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Going to Armenia later this year but remembered I have Turkish e-visa and stamps in my passport. Does anybody with Armenia experience know if this would cause me any troubles at immigration?

I'm flying into Yerevan with a US Passport (so no visa required)

  • I've never heard of it being a barrier, and have been to Armenia with people who previously travelled in Turkey, and they had no problems, but that was a long time ago now. Hopefully someone with more recent experience can confirm. How are you entering Armenia, air or which border? Some of the land borders certainly used to have a bit of a reputation for jumping on excuses to push for bribes. – user568458 May 10 '16 at 23:25
  • Thanks very much for the feedback @user568458. I edited the post to add flying. – Kyle Hotchkiss May 10 '16 at 23:57
  • I never flew into Armenia, but I've traveled into Armenia with Turkish visas in my passport. This has never been any issue. I'm pretty sure you have nothing to worry about. – MastaBaba May 11 '16 at 1:53
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    @MastaBaba exactly what I was looking for, thanks! – Kyle Hotchkiss May 11 '16 at 2:07
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Turkey and Armenia have strained relations for somewhat obvious reasons, but it's not on the same level as, say, Israel and the Arab world.

There have even been faltering moves in the last decade to try to heal the rift and ease towards increased trade, and where these have fallen down, it's been as much to do with pressure on Turkey from Azerbaijan (recently at war with Armenia and with an unresolved open conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh) as direct emnity between Armenia and Turkey. Opposition to rebuilding trade with Turkey on the Armenian side is stronger from the (influential) Armenian diaspora than it is within unemployment-ravaged Armenia itself - it's much easier to say "no compromise" when you're the other side of the world to where the consequences are felt.

For example, there were almost direct flights between Turkey and Armenia in 2013 - until the Azeris intervened:

Turkey has canceled the first ever scheduled Turkish flights to its long-time rival Armenia, days before the first plane was due to take off, officials have said, following fierce opposition from Turkey's ally and energy partner Azerbaijan.

The twice-weekly flights between Turkey's eastern city of Van and the Armenian capital Yerevan were due to begin on April 3 and, encouraged by a U.S. push for rapprochement, were meant to boost bilateral tourism and trade.

It's possible to book flights from Turkey to Armenia (albeit via Russia, usually), and buses from Turkey to Armenia (albeit via Georgia).

Of course it's always possible you might encounter a particularly partisan individual border guard, who might use it as an excuse to make a fuss or try to obtain a bribe, but the airport is generally pretty professional by the standards of the region - when this sort of thing happens, it tends to be on the land border with Georgia. Such (relatively rare) situations can usually be resolved by staying calm, avoiding confrontation, and if necessary saying something like "I'm sorry, I do not understand. May I speak to your supervisor?".

In extreme cases, I've heard stories of people turning such situations around with a disparaging comment or vulgar joke about the country that is the source of the anger, but for ethical reasons it's best not to stoke and legitimatise this kind of nationalism unless you feel genuinely in danger and there's no obvious alternative. I've not known anyone feel the need to resort to this travelling into Armenia having travelled in Turkey, and definitely not in the airport - in fact, I think the incident I'm thinking of, they were travelling into Azerbaijan having travelled in Armenia. The wounds from the Armenian-Azeri war are much fresher and more raw in the Caucasus itself than those between Armenia and Turkey. You won't need to do anything like this in the airport in Yerevan.

  • Supurb regional analysis (and I appreciate that just to better understand how to be respectful of people in new places). Appreciate the help! – Kyle Hotchkiss May 11 '16 at 15:51
  • I've seen amazon reviews suggesting to not buy the "Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia" travel guide and carry it with you to the region because the association could be offensive. – Kyle Hotchkiss May 11 '16 at 15:52
  • The version of that book we used was terrible, you might want to not take it for that reason... :-) maybe the newer editions are better... The Trailblazer book for Azerbaijan is really excellent, probably the best guidebook I've ever read. For Armenia and Georgia I'd recommend the Bradt guides, they're consistently very good. If you are visiting both Armenia and Azerbaijan, it's a good idea to avoid mentioning you're going to the other. Even smart young seemingly cosmopolitan English-speakers can be very bitter – user568458 May 11 '16 at 16:44

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