Earthquake: rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia?
Armenian disaster relief workers are helping out in the areas hit by the earthquake in Turkey. In addition, the Armenian foreign minister, Ararat Mirzoyan, visited his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu just a few days after the border between the two states, which had been blocked for decades, was opened for an aid convoy. Commentators see a chance to overcome the hostilities between the two countries.
Solidarity and dialogue as medicine
Murat Sabuncu, former editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet, sees a positive impact on bilateral relations. He writes in T24:
“Today’s solidarity is unforgettable, and the solidarity now being shown by Armenia will have an important impact on relations between the two countries. I take a step back and look at the people on both sides who have been brought together by this pain. I think of the events since 1915. And of course of Hrant Dink [the Turkish-Armenian journalist murdered in 2007]. I cannot forget his words: Who will write the prescription, who is our doctor? The Armenians are the doctors of the Turks, the Turks are the doctors of the Armenians. There is no other doctor, no other medicine, no other healer. Dialogue is the only prescription.”
Perhaps peace is possible without Moscow
Foreign policy expert Arkady Dubnov sees a chance to resolve the long-standing conflict. He comments on Facebook:
“[The meeting between the foreign ministers] demonstrates Ankara’s and Yerevan’s willingness to initiate a dialogue. The opening of the transport corridor after 30 years could be the key to finally ending the Turkish blockade of Armenia. All this is of course only possible in the context of a peace process between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Here too, things are not pointing towards a new war — and let’s hope it stays that way. ... Moscow never tires of saying that peace in the South Caucasus can only be achieved with Russia’s help and that any mediation by the West would be extremely harmful. But it would be interesting to see if they can sort things out themselves, without our participation.”