Take a sneak peek at the policies behind the political personalities.

Turkey
How to develop Armenian-Turkish diplomatic relations and open borders with Armenia’s western neighbor is the subject of some of the campaign’s stormiest discussions.
Candidate Positions
Serzh Sarkisian :
The prime minister sticks to the long-held government position. “We will be willing to establish diplomatic relations and open borders with Turkey, if that will not be based on the necessity of giving up recognition of the Armenian genocide, or other pre-conditions, including those connected with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” his campaign platform reads. Turkey, a close ally of Azerbaijan, supports Baku's position that Karabakh must be returned to Azerbaijani control.



Levon Ter-Petrosian:
Ter-Petrosian proposes distinguishing the Turkey (and Azerbaijan) of the past from that of the present. “Azerbaijan and Turkey should have been our most natural economic partners," he told a November 2007 meeting with young people. "There is no foisting the historical burden on modern nations, there is no identifying modern-day Turkey with the Turkey of the times of Young Turks. [A reference to the coalition in power in the Ottoman Empire at the time of the 1915 slaughter of hundreds of thousands of ethnic Armenians.] There is no identifying today’s Azerbaijan, though relations are strained over the Karabakh issue, with the Musavat Azerbajian.” [Azerbaijan's Musavat Party held power in the short-lived Azerbaijan Democratic Republic (1918-1920).]



Vazgen Manukian :
Manukian proposes improving relations to reopen the border with Turkey, but notes that “[t]he resolution of this problem, however, must not be achieved at the cost of infringement on national issues and dignity.” “The genocide issue must remain on the agenda, since it is a fundamental issue for the entire Armenian nation and its correct formulations and negotiations will make it possible to improve Armenian-Turkish relations, which will contribute to the opening of borders and economic relations,” he said during a recent interview.



Vahan Hovhannisian:
“Armenia must raise the questions of Turkey’s hostile attitude, responsibility for the [closed] Armenian-Turkish border and the Armenian genocide with international bodies; recent progress made by the joint efforts of Armenia and its Diaspora for international recognition of the Armenian genocide also give grounds for work with Turkish society in this direction,” his platform says.



Artur Baghdasarian :
Without elaboration, Baghdasarian says that he considers the establishment of Armenian-Turkish relations without pre-conditions and the reopening of borders, including the resumption of operations on the Kars-Gyumri railroad, important for both countries and for the region.




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