Few days after Turkey and Armenia signed pacts to establish diplomatic ties and open their shared border, Armenian President Serge Sarkisian announced that he will visit Turkey on Wednesday to attend a football match. The football match is a World Cup Qualifier between Turkey and Armenia which will be played in the Turkish city of Bursa.
“The president of Turkey came to Armenia at my invitation and I don’t see a serious reason not to accept his invitation,” Sarkisian told reporters. “If in the coming two days nothing extraordinary happens, I’ll accept his invitation. I’ll go to Bursa and support our team.”Source: www.google.com
Last year, Turkish President Abdullah Gul attended the initial World Cup qualifier between Armenia and Turkey in Armenia.
Armenia has had tensions with its neighbour Turkey. Turkey also has a long history of poor relations with Armenia over its refusal to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide of 1915. The Karabakh conflict became an excuse for Turkey to close its land border with Armenia in 1993.
Until the recent reconciliation, Turkey had long refused to establish ties with Armenia over Yerevan’s international campaign to have the early 20th-century massacres recognised as genocide.
Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their kin were systematically killed between 1915 and 1917 as the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor of modern Turkey, was falling apart.
Turkey rejects the genocide label and argues that 300,000-500,000 Armenians and at least as many Turks died in civil strife when Christian Armenians took up arms against their Ottoman rulers and sided with invading Russian troops.
But on Saturday, Turkey and Armenia signed the pact to end the blockades.
The pact didn’t go that easy. There were protests in Armenia against the pact.
I wonder if the football match will make it better or worse for the pact? What is Armenia wins the match?