Turkey should engage with Armenia, not Armenian diaspora: Etyen Mahcupyan

Turkey should turn the centenary of the 1915 incidents into an opportunity to engage with the Armenian state and society rather than the Armenian diaspora, as the former is more open to dialogue, Turkish prime ministerial adviser Etyen Mahcupyan has said, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.

Mahcupyan said reciprocal steps by Turkey and Armenia on the centenary of the 1915 events would change relations between the two states in a “healing” way, adding that the initial phase should be between Turkey and Armenia, rather than the Armenian diaspora.

“Armenia and its society are more ready to engage in with Turkey than the diaspora. But because we hear the state’s voice and as the state speaks as a state, it seems bold,” said Mahcupyan.

Stating that when one spoke to the people on the streets of Armenia, one could understand that they are seeking closure, Mahcupyan said the same was true for Turkey.

He added that although the two nations were the “children of the same culture” and there was a “longing” between them, the world’s current state system had drawn borders between nations, making inter-state relations more formal and cold.

Mahcupyan said relations should be built starting from the informal and societal level, rather than the state-to-state level, suggesting women’s movements in the two countries coming together as an example.

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