Sunday, August 26, 2007

Going to Armenia

Today, my wife and I made a decision: we will spend our first Bayram of this year in Armenia.

We are looking forward to meet Myrthe and do some sightseeing as well.
As my wife is Turkish, she really wants to talk about what happened in Anatolia between 1890-1923.
As a foreign Turkish student in the USA, she often was harassed by Armenian people only because she was Turkish. In my opinion we call this: racism.

But she and I are looking forward to talk with other human beings, in Armenia.
My only concern is a visa: I, as a Dutch, can go there without any problems, but it looks like that Turks need a visa.
Anyway, we made our decision, so we will go.


Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to meeting you, too! I assure you, there are Armenian human beings here who would be more than happy to talk to a Turkish human being in a human way. :-) I have met a couple of Turkish people who visited Armenia as tourists and they didn't have problems and plenty of Turkish truckdrivers enter the country without problems.

If you want, I can find out about the visa for your wife. I know that you are able to buy a regular tourist visa for $30 upon arrival at the airport. I would think your wife can get a visa at the airport as well.

I do advise you to take the exact amount of money with you for the visa, because I have seen and heard of several cases where the visa officer "didn't have change". Yeah, sure...

If you want to be sure, you can always order an eVisa through the internet via In that case you won't have any problems entering Armenia at all. It is more expensive than buying your visa upon arrival, though.

Sean Jeating said...

Pleasant anticipation and
Bon voyage!

paton said...

It is funny how the turks deny all of the crimes they have committed in the past. Yet, they want everybody thank them on to p of this...
As long as radicals rule, nobody will actually like them...

Hans said...

Thanks Myrthe.

Paton for you; no comment.

mirdifderya said...


I have lived in Kazakistan and Uzbekistan before, as Armenia is also ex-soviet country when you are entering the county please do not carry to much cash on you, and they do still ask you to fill a form what are you caring in your luggage ect. And do not loose that paper what immigration stamps when you are entering the country because you need to show them again when you are leaving.

Do not carry do much luggage as there is no trolley to put and carry outside the airport. If you will be flying by charter flight make sure and run to the plane as fast as possible, because Russian mama’s will be sitting in the front areas, or you might travel with perperla old Russian planeJ(one of those the sit is falls)

Armenians generally very kind people till they might have long face till they found out about us, some takes it very nice way some takes is very offensive even some shop keepers might ask us to leave the shopL

Don’t forget to buy Patruaskas I am sure they do have there too, Russian dolls made out from wood and hand painted. Maybe even carpets very very cheap. Try to go flea market on Saturday and Sunday, will find many Lenin heads even Russian medals. Silvers staff ect.. Don’t forget in Armenia I believe still water and electricity is cuts off on certain hours. Have fun and please write us back.

mirdifderya said...

Paton; with respect get yourself a real history lesson then write your comment, don't accuse any nation without knowing it more!

I am not denying that Turkey didn't do anything, but why Armenian government is not keen on opening their own archives to prove it and still using pictures of Jews during the I War what Nazi's did to them for their propaganda. I myself did read many Armenian blogs, websites, books just to get real perceptive view of the subject, one thing I know for sure; both nations brain washed so well, and nobody really knows what really happened. one thing for sure if there were 1.300.000 armenians were killed by Ottomans, there would be no armenians now to talk to, because Armenian population wasn't more then 1.3 millions.

Do not come up here start talking about Turks attitude against Armenians.

Hans said...

Thanks for advice. For sure Myrthe will (hope) help as well.
Btw, I am Dutch.
Aand regarding Paton, this blog is not made for propoganda..))

archisugar said...

Paton: if you think you know the history as well as I do, please write your REAL name or give a link to reach you, so we can really discuss. "all the crimes", "deny", "noone will like them", etc... cheap childish words. Doesn't sound serious at all...

Hans: Bon Voyage... Goede reis!... I will be happy to read your experience in Armenia.

