BAKU: Turkish Resorts Favored By Armenians


July 29, 2009 Wednesday

A great number of Armenian tourists head to Turkeys recreation centers,
according to the Armenia office director of a leading Russian tourism
company, Tez Tour. Narine Davtian said the desire to rest at a seaside
resort has overshadowed their hate for the Turks.

Thus, 8,000 tourists from Armenia are expected to visit Antalya by
the end of 2009. Armavia Airlines is administering four flights a
week from Yerevan to the Turkish resort city for the purpose. The
flights are so booked that there are no seats left on the airplane,
Davtian said. I love my country, but lets not mix tourism with
politics, she added. However, the nationalist Dashnaksutyun Party
is opposed to Armenians flocking to Turkeys tourism centers. Its
representatives have appealed to the mayors office of Yerevan
demanding that posters advertising recreation in Antalya be withdrawn
from the citys streets. Arutyun Melikian, a Dashnaksutyun activist,
has called on his fellow countrymen to rest in Armenia instead. The
money being channeled into Turkeys armament and strengthening should
stay in the country, and our motherland should strengthen. Of note,
the Dashnaks have contemplated and found unordinary posters saying
Armenians resting in Antalya are arming the Turkish military. Many
residents of the Armenian capital have welcomed the nationalists
move. Armenia and Turkey have been at odds and the border between the
two countries has been closed since 1993 on Ankaras insistence due to
Armenias policy of occupation of Azerbaijani territory and Armenian
genocide claims. Vacationing in Armenia is much more expensive than
that in Turkey. Thus, spending a week in Jermukh, one of the countrys
major recreation centers, costs $700, compared to only $450 in Antalya.