ANKARA: Turkey and Armenia opened their border gate for the first time in 30 years for the passage of humanitarian aid for the victims affected by the devastating earthquakes that hit the former, Anadolu Agency reported.
Taking to Twitter, Turkey's special representative for normalization talks with Armenia, Serdar Kilic said that the Armenia delegation with five trucks overloaded with 100 tonnes of food, medicine and drinking water passed through the Alican border gate.
"In addition to the A/K team of 28 people and technical equipment, immediately after the earthquake, 5 truckloads of 100 tons of food, medicine, water and other emergency aid packages of the Armenian people left for Adiyaman by passing through the Alican border gate this morning. Thank you @RubenRubinyan Armenia,' Kilic tweeted.
Meanwhile, Vice President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia, Ruben Rubinyan also said, "Trucks with humanitarian aid crossed the Armenian-Turkish border today and are on their way to the earthquake-affected area. Happy to have been able to assist."
Even Deputy Foreign Minister of Armenia, Vahan Kostanyan, tweeted, "Humanitarian aid from #Armenia crossed the Margara bridge on #Armenia-#Turkey border heading to the earthquake-stricken region."
Relations between Turkey and Armenia have been strained for decades and the land border between the two neighbours has been closed since 1993, in the wake of clashes between Armenians and ethnically Turkic Azerbaijan, Al Jazeera reported.
Since the 1990s, the relationship between the two countries is primarily at odds as over 1.5 million people in Armenia says were killed in 1915 by the Ottoman Empire, the predecessor to modern Turkey.
Armenia says this constitutes genocide. The crime against humanity committed by the Ottoman Turks by killing the major part of this ancient Christian race has never been requited, or, in the case of Turkey, been the subject of apology or reparation.
The "Young Turks" who ran the Ottoman government did not use gas ovens, but they did massacre the men and sent the women, children and elders on death marches through the desert to places we only hear of now because they are overrun by ISIL, reported Al Jazeera.
They died en route in their hundreds of thousands from starvation or attack, and many survivors died of typhus in concentration camps at the end of the line.
Ankara admits that about 300,000 Armenians died at that time, but insists that although during World War I many Turks and Armenians died, there was no deliberate genocide policy. It should be noted that about 30 countries officially recognize the Armenian genocide.
Visit news.dtnext.in to explore our interactive epaper!
Download the DT Next app for more exciting features!
Click here for iOS
Click here for Android