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Turkey views the Armenian community in Lebanon as a target to consolidate Turkic groups – Ruben Safrastyan

“Turkey’s latest decision to recall its vessel from Mediterranean waters was a tactical step. Erdogan’s policy over the recent years has been  about ramping up the  escalation around the country and then make a step back, putting forward demands for concessions,” Ruben Safrastyan, acting Director of Institute of Oriental Studies told a press conference on Wednesday.

In Safrastyan’s words, the aggressive actions of Turkey in Syria and Libya
are aimed at improving its role and image in the region and turn into a regional decision-maker.

“When we analyze what outcome Turkey has had, we see that is not that much as Erdogan and his aids would expect. Turkey has launched aggressive activities in the Mediterranean, but in response got the consolidation of number of countries against itself. The so-called anti-Turkish coalition is now comprised of Greece, Cyprus, France, Israel, Egypt. I would thus suggest that Erdogan’s aggressive policy has not generated the desired results,” Safrastyan said.

Speaking of Turkey’s policy in Lebanon, Safrastyan pointed to the necessity to assess Turkey’s rationale, also given the fact that matter is closely linked to the Armenian community in Lebanon.

“Turkey uses the Turkic minorities residing in the north of the country to establish its place in the political system of Lebanon. This is a relatively new phenomenon and pursues forward-looking goals,” noted the expert.

In his words, in order to reach its goals, Turkey views the Armenian community as a target to consolidate the Turkic groups.

“Our compatriots in Lebanon have already seen the dangers emanating from that policy and are ready to resist them,” added Safrastyan.


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