What thoughts came to you as a result of the second Artsakh War and the crushing defeat that followed it?
During last one and half decade I have actively participated in Armenia’s public life with my writings. I have strongly supported opposition movements. And now, after our defeat in 2020 war, I do ask myself: were these opposition movements beneficial for my country? Or maybe the contrary? And then maybe I was doing harm to my country with my political writings? Why do I ask this terrible question? Because Nikol Pashinyan and his team, the main responsibles of Armenia’s horrible defeat, did not fell down from the sky, they are the result and final product of all the previous opposition movements. In 2018, they succeeded to drive so many people to the streets using the slogans of the political discourse already created before them. And now, seeing the horrible culmination of that discourse, I understand it was profoundly wrong. We need a new political discourse in Armenia. With my new writings I am trying to start it.
The three former presidents of Armenia attempted to launch relations with Turkey. Why did Turkey not adopt a neutral stance during the Second Artsakh War?
Armenia’s first president Levon Ter-Petrossian saw establishing normal relations with Turkey as a priority in his foreign politics, but he didn’t succeed to reach the goal. Later on, third president Serzh Sargsyan tried to achieve the same goal, initiating the signing of Armenia-Turkey protocols which again ended with failure. Some political leaders saw unresolved Artsakh issue as the reason of these failures. But we see now that even after winning Second Artsakh War Azerbaijan-Turkey tandem isn’t satisfied with that and tries to get at least some part of Syunik region. Up to yesterday, lots of people in Armenia thought that Big Turan Project and Pan-Turkism had nothing to do with modern realities, they saw them as gone and buried in the past. But the military parade in Baku on December 10 proved the contrary: in his speech president Erdogan mentioned Enver Pasha and said his soul would be delighted with the results of the war. Why Enver Pasha? While Armenians remember Enver as one of the organizers of Armenian Genocide, Turks know him as one of the creators of “Big Turan” project. And now, if Big Turan project is to be realized, then Armenia is an obstacle on its way.
The third article of the PEN Charter mentions peace, good understanding between nations, and respect. How realistic is this after the war?
Armenia is on its knees now. They can’t respect you if you are on your knees. We have to find ways and straighten our back. Then and only then dialogue and peace will become possible.