(Saturday, September 7)
Film director Tigran Khzmalian tells “Kapital” that Armenia opted for the “Turkish model of development” after gaining independence in 1991. “For 20 years we are trying to become Turkey,” he claims. “It is no coincidence that recent political developments are prodding our authorities in that direction. We didn’t chose the model of Iran where life is based on spiritual values. We chose mercantile Gods of money’s colors. This applies even to the church. We sold every possible and impossible thing.”
“Serzh Sarkisian has entered a geopolitical game that is quite dangerous for the state,” writes “Zhamanak.” “In that situation, neither moving forward nor moving backward or stalling is beneficial for Armenia.” The pro-opposition paper says only Sarkisian stands to gain something from the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement even if it ends in failure. In the latter case, it says, Sarkisian will have shown the international community he is genuinely committed to the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations.
“That is, Serzh Sarkisian seems to have no problems with the outside world as long as the time for putting agreements on Turkish-Armenian relations and the Karabakh conflict, the precondition for improving them, into practice has not come,” continues “Zhamanak.” “In that case, Serzh Sarkisian could have trouble making good on his promises. Therefore, even the dragging out of the process would be beneficial for him, which is the most likely scenario of further developments.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that a meaningful public debate on Turkey or any other major issue is not possible in Armenia because of the existence of political prisoners in the country. “Secondly, many forget that the published [Turkish-Armenian] protocols have already been finalized,” says the paper. “That is, the governments of Armenia and Turkey have already approved those documents and they only need to be ratified. And it is not the public but the National Assembly that will be ratifying them. Therefore, public discussions are meaningless. Discussions are meaningless even within the National Assembly because it has an established majority that always duly obeys Serzh Sarkisian’s orders.”