by Emmanuil Mkrtchyan
Davitoglu's three pillar policy is significant. It shows that Turkey is trying to break out of the straitjacket that it found itself in when it back-tracked over the 2009 protocols because of the sharp opposition of Azerbaijan to any deal with Armenia prior to a Karabakh settlement, says Dennis Sammut, Commonspace.eu political editor.
He believes that Turkey needs a Caucasus policy that recognizes both its immediate interests but also takes into account the fact that Turkey has historical baggage in the region and must therefore proceed prudently.
"The three pillars policy is based on the concept that the problems of the region need to be addressed comprehensively, and not by piecemeal methods, even if different tactics need to be used for different situations. Turkey is right to pursue this policy, as long as it also understands that it needs to bring in early other key international players, such as Russia, the EU and the US if such a policy is ever to have any chance of success. Turkey's proximity to the region, and its influence, which is not insignificant, does however allow Turkey to take a leading role in the process," Sammut says.
He continues that in Yerevan Davitoglu also touched on the issue of the events of 1915. "The anniversary of the atrocities that are often characterized as genocide of the Armenian people in the last years of the Ottoman Empire may inflame passions on both sides, since there is certainly no agreement on how to read this unsavoury page of history. Yet it may also provide an opportunity for dialogue and reconciliation. Davitoglu told journalists in Yerevan that Turkish diplomats now have instructions to engage in dialogue with Armenian diaspora communities, many of whom are descendants of victims of the 1915 events. All this is positive. Turkey needs to be encouraged in its initiatives as long as it pursues them with good intentions and with the broad support of the international community," says Sammut.