The Turkish government has announced the opening, for the first time in more than three decades, of a border crossing with Armenia to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to more than a dozen Turkish provinces affected by this week’s devastating earthquakes.

“It’s time to get some good out of this disaster,” Turkish-Armenian deputy Garo Paylan has made known on his Twitter account about the temporary reopening of the crossing between two countries at odds for decades over the interpretation of what a large part of the international community recognizes as the genocide of the Armenian population at the hands of the Ottoman Empire during WWI. Ankara has always unreservedly condemned the use of that expression.

The border between the two countries was finally closed in 1993, following a wave of clashes between Armenia and ethnic Turkic Azerbaijanis, although the two neighbors re-established diplomatic contacts in 2021.

Following the opening of the border, the official Turkish news agency, Anatolia, has confirmed the passage of five trucks carrying humanitarian aid across the Alican border into the Turkish province of Igdir, an entrance last used in 1988.

That year, Turkey made a gesture of solidarity with Armenia by allowing the passage of Turkish Red Crescent trucks to attend to the victims of another earthquake, which left at least 38,000 dead.

In fact, Turkey’s special representative for Armenia, Serdar Kilic, thanked on his Twitter account the aid provided by Yerevan, in a message to the deputy foreign minister, Vahan Kostanyan, and the special representative of the Republic of Armenia, Ruben Rubinyan.

“Thank you both for your generous efforts. I will always remember the aid sent by the people of Armenia to help alleviate the sufferings of our people in the earthquake-stricken region of Turkey,” Kilic said.


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