Israel,  Israel/Palestine,  Turkey

On blockades and Turkey

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is considering a trip to Gaza in order to break the siege imposed on the Strip by Israel, Lebanese newspaper al-Mustaqbal reported, quoting “knowledgeable sources”.


Here’s an interesting point from Open Democracy back in October 2009.

When Turkey’s president visited Yerevan to attend a World Cup qualifier between the two national football teams on 6 September 2008, I was hopeful that Turkey was seriously shifting its foreign policy in the direction of its proclaimed “zero problems” with its neighbours. In particular, I thought that Turkey would as part of a rapprochement with Armenia put an end to its sixteen-year long blockade of Armenia (imposed at the time of the post-Soviet conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh).

This expectation was overturned when I read the protocols on establishing diplomatic relations and opening borders, which were made public on 31 August 2009. My impression was that Armenia was being forced to pay a high price, both morally and politically; that the documents set a bad precedent, in allowing strong states with a dark past to revise history at the negotiation-tables, with the blessing of world powers; and that the existing international political framework seems unable as a result to accommodate the grievances carried by the descendants of genocide victims.

To understand the limits of the Armenia-Turkey accord, a brief survey of the history they fail to address is unavoidable.

The heart of the issue that divides Armenia and Turkey is the uprooting, exile and massacre of almost the entire Armenian population of the Ottoman empire during the first world war