R said...

Hans, I am sure you will enjoy Armenia. If you and your wife are interested in the Genocide then be sure to visit the Genocide Monument and Museum at Tsitsernakaberd (Swallow's Fortress)

You are right that no one should be mis-treated or insulted because of their ethnic origin, religion or nationality.

This column by Omer Taspinar in Today's Zaman is a realistic approach to the issue.
I hope it represents a new current in Turkey.


Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Esra: relax..))

R.: thank for the links.
Times are changing in Turkey.

The discussion about Armenia is not for internet in my opinion.

Btw, I agree with Omer, but I disagree with large parts of the Armenian Diaspora. They threat Turks as 'dogs'...shameless

Anonymous said...

Mirdifderya, I had to laugh when I read your comment. In some ways Armenia has progressed since Soviet times.

First, You don't have to declare any cash upon arrival in Armenia and you don't need to fill any amount of cash in on any entry form either. I remember I had to do that when I went to Russia years ago, but never in Armenia. You have to fill in you visa request form on the plain and that's it. You get a nice sticker in your passport which takes a whole page.

There are plenty of trolleys at the airport, but you might have to pay for them. In fact, I have only heard good stories about service at the newly built Armenian airport with visa procedures much improved (still do take the correct amount in dollars with you, no euros and -in some cases- "no change"). My experience with the new airport has been good as well: a less long wait at the passport control, staff in the luggage reception area friendlier than before and even speaking English. No experience with getting a visa, though, as I have a residency permit.

As for souvenirs, if you are in Armenia over the weekend, do visit the Vernissage for souvenirs. And don't bother about the matryoshkas. You'll hardly find them and there are much nicer local souvenirs!

Though the former Soviet-republics still have much in common, they have each moved in different directions as well and have developed and/or strengthened their own identities. Armenia has in many ways, at least.

mirdifderya said...

Thank you Myrthe for your updated information. Good to hear Armenia in many ways developed alot.

When I used to enter Uzbekistan and Kazakistan '98 to 2001, I had to decalare How much cash I had to have on me? ect, while I was caring my 9 months of baby, couldn't find any troley:) or the worst one in Kazakistan, we had to picked up our luggages the next day:)..I guess those days are past. I had very good friend of mind moved to Armenia, used to tell us how the life treating her there ect.

As I thought living in both ex-soviet country, I imagine Armenia could be the same. The words I said, not bad ways! I spent best time of my life in ex-soviet union ( the people, culture, season ect and Primini (Manti very alike Turkish food and hiimmm should write here?; tasted best Pork Chops in there):)


mirdifderya said...


Of course, I know you are Dutch!:) Sorry didn't mean to write it in your blog such acomment, hesitated even, but couldn't find the Paton's blog (or you erased it?:), so we don't fired on him/her:)


Hans said...

Checked some flights: from 12 upt tgo 20 hrs by plane from Istanbul to Yerevan...((
From 600 USD up to 2.000 USD....
Any suggestions?

Hans said...

no problem..)
Don't react towards these people..))

Anonymous said...

Mirdifderya,no offense taken. ;-) Actually, you guessed right: in many ways Armenia is very much an ex-Soviet republic (people's mindset, the way things are organized - or not organized, lack of customer service). It can be VERY annoying and from time to time you need a lot of patience to deal with that.

Hans, did you try the direct Istanbul-Yerevan flight? There is one once or twice a week. A cheaper alternative (but much more uncomfortable) is taking the direct bus between Yerevan and Istanbul.

Hans said...

Which flight is that. Can not find one..((
Its a short holiday, therefore.
Another possibility is with second Bayram, same time as Christmas, since we would love to see georgia as well. Can you rent a car in Armenia and drive to Georgia.
received your mail, but could not answer, due to technical problems.

R said...


