August 8, 2009 - 13:46 AMT
Holy Cross church on Aghtamar island to operate as museum
Holy Cross Armenian church, recently restored in Turkey, operates as a museum, Alexander Sotnichenko, leading analyst of St. Petersburg Center for Middle East Studies, told a PanARMENIAN.Net correspondent. Even if the church has a cross on its cupola, that won't change anything, the expert finds, because as far as he is aware, there is now the Turkish flag fluttering there.
"Turkey's actions are maneuvers for both the West and Russia," Russian analyst said, noting in the meantime that Turkey conducts literate information policy. "Turkey recently invited Russian and foreign journalists to show them ancient Armenian monuments and prove that there was allegedly no conflict between two nations. Besides, I don't think Turkey will mind if Aghtamar becomes a new tourist center," Russian expert noted.
Turkey just wants to show that it has respect for the ethnic groups which formerly inhabited on its territory. But despite its "reasonable" political steps, it should perceive the difference between restoring a church and opening a border.
"By normalizing ties with Armenia, Turkey seeks to increase its influence in Caucasus," Russian analyst said, adding that Baku has fears of Armenian-Turkish ties normalization process.
"Turkish-Azerbaijani relations are no longer as warm as they used to be. In 1990's, Turkish government had closer ties with Azerbaijan. But now it acts against Azerbaijan's interests, as it is more interested in normalizing Armenian-Turkish ties."