The long-running antagonism between Turkey and Armenia may soon be over, with reports that the two countries are prepared to normalise their relations. Ties have been frozen since the killing of thousands of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during the First World War, which Armenia wants officially labelled as genocide. Matters have been further soured by Armenia’s border row with Turkey’s Muslim ally Azerbaijan.
“Efforts to normalise relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, and efforts to normalise relations between Turkey and Armenia are moving forward together,” said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey and Armenia have no diplomatic relations, but the atmosphere somewhat improved last September when Turkish President Abdullah Gul attended a football match in Yerevan. Ankara vehemently rejects the genocide claims, which will be commemorated in Armenia tomorrow. In response, many people accuse Armenia of similar atrocities against Turks during and after World War One, and oppose calls to open border crossings.