NOTE: See Armenian version below
by Sergey and Narek
Turkish side pushed out a new precondition for opening Turkish-Armenian border that quickly electrified the dispute between Armenia and the Diaspora. The new precondition demands Serzh Sargsyan to participate at Abdullah Gul’s 58th birthday party. Celebration is expected to feature all the standard procedures: hugging, wishing well, birthday cards, gifts, drinking, candle-blowing and calling up a taxi.
Dashnaks were quick to respond by organizing a multi-dozen rally in front of the MFA. “This definitely is a trap for Armenia. We do not oppose birthday celebration, but we are concerned that toasts to Gul’s health are likely to be voiced at the table, which is unacceptable. This may go as far as to wishing for a long and happy life, which clearly contradicts to our National Interests.”
Press Service of President Sargsyan issued an immediate release: “It is the President’s intention to make the first step in building better relations between two nations. In case of extremely anti-Armenian toasts, the President, naturally, will abstain from actual clinking glasses.”
Dashnaktsutyun party organized a 4-hour-rotation-shift hunger strike in front of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Save your laughter” was the message from Giro Manoyan, “ statistically, hunger strikes exceeding 4 hours may simply harm one’s health, and our Motherland does need healthy Dashnaks.” Dashnaks also plan to organize additional one-hour labor strikes, every working day from 13:00 till 14:00.
To calm down the panic among Diaspora, President Sargsyan organized a world tour around Diaspora spots. But that only ruffled patriots of Armenian Diaspora and created lots of extra work for local policemen.
Extremist Dashnak (hereinafter ED) military groups residing in Lebanon and other idle representatives of Diaspora, vowed to bombard Armenia in case the borders are opened. Their leader Sasoun Dushmanyan mentioned that it is not desirable to raise hand on your own Motherland, but if it comes to that, the EDs will hardly hesitate. “Several victims in Yerevan, some 3-4 exploded buildings, of course that would be tragic, but it would be even more tragic if Armenian vocal chords join the harmony in performing “Happy Birthday” for Gul.” – said a patriotic guerilla.
At the same time, reports came up of protest against Serzh Sargsyan organized by Jewish Diasporas worldwide. They were irritated by the fact that the Armenian President visited only Armenian communities. Rabbi Itskhak Zeldovitch from Poland believes that “This was an obvious act of antisemitism by Armenian authorities. Are we a second rank people? Doesn’t Armenia care about our opinion of the Turkish-Armenian border at all???”
Australian-Armenian Diaspora followed with the toughest feedback: Diaspora patriots organized a petition and called Armenian authorities for strong measures aimed at returning Western Armenian territories.
Aramayis Humparian, leader of Aussie-Armenian Diaspora said in his speech: “Armenian authorities must exhibit some pride and bravely attack Turkey. It’s a shame, after 18 years of being an independent state, they still have not returned the territories. yes the war may be unequal, and as a result Armenia may vanish from the political map, but we, Aussie-Armenians have the courage to accept that sacrifice. We commit to keep eternal memory of our brothers…from here. Besides this may be another cute example of moral victory.”
Similar call came from another quintessential centre of Armenianhood, Glendale, CA. 35-year-old Richard Tambalian said that it is important at this point in history for every Armenian residing in Armenia to take weapon and attack the enemy. And he, Tambalian, in his turn will give utmost moral support to Armenian troops by ceasing to order Turkish coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts.
While situation gets more and more strained in Armenia, legislators have already adopted a number of reforms on eve of opening the borders. Reformed legislation allows legal sale, purchase and application of arms, and the punishment for racial intolerance was removed from the Criminal Code.
NA MP Sahak Minasyan clarified: “We try to make the border opening as safe as possible for the citizens. New legislation allows them to settle every dispute related with border opening on their own.”
Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili is also among those who protest border opening: “Armenians slap their Georgian friends by opening that border. It is obvious that after the opening Georgia will no longer be able to sustain the amount of profits from Armenia and will no longer be the only link to the outside world. Obviously, our economy will suffer. The opening of the border diminishes our importance to zero.” Saakashvili was depressed about the future border opening “We cannot find any justification for this economical slap from Armenia, we can’t upkeep a country just by selling corn on the beach.” added Saakashvili in a trembling voice, with eyes full of sadness and eyebrows seeking the sky.
Turkish society is split over the border opening, too. “We are not confident that the Armenian leader is ready to sincerely wish Gul a Happy Birthday. Previously Armenia sent no congratulations or at least birthday cards at similar occasions.” Turkish newspapers say.
Abdullah Gul’s speaker revealed official concerns :“I hope Armenia will demonstrate political will and will stay until dessert is served and will fully participate in clinking to all toasts, as well as candle-blowing. Of course wishes of health and longivity will need to imply reasonable timestrips, as opposed to vague timeframes.”
And Armenian soccer fans, who were impatiently expecting Armenia- Turkey game, encourage the Armenian team to play in a manner contrasting their regular spirit on October, 11. “” I think if our team plays in a manner 100% contradicting the traditional manner, we will have a glorious victory to celebrate” said president of Armenian Soccer fans club Khachatur Gndakyan.