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No fundamental changes should be expected in the Armenian-Turkish relations in 2013, says turkologist Artak Shakaryan. He told media, Wednesday that Ankara has faced much more serious challenges connected with the situation in Syria, Iraq, and the Iranian problem.
Improving relations with Yerevan is not a priority for Ankara, he said. Political ambitions of Turkish Premier Erdogan are another factor impeding the Armenian-Turkish dialogue, he said. Erdogan intends to initiate Constitutional amendments in 2013, which will significantly expand the powers of the president like it is in France, USA and Armenia, he said.
After amending the Constitution, Erdogan will try his best to win the presidential election in 2014, Shakaryan said. In this light, the expert believes that any concessions to the Armenian party in the issue of the Armenian Genocide or the Karabakh conflict may cost Erdogan a certain part of voters.
Earlier in 2012 many Turkish mass media reported that Erdogan suffers from cancer. Asked if the disease will hold Erdogan from fulfilling his goals, Shakaryan said that the information on the Turkish premier's disease has not been refuted. At the same time, nowadays medicine allows prolonging the life of a cancer patient for several years. For instance, Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela, is currently undergoing similar treatment. Consequently, he said, Erdogan has chances to enforce his plans.
Armenia and Turkey signed the "Protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations" and the "Protocol on the development of bilateral relations" in Zurich on October 10. Following Turkey's unwillingness to ratify the protocols and attempts to link ratification with the Karabakh conflict made President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan sign a decree on suspension of the procedure of ratification of the Armenian -Turkish protocols.