armenian government appears to have agreed to fulfill these preconditions. It has even circulated theses that the coat of arms of Armenia does not express today’s realities and the nature of today’s Republic of Armenia. Moreover, the ruling party says that as Mount Ararat is not on the territory of Armenia today, it cannot be used in its official symbols. This is of course an absurd thesis. It is obvious that the coat of arms of today’s France, Great Britain or Russia does not correspond to the current realities of these powers. Of course, the question arises whether the moon depicted on today’s Turkish flag is located in the territory of Turkey. The argument here is that the moon has an important religious significance for the Turkic world. Mount Ararat also has the most important religious significance for Armenia and the Christian world. According to the Bible, the humanity was reborn after Noah’s ark landed on Mount Ararat in this part of the world. In other words, if the rulers of Armenia wanted to present such justifications, they simply could do that and mention that symbolism cannot be considered as a territorial claim against Turkey as they did not within the last 30 years.

In fact, after fulfilling all of these preconditions, new preconditions will be definitely set by Turkey. Turkey may demand that some political parties which could be considered anti-Turkish by their nature not be permitted on the territory of Armenia. In particular, Turkey quite possibly will demand that the activities of the traditional Armenian parties shall be suspended there, as they represent a threat to Ankara. Turkey may also demand the ban of any patriotic songs that were created during the Armenian Genocide which relate to the national liberation struggle of the Armenian nation. It is not excluded that there will be a demand to not only change the name of “Armenian history” to the “history of Armenia,” but also some pages of the history itself.

Yet another demand concerns the official anthem of Armenia. The Armenian ruling party says that the lyrics of the Armenian official anthem contain words about the “enemy” and the anthem must be changed too. Now try to imagine the British Empire setting a precondition for the United States to edit its Declaration of Independence before recognizing the independence of the United States back in 1785, or to change the Constitution and abandon the patriotic song written by Francis Scott Key on September 14, 1814, during the War of 1812 with Great Britain before reestablishment of diplomatic relations after the War of 1812. Would it not be absurd?


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