The recent cancellation of the first Turkish-run flight from Yerevan to Turkey underlines for many Armenians the persistent difficulty of normalizing ties with their longtime foe. But where business interests lie, hope seems hard to quash.
The planned 40-minute, twice-weekly flights to the city of Van in southeastern Turkey, run by the private Turkish carrier Bora Jet, were scheduled to begin on April 3, but were canceled on March 28. The announcement followed outspoken criticism from Turkey’s close ally, Azerbaijan, that the flights would violate the two countries’ 20-year blockade of Armenia’s western and eastern borders, the result of war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh territory
Organized by two travel agencies in Yerevan and Van, the flights were designed to encourage Armenian tourists to travel to a remote area of modern-day Turkey that played a central role in Armenia’s own early history.
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Marianna Grigoryan is a freelance reporter based in Yerevan and editor of MediaLab.am.