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As Armenia pushes for reconciliation, Turkey plays hard to get

Armenia's prime minister is willing to establish ties with Turkey without any preconditions, but many in the Armenian diaspora find accepting Ankara’s continued denial of the 1915 genocide unthinkable.
The Yerablur cemetery, where Armenian soldiers from both Karabakh wars are buried, overlooks Yerevan in this photo taken April 12, 2022.
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HAYKADZOR and YEREVAN, Armenia — In the village of Haykadzor on the edge of Armenia’s long sealed border with Turkey, Boris Davutyan, a 70-year-old farmer with a sun-weathered face, says he is in favor of peace with his country’s historical foe. “It would be good for trade,” he said, gesturing toward the Akhouryan River that separates Turkey from Armenia. “In Soviet times we used to go down to the river and smoke cigarettes and drink vodka with the Turks. The genocide committed against us by the Ottomans was 100 years ago. You have to look to the future, not be stuck in the past.”

Some 117 kilometers (73 miles) southeast, at a windswept cemetery overlooking Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, Armen Poghosyan stared at his only son’s grave. His head was bowed, his body stiffened with grief. He has been coming every single day since the 19-year-old was laid to rest alongside his comrades on this hilltop facing the snow-capped peak of Mount Ararat on the Turkish side.

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