After nearly a century of hostility, Turkey and Armenia have agreed a road map to normalise ties. The deal was made on the eve of the commemoration of the alleged 1915 mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks. It is thought to include the opening of their mutual border, something which would boost Turkey’s relations with the EU.
Protesters in Armenia hold annual demonstrations against Turkey, describing the World War One killings as “genocide.” While Ankara accepts many Christian Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks, it denies that up to 1.5 million died. But the 1915 killings remain a defining element in Armenian identity and thousands lay flowers each year at the Genocide Memorial in the Armenian capital, Yerevan. The years of stand-off have isolated impoverished Armenia and obstructed Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union. While a minority in Armenia is likely to oppose any reconciliation, the majority are said to want better relations with their neighbour.