Report: Celebrating Armenian Independence with Turkish T-Shirts?
If you're looking for proof that the economic bottom-line can outweigh political troubles, has the Tamada got a story for you.
The Armenian investigative news service Hetq reports that at a September 20 celebration of the 20th anniversary of Armenia's independence from the Soviet Union some Armenians sported commemorative t-shirts made in Turkey, a country deemed -- at least, traditionally -- to rank second only to Azerbaijan as a threat to Armenia's security.
As a telephone transcript posted by Hetq indicates, Independence Day celebration organizers initially appeared at a loss to explain the fashion faux pas, leveling blame on the sponsor, scrap metal exporter Metexim, Ltd. Representatives of the exporter, in turn, confirmed that they were responsible for the t-shirts, but dodged questions about the specifics.
Sounds circular? That's often the name of the game when it comes to contacts between Armenia and Turkey. This isn't the first time that economic ties -- be it t-shirts, jobs or tourism -- have been shown to exist between the two countries, but, coming on such an occasion, chances are many Armenians may well wish that it could prove among the last.
Giorgi Lomsadze is a journalist based in Tbilisi, and author of Tamada Tales.
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