Trouble in the Neighborhood: Armenian analyst speaks about Turkish-Kurdish situation

The tense Turkish-Kurdish situation has little to do with the Armenian reality and in general maybe even advantageous for Armenia, expert in Turkish studies Mushegh Khudaverdyan told media in Yerevan today.

“This situation characterizes the height of tensions in the relationship of [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and the West, in other words, we see that again using the Kurdish play card western powers try to put pressure on Erdogan, and the strenuous relationship between Turkey and the West is advantageous for Armenia.

According to the expert, Armenia tries to refrain from statements on the situation keeping a neutral posture.

“This is the best step, because in the tense Turkish-Kurdish situation any unnecessary statement may set the sides against the 4-6 million Armenians living in Turkey,” he said. (There are no definitive estimates about the presence of ethnic Armenians in Turkey. Some official sources put that number at between 40,000 and 70,000. But the number of so-called Crypto-Armenians may reach millions).

Speaking on the skirmishes between Kurdish militants and Turkish government forces in the Sur region of the Diyarbakir province in Turkey, as a result of which Armenian St Kirakos Church was damaged, Khudaverdyan said that it is no news.

“In the foreign policy of people of Muslim countries provocation has always been one of the priority factors, in other words, before carrying out operations against the enemy they turn to provocations, and we can consider the damaging of the Armenian church to be a real provocation to draw Armenians into the conflict,” concluded the political analyst.

An Armenian border community on Tuesday physically felt the impact of the Kurdish-Turkish fighting. The village of Ranchpar located not far from the border with Turkey was shaken by what turned out to be a bomb attack on the other side of the frontier. At least 14 Turkish police officers were killed in the attack that Turkish officials blamed on Kurdish fighters.