Page last updated at 08:43 GMT, Wednesday, 14 October 2009 09:43 UK

Turkey-Armenia ties: The fans' views

An Armenian (L) and a Turkish football fan

Just days after Turkey and Armenia signed a historic accord to restore relations after decades of hostility, the two countries are preparing to face each other on the football pitch.

They meet in a World Cup qualifying game on Wednesday when the Armenian side travels to Bursa in Turkey, and although both sides are out of the running for the 2010 finals, the game is seen as an important further step in restoring relations.

Here, supporters from both countries reflect on the signing of the accord and look ahead to Wednesday's game.


I think this peace agreement will see more cooperation between Turkey and Armenia and a better future for the two countries.

Ozan Kemal Cullu

Turks and Armenians haven't had any communication in the past and this has been the problem.

Once you start to get to know each other you'll see that you are quite similar.

Armenians have a lot of psychological trauma over the past, going back to 1915.

But if both countries re-establish ties we will see that we are not all bad.

Turks need to grow up and be mature to help this process along also.

There is currently no trust between Turks and Armenians, but we need to learn how to establish that trust

We need to look forward in order to reconcile the past.

As a Turkish citizen, I know we can recognise our mistakes and then Armenians will also learn not to continue to live with the pain of the past.

There is currently no trust between Turks and Armenians, but we need to learn how to establish that trust.

Given time and with the opening of the border, we can build a good future as neighbours.

Regarding the match on Wednesday, I think it is very important.

Of course it means nothing in football terms as both teams are out of World Cup qualifying, but it is very important politically and symbolically.

Last year's match [in Yerevan] was an important event as it came at the start of this process and Wednesday's game will complete the re-establishing of our ties.

Turkish security will be very tight and although there may be Turkish fans who want to cause trouble, as not everyone is in favour of this accord, I believe that most people don't want to see any trouble.

So I hope it passes peacefully.

But I still hope Turkey win!

Hamazasp Danielyan

It is still hard to see at this stage where this process will take us, but politically now there is no going back.

We [Turkey and Armenia] are going to be involved in each other's lives.

Unfortunately I still can't see a sincere will to establish neighbouring relations, especially from the Turkish side.

We don't trust each other and are suspicious towards each other which understandably comes from the unpleasant experiences of the recent past.

But we are, at least, looking for ways to trust each other and the potential is there for further positive developments.

The leaders of our two countries are, it seems, trying to fix all our problems at once.

What I would like to see for now is simply the restoring of diplomatic relations and the opening of borders, rather than a package trying to solve everything at once.

[The match] is mostly symbolic, but it might give the players - and the Turkish fans - an opportunity to show how they will behave towards each other

I am opposed to the establishing of a commission "to study the events of the past" in an attempt to provide a satisfactory explanation of our history.

No commission will be able to make Armenians change their understanding of history, and many Turks are not ready to accept Armenians' points of view.

There are still a lot of sensitive issues that remain beyond the simple signing of papers.

Wednesday's match comes at an important time in this process, as did the first match between the two last year.

That game came at the beginning of the process and the second comes at the end of the first phase [of restoring ties].

It is mostly symbolic, but it might give the players - and the Turkish fans - an opportunity to show how they will behave towards each other. So it will be interesting to see how our players will be received there.

There is a much higher level of attention on this match and I hope it will pass off peacefully and reflect everything that has happened over the last few days.

As for the match itself, I hope to see Armenia win, but I am not saying that purely on nationalistic grounds.

Perhaps a draw would be the perfect score as it would be a show of goodwill between the two countries. But I'm happy if the better side wins.

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