Posted by: bartwoord | March 23, 2009

Border Disorder – Armenia, Georgia and Turkey

As some of you might know, Armenia faces closed borders with not only Azerbaijan but also Turkey as a result of the conflict in the nineties. This certainly doesn’t stop Turkish goods from arriving to Armenia, as I noticed at the Armenian border where Turkish trucks were arriving after a much longer trip via Georgia. It probably shouldn’t have to take more than a couple of hours for goods from Kars to arrive to Yerevan, but considering the additional border check for goods in Georgia it now must take at least a day.

Turkish trucks at Armenian border

Turkish trucks at Armenian border

The question of Turkey opening the border with Armenia is something that leads to very vigorous discussion in Azerbaijan and sighs of hope in Armenia. As a participant at my current seminar described: it is the only way that Armenians can keep on breathing under the current financial crisis, which has hit Armenia very hard.

One of the theories goes that Turkey will offer to open its borders in exchange of the American Congress refraining from officially recognizing the Armenian genocide.

The trip from Tbilisi to Yerevan was rather impressive: we took a road that took us narrowly passed the Armenian-Azeri border, with deserted and burned down houses from people who had previously lived together in relative peace. The scenery was fantastic, but there was misery in the air.

(Sorry, I should have added some sources in here but I am rather short on time)


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