Cemil Cicek: “The achievement of peace in the Caucasus passes through the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan” – INTERVIEW

Cemil Cicek: “The achievement of peace in the Caucasus passes through the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan” – <font color=red>INTERVIEW </font>
# 29 February 2012 08:48 (UTC +04:00)
Ankara. Mayis Alizadeh – APA. APA’s interview with Chairman of the Grand National Assembly (parliament) of Turkey Cemil Cicek

- We express gratitude for the exhibition opened at the Turkish parliament on 20th anniversary of Khojaly genocide. During the political crisis between Turkey and France, Turkey proposed to withdraw France from the OSCE Minsk Group. What is your opinion on this issue?

- We have to assess the developments dispassionately. Our Azerbaijani brothers can be sure that their pain is our pain. We are happy when you are happy and we sorrow when you sorrow. I believe you also feel so. In my speech during the exhibition, I said that only fair solution of the Karabakh problem between Armenia and Azerbaijan will bring peace and stability to the Caucasus, and it will be achieved only through the withdrawal of Armenian forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. We welcome everyone who supports this process. Those, who are against it, support injustice and rightlessness. This is our opinion. In fact, the Minsk Group also takes the initiative as a result of Turkey’s serious efforts. Everyone should make policy taken the purpose, with which this group was established, into consideration.

- Khojaly is the first genocide perpetrated after the “cold war”. Three and a half year later Serbians committed genocide against Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenitsa. Political and legal assessment to Srebrenitsa genocide was given 15 years later. Azerbaijan also makes serious efforts to bring the perpetrators of Khojaly genocide to international justice. What would you like to say about it as an experienced specialist in the sphere of international law?

- These issues must be decided by the government. I believe Azerbaijani leadership will accurately take necessary decisions for the punishment of perpetrators of this crime and Turkey will support these attempts. Leaders of the country must take first step and determine the way, which should be followed. I hope that a thorough road map will be developed and the steps will be taken in accordance with this road map.

- When Armenia started to occupy Azerbaijani lands beyond Nagorno Karabakh, Turkey closed its border with Armenia on April 4, 1993. In his speech in the Azerbaijani Parliament, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan underlined that the closing of borders was related to “cause and effect” relation and announced that the border will not be opened unless the Armenians withdraw from the occupied Azerbaijani territories. The Zurich protocols were recently excluded from the agenda of Turkish parliament, but now there are claims that the protocols will appear on the agenda again. What would you like to say about it?

- Turkey is behind the statement of our Prime Minister and that policy. There were provocative forces who wanted to violate Turkey-Azerbaijan relations. We must not to fall into such traps. Prime Minister of Turkey made a speech in the Azerbaijani parliament and Turkey supports this speech.

-Khojaly rally was held in Taksim Square, Istanbul…..

-Unfortunately, I was not there.

- Minister of Internal Affairs of Turkey made a very good speech at this meeting, but some circles criticize him. How do you assess it?

-Turkey is a democratic country and someone can criticize his speech, others can support. Public community weighs it by weight of its conscience. Our people’ senses are very strong, we must rely on them. Public opinion is more important than writings or statements of someone.