(Saturday, October 17)
“No sane person is against the opening of the border [with Turkey,]” Ohan Durian, a prominent conductor critical of the Armenian government, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “No sane person is in favor of feud. But seeing what these people, the so-called leadership of Armenia, have done, I realized that they are not opening the border but are meekly fulfilling all demands of big powers in order to cling to power and finally ruin Armenia.” Durian at the same time dismisses as a “ bogus performance” the protests staged by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) against the Turkish-Armenian agreements. He believes that if Dashnaktsutyun is serious about changing the country’s foreign policy course it should fight for President Serzh Sarkisian’s resignation.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” is similarly scathing about Dashnaktsutyun’s latest rally held on Friday. The paper notes that the new number one target of Dashnaktsutyun leaders is Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian. “The latter’s sin is that he didn’t give an appropriate response to [Turkish Prime Minister] Erdogan,” it says. “They again forgot that Serzh Sarkisian himself is duly executing Erdogan’s orders.”
“Now they can gently chide the [Armenian] prime minister because the Dashnaks are not in the ruling coalition anymore,” continues “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “And with whom have they been allied during their 120-year history. They formed coalitions only with the Young Turks and Robert Kocharian. The Armenian Genocide was perpetrated as a result of the first coalition partnership. The end of the second coalition was March 1 [2008,] the shooting of Armenians in the center of Yerevan.”
“Hraparak” says many opponents of Dashnaktsutyun are worried about its latest activities because the nationalist party and other opposition forces grouped around it are emerging as a “serious rival” of Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK). “Some dismiss this fact, saying, ‘Who are these consolidated forces?’ But does the Congress have more weighty forces grouped around it than Dashnaktsutyun? Not at all. As a rule, what they call political parties in Armenia are their leaders with their authority and ability to influence the society. Besides, Dashnaktsutyun has a visible and undeniable advantage over the Levonite forces, which is being underestimated and not talked about these days. Namely, the TV channel controlled by it.”
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” sociologist Aharon Adibekian dismiss some opposition parties’ calls for a referendum on the Turkish-Armenian protocols. “This is not the kind of issue that should be solved through a referendum,” he says. “Had the issue of declaring Christianity as our state religion been put on a referendum in 301 A.D., 95 percent of the people would have voted against.”