March 31
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YEREVAN. – If Turkey gives in to Azerbaijan with respect to the Yerevan-Van direct flights, this would mean Azerbaijan’s scepter of influence hangs upon Turkey’s head. Prosperous Armenia Party MP Aragats Akhoyan, who is actively engaged in cultural activities in Eastern Turkey, told Armenian    

Turkey is attempting to be an influential state in the region. [But] at the same time, it links all its relations with a third country which has problems with neighboring states. That is to say, a state, which does not ‘shine’ in democracy, links its problems to a country that strives for democracy. 

“I can only say our word to our Turkish friends that have a great influence there, and I have done just that. They agree with me but cannot say anything yet, as long as there is no official clarification,” Akhoyan said.  

As Armenian informed earlier, Turkish civil aviation authorities decided to suspend Yerevan-Van-Yerevan flights for an uncertain period starting from April 3.

The Armenian organizer of the flights, Narekavank Tour, issued a statement expressing regret over the decision.

“Narekavank Tour is sorry to inform that yesterday, March 28, 2013, the General Directorate of Civil Aviation of Turkey officially suspended the Van-Yerevan-Van direct flights.

These flights had to be operated by Armenian Tour Operator Narekavank Tour, Turkish Borajet Airline, and Ayanis Travel Agency, which is based in Van. The major goal of the flight was to develop regional tourism and cultural interactions between the people, along with contributing to economic and business cooperation.

The organizers of the flight were very enthusiastic and happy that such initiative did not meet any obstacles in Turkey or in Armenia. This fact was welcomed both by the Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen of Armenia and by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, Van Chapter. The organizers were keen on staying away from politics.

It is very sad and discouraging that Turkish authorities were not able to do the same, and they ultimately let politics interfere with this promising initiative. [But] we still count on the Turkish authorities to show understanding and to reconsider their decision,” the company said in a statement.

The news about the scheduled operation of the Yerevan-Van flights had sparked anger in Azerbaijan. Official Baku claimed that Turkey is ignoring Azerbaijan and, in fact, opening its borders to Armenia.


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