Pashinyan, Pan-Turkism and Normalization with Turkey

Pashinyan, Pan-Turkism and Normalization with Turkey

Garo Madenlian

In today’s Armenian reality, every situation, scenario, decision or action should be viewed in the context of “normalizing Armenian-Turkish relations.” In its current state, these are the dire consequences that will result for Armenia: Armenia’s economic collapse as the Turkish economy will stifle and swallow up Armenia, replacing its manufacturing and agriculture industries with its own; planned, sponsored and systematic relocation of Turks and Azerbaijanis into Armenia, buying properties, participating in elections and claiming villages; relinquishing Armenian rights to “Hai Tahd” and reparations from the Genocide, the Armenian ancestral homeland and weakening the Armenian struggle for liberation; strangling Armenia with a corridor connecting Turkey to Azerbaijan, cutting off Armenia’s trade route to the south and overtaking its major internal transportation routes; and much more.

This normalization initiative, also known as “the Pashinyan Plan,” Pan-Turkism, “land for peace,” “protocols 2.0,” or the “Turkification of Armenia,” has been in place for over 30 years, but more overtly and aggressively implemented after the velvet regime change in 2018 when the ultimate, handpicked, trojan horse was placed into the office of Armenia’s prime minister.

When viewed in this light, everything becomes clear and transparent, and the straightforward and simple Pashinyan timeline is corroborative: come to power through a “populist” agenda with no ideology, national plan or experience; eliminate your opposition and vilify all those who came before you (they also made this very easy); divide the country and then the nation; remove all forms of patriotism and national pride; abandon culture and heritage; normalize defeat and re-instill the victim mentality of a nation subjected to genocide; and create a path for the future under the auspices of those he serves. 

Who Pashinyan actually serves is irrelevant. One day it may be the west, the following year the east, but the constant is his support for Turkey and specifically Erdogan’s pan-Turkism agenda to re-establish the borders of the Ottoman Empire. Unfortunately, once again the economic and political interests of superpowers and regional players have aligned to Armenia’s detriment to open borders and establish new pipelines and trade routes to new markets—an acceptable trade for Pashinyan, who is willing to sell Armenian interests to the highest bidder for the illusion of peace.

Armenia’s president no longer a barrier

President Armen Sarkissian’s resignation should be viewed in this context. It is well known that he was elected prior to Pashinyan’s ascension. He did not align himself with Pashinyan, and the  My Step coalition and Civil Contract Party seized every opportunity to verbally attack him. He did not or was unable to counter Pashinyan’s policies, specifically regarding selective prosecution, appointments, corruption, capitulation and kowtowing to Turkey and Azerbaijan. Meanwhile, Pashinyan established a stranglehold on the current regime with absolute control of the executive branch and police, an overwhelming majority in parliament and the courts. But he did not have control over the President, without whose signature, Armenia’s normalization agreement with Turkey and Azerbaijan could be jeopardized.

The Pashinyan Parliament can now elect a lackey to serve his agenda to normalize Armenian-Turkish relations, Turkey’s expansionist policies of pan-Turkism and Pashinyan’s plan, all of which are aligned. Some questions remain. Did Sarkissian resign because he did not want to be part of Pashinyan’s next level treason? Why didn’t he stay to derail the process by refusing to sign such documents? Did he voluntarily resign or was he coerced, threatened or forced? If so, by Pashinyan, Turkey or someone else? Why is the Armenian media focusing on the President’s potential citizenship issue as a rationale for his resignation? Is this another distraction by the orchestrators? Although his resignation appears to be voluntary, in context and in light of his and Pashinyan’s and Turkey’s past conduct, it smells of foul play. Time will tell, but the bottom line for now is that this potential obstacle has been removed, clearing the way to realize the Pashinyan normalization/Erdogan’s pan-Turkism plan.

