“I believe that the cooperation between Armenia and Turkey is possible,” announced Béla Szombati, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to Turkey, yesterday, in the conference hall of «TEPAV» organization, Turkey. He delivered a speech at the conference, under the financial support of the European Union, in the framework of the project “Support to Armenia- Turkey normalization”, which was attended by the two-week tour participants organized for the Armenian and Turkish journalists under the same project. “I’ve never been to Yerevan, I have been to Yerevan closest-areas Kars, Ani and Van,” he said, adding that he is thinking to be in Yerevan, too.
In his speech, Mr. Szombati pointed out that the EU-supported events are aimed at improving relations between the Turkish and Armenian peoples. In a separate meeting with Armenian and Turkish journalists, the role of the journalists in this issue was highlighted. “Your role is significant, what you can do, what you can prepare and present as journalists, as information,” he said, adding that many problems will be solved through communications and talks with each other. The Armenian journalists were open with the EU Ambassador to Turkey. The Armenian and Turkish journalists are able to dialogue, and already close and friendly atmosphere has been created, and these warm relations will become a ground for cooperation, however, many people living in Turkey are not aware of the problems of the two countries and are unaware of what has really happened in the past, also, such events do not influence on the public policy in any way.
The Ambassador agreed that it is not possible for all people to have the same level of awareness and interest in the issue, adding that it’s not always that the leadership of the country follows the “individual wishes”, even if they are too good. But he mentioned that this meeting of Armenian and Turkish journalists would be a step, with which the active groups of the two countries will discuss their relationship. Speaking about the Armenian Genocide, Ambassador hesitated in naming the event, only said only that “1915 is a challenging topic,” and people do not talk about it a long time, and this is a good opportunity to speak. “But the problem is that people have not talked about it for various reasons. If people start talking, the relationships would become better.”
Béla Szombati mentioned that although he is not a specialist in Armenian-Turkish relations, was not involved in this region, and he does not make an official announcement, however, he feels that a positive move is visible even in the public policy. “Turkish politicians have begun to speak of repentance, condolence and sympathy. Of course, these are the first steps, but I think these are the first very important steps and not so small.”