08.05.2009 14:00

World-renowned Armenian duduk virtuoso Djivan Gasparyan said it is
"the right time" for all Turkish and Armenian people to raise their
glasses "arm-in-arm for peace and brotherhood."

"Come, let's share our pains," said the musician. "No matter that
you are Muslims and we are Christians. The holy things we worship,
and all the paths to him, are the same," Gasparyan told the Hurriyet
Daily News & Economic Review.

Gasparyan's family owes its life to a Turkish family, he said,
explaining: "The roots of my family date back to the Anatolian city of
MuÅ~_. My grandfather had six children. In 1915, our Turkish neighbor
saved the life of these children by hiding them under the fodder in
the barn."

His grandfather spoke about this Turkish family with love and respect
until the end of his life, Gasparyan said, adding, "The biggest wish
of my grandfather was to see this family before his death and give
them his blessings, but his wish did not come true."

"My biggest wish is for the border gates between Turkey and Armenia to
open as soon as possible," Gasparyan told the Hurriyet Daily News &
Economic Review. This would accelerate the dialogue process between
both countries, he said, adding, "I want to see our peoples make
peace before I die."

Gas paryan performed a special concert in the Armenian Presidency
Palace for President Abdullah Gul when the Turkish leader went
to Armenia to view a football match between the two countries on
Sept. 6. "I performed many songs," he said. "Gul thanked and presented
a plaque to me. It was a historic moment."

>From time to time, Gasparyan said, the ownership of songs is debated in
Armenia, just as it is in Turkey. "There are big similarities between
some Turkish, Armenian and Iranian songs," he said. "For example,
'Sarı Gelin' (Yellow Bride) is always the focus of discussions. But
it doesn't make sense to politicize songs. It is nonsense to debate
the ownership of anonymous music."