Armenian Diaspora and the ARF remain obstacles and targets

The Diaspora, comprised primarily of descendants of Genocide survivors, has a strong patriotic base with a firm belief in justice including reparations and return of Armenian lands occupied by Turkey. Pashinyan and company are not interested in pursuing this cause. They deem it to be part of the past and a nuisance in the way of their agenda. They prefer to move forward with normalization efforts at all cost and are even willing to use the Genocide as a bargaining chip.

It is in this context that Pashinyan wants to control the Diaspora or alternatively weaken it – to stop us from pursuing the Armenian Cause (“Hai Tahd”), and to deter us from continuing to demand justice from Turkey for the Genocide and the return of the ancestral Armenian homeland in Western Armenia. Fortunately, Pashinyan, like those before him, has been unable to achieve this because the multifaceted and powerful Armenian communities in the Diaspora are based on preserving the culture and heritage the Ottoman Empire and Turkey tried to erase. They remain grounded in patriotic ideology embedded in this struggle for justice—concepts counter to Pashinyan’s and Erdogan’s plans.

The Diaspora is an organized and fluid structure with a long and tried history with the majority of its organizations, institutions and structures established by and remaining closely aligned with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF), whose ideology is firmly grounded in these same patriotic principles. Thus, the Diaspora in general, and specifically the ARF as a whole, remain obstacles to Pashinyan’s pro-Turkish agenda and are targets for the current regime in Armenia and their international sponsors and supporters.

They have been working to weaken the Diaspora by attacking and/or dividing its strongest component—the ARF. This is not a new tactic, but it’s one that many have tried over the years dating back to the Ottoman Empire and continuously by the Republic of Turkey, throughout the Soviet era and by other superpowers. Now, ever since the velvet regime change, Pashinyan and his various sponsors and supporters have adopted the same goal with slightly varying yet more aggressive approaches to create schisms and divisions.

They first targeted the ARF leadership in their attempts to divide the ranks from the leadership and simultaneously tried to drive a wedge between ARF in Armenia and the rest of the organization to cripple the party in the homeland. However, their real target was the ARF worldwide organization, and their goal was also to create artificial divisions within its diasporan structures, specifically, those who support the ARF in the homeland and those who prioritize the Diaspora; and those who view themselves as “modern” and “western” thinkers focused on false internal “democratic” processes; and those who remain traditionalists grounded in revolutionary principles. 

They attempted to take advantage of and exploit minor internal differences, utilizing local agendas or preferences in sowing the seeds of doubt, division and separatism. Most of their efforts were in vain, however, true to human nature and individual weaknesses; some took the bait and unknowingly became complicit in the Pashinyan plan. Unfortunately, the ongoing barrage continues and will most likely increase, as Pashinyan and his partners will even try to infect Diaspora institutions and organizations.

Meanwhile Erdogan and his sidekick Aliyev are pleasantly watching their co-conspirator(s) in Armenia and the Diaspora implement their plan to re-establish a pan-Turkic empire across Armenia, and at the expense of Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian nation.

A unified front armed with the truth and in pursuit of justice

We have to analyze and view today’s reality in the context of the pan-Turkic agenda. We have to realize that it is the same as the Pashinyan plan, supported by superpowers and regional players, each with their own interests. 

Once we realize this and agree Pashinyan is the trojan horse and the main catalyst to implementing their plan, we can properly identify other actors, agendas and initiatives and understand how they serve that plan. With this knowledge, we can avoid falling victim to and inadvertently or unknowingly supporting their nefarious agenda. More importantly, we can anticipate their moves and counter their advances. Finally, as a united nation from Armenia to the Diaspora, we can present a unified front to stop them and take proactive steps to further our agenda based on our national interest and priorities, the first of which is to save the homeland and the nation.

Open your eyes. See and understand what’s happening. Realize we’re stronger together and that we can overcome this. Join the fight for survival and the struggle for justice for the Armenian people starting with securing Armenia’s borders in Gegharkunik and Syunik and keeping Hai Tahd alive and part of the national agenda instead of trading it away on the negotiating table. And then together we can continue with the liberation of Artsakh and end with the establishment of a free, independent and united Armenian homeland based on the Treaty of Sèvres as identified in the ARF program, however long it may take.