Try Armavia which has flights on Mondays and Thursdays between Yerevan and Istanbul:

Also although you can rent a car its not recommended. (For rental try Better to hire a taxi with driver. Its relatively inexpensive and they will take you to Tiblisi from Yerevan.

Finally, Christmas is not really a great time to go. May through October would be better.

Hans said...

Dear R (can not find your blog since profile is disabled..((

I checked Armevia, but its only from Yerevan-Ist-Yerevan.
Not starting in Istanbul..))

R said...


I believe you can fly on Armavia to Yerevan from Istanbul. Also check Atlasjet Airlines, a Turkish charter line although their website doesnt indicate it, their flights are listed as arriving at the Yerevan airport


Paul said...

I applaud this visit! If you are traveling to or from Georgia along with Armenia and do so by car, you need to stop by the beautiful Haghpat and Sanahin sites. They are amazing places which must be seen. If you are driving up to Georgia from Armenia, you can spend a day seeing those sites in northern Armenia and stay over at the western-standard hotel near them: it's website is here and it's entitled Avan Dzoraget:
The hotel by the river pictured on the front page is the one up near the Georgian border and is an amazing place. The cuisine is Turkish-Armenian so a Turk would find it very familliar too. The next day you could continue on to Georgia if that's in the plan. Armenia is a wonderful place which really must be seen.

Anonymous said...

Seems r has already answered you question. You can fly Istanbul-Yerevan for sure. The flight is operated by Armavia and they fly from Yer to Ist, stay for an hour or so to unload passengers, upload fuel and new passengers and then fly back again. That's probably why it is mentioned as Y-I-Y.

I also agree with r that you should take a taxi with driver instead of renting a car. A lot cheaper (and more comfortable). The difference really is huge. On the way to Tbilisi you can still make stops to visit some sites along the way (and yes, Sanahin and Haghpat are worth a visit!).

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Thanks all for the advice.
Tomorrow a national holiday, time to plan.

Michael van der Galiƫn said...

The hatred some Armenians display towards Turks is amazing. Utterly irrational.

paul said...

It can be irrational but it is not unfounded. 90 years of denial and living in exile while the successors to the government who caused it continue to insist nothing happened, or that it was your own fault, will do that to a people. Obviously all Turks do not deserve to be treated badly by them because of this, but it's been so long since any diasporan has even seen a Turk, and it's not too hard to just lump them all together. It's a messy situation which will only get worse unless Turkey finally changes it's behavior and does something about it. Armenians are not totally innocent in this, obviously, they need to stop the irrational hate, but it's totally unfair to claim Armenians have no right to feel angry, Michael. They are reminded of this injustice almost daily, such as with the current "it's in Israel's interest to keep Turkey happy so we deny the genocide" ADL controversy. There's nothing more irrational than the Turkish government's own behavior.

How can Armenians forgive when Turks tell them to forget?

mirdifderya said...

Paul nobody is asking Armenians to forgive the Turks, but they can stop brainwashing their kids from age of 4 and being little bit more relaxed and calm against Turks.
Turks are bit more open to Armenians.

I have lots of Armenian friends, until I have done the first move to talk them, they've used to watch me with the hate, just because I am a Turk, till we have started talking, finding out how much we look alike.:)

Hans said...

Paul, I expect a lot of the current new Turkish government and in fact also of the new Turkish president.
I hope that the ultra nationalist on both sides realize that they are wrong.
Just keep on reading Turkish daily, soon you will see me there again..)))
More and more Turks I met don't believe Turkish official stance anymore but they are afraid to open their mouth.
I agree with Derya: I had an assistant who went to an university in CA. As soon some people found out that she was Turkish they were making her life a hell. Her name don't sound Turkish and she is Bahai'. And a pascifist. One day she was beaten up for fun. A girl of 22...
Spent a couple of days in hospital. When she came back to campus, everything started over again. On the day of her graduation she left the USA.
Reconcilation is needed, not revenge as Mandela yesterday stated!