ARMENIA-TURKEY BORDER ISSUE: OPEN SESAME OPEN
By Ece Temelkuran, YEREVAN (Milliyet)
Translated by Murat Sogangoz

Journal of Turkish Weekly, Turkey
May 16 2006

"I pray to Jesus every morning for the opening of the borders!"

Anait has a spontaneously smiling face. She is a strong woman, but her
voice is quite soft. In a clothing bazaar, she prefers Turkish while
speaking among the clothes she brought from Laleli (Istanbul) to sell.

The surprise during the first trip "We are alone now. It will be good
for both for you and us when the border is opened. Trade with Turkey
is vital for our economy. When they say 'the border remains closed',
it gives us big pain.

Anait is one of the oldest merchants. She had started visiting Turkey
in 1993. Firstly she was bringing automobile components to Turkey.

She reached to Georgia via bus and then to Ardahan from there. She
never forgets her first trip: "I was afraid. I didn't know how
the Turks were. Would they attack me? The bus got out of order in
Ardahan. All the passengers were women. A Turk came and gave water
melon and cheese to everyone. He also got the bus repaired and demanded
no money. He said "sell your goods and then you may pay". "Now,
90 per cent of the goods in Armenia are coming from Turkey."

Dream of a job in Marmaris Anait says "if there were 100 people who
had visited Turkey in 1993, now there should be 1 million". She says
"all the goods of Turkey are fine" and she is dreaming to have a job
with her unemployed son at a Marmaris hotel for this summer. Anait
tells about the feelings of the Armenian men and women praying for
the opening of the border: "It will be very good. Both for you and us!"