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From the Armenia-Turkey border

June 27, 2015

A couple of months ago I visited the Armenian side of the border with Turkey – specifically the Akhuryan train station, 2 km from the border and just outside Armenia’s second biggest city Gyumri.

The station has been closed since 1993, when Turkey sealed the border amid the Nagorno-Karabakh War between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Ever since, former station conductor Hagop Kevorkian has stayed on as a guard, forlornly waiting for services to restart.

When we visited, Hagop was just sitting alone in the dark station office wearing his fading old Soviet-era uniform, midway through his 12-hour shift doing nothing. Another guard waits at the station on rotating days, but they have not seen trains for over two decades. The Akhuryan Station is thus a sad symbol of the human cost of the diplomatic impasse between Ankara and Yerevan.

I wrote an article for Al Monitor about the station and the slim chances for the border reopening. Read the piece here.

Below are some of the photos I took of Hagop and the station.

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One Response to “From the Armenia-Turkey border”


  1. […] Here’s another piece I wrote last year for Al Monitor from a crumbling station on the Armenian side of the closed Turkey-Armenia border. The immediate political dynamics have changed since then but it may still be an interesting read. View photos I took of the station here. […]


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