MOST ARMENIANS OPPOSED TO TIES WITH TURKEY, POLL REVEALS

Today's Zaman
March 31 2010
Turkey

Only about one-third of Armenians support reconciliation with Turkey
and the possible opening of the border between the two countries,
a recent poll has found.

The poll, conducted by the Armenian Marketing Association (AMA),
revealed that nearly 31 percent of respondents supported increased
diplomatic, civil society and other contacts between Armenia and
Turkey, the Armenian Service of the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
(RFE/RL), reported on Monday. Nearly an identical percentage of those
polled completely or largely opposed such contacts, with the remaining
40 percent either undecided or expressing no definite opinion.

Turkey and Armenia, which have had no formal links since 1993,
signed protocols last year to restore their ties and open their mutual
border. But the reconciliation process has come to a standstill after
the two countries accused each other of modifying the text of the
deals. It is not clear when the protocols will be ratified by the
parliaments of the two countries.

According to the AMA poll, reportedly the most comprehensive survey to
date of Armenian public opinion about the rapprochement with Turkey,
only 36 percent of respondents said the protocols signed in October
are good for Armenia. Most others were either undecided or said the
protocols favor only the Turkish side.

Asked whether the opening of the border would bring economic benefits
to Armenia, 41 percent of those polled agreed, while another 36 percent
were neutral on the topic or uncertain whether cross-border commerce
with Turkey would bring economic benefits.

The nongovernmental group interviewed some 2,500 randomly chosen
residents across the country in late January and February.