Turkish-Armenian duo bid for ‘longest handshake ever’

Turkish-Armenian duo bid for ‘longest handshake ever’

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Two men representing Armenia and Turkey will attempt to break the "longest handshake ever" world record, in an event set to kick off on Dec. 6.

The handshake will take place in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, and aims, “to demonstrate to the world that ordinary people on both sides of the locked border are ready for dialogue and open communication,” according to an official press release by the TANGO Network, an organization that brings Turkish and Armenian NGOs together.

The event follows initiatives put forth by Armenian and Turkish business figures and artists, and in ways resembles an earlier monument erected in the eastern Turkish province of Kars, which depicted two large figures shaking each other’s hands. Authorities later ordered the controversial monument to be taken down.

The handshake is likely to last for several days, the TANGO press release added. The location, Georgia, was picked due its “important role in relations between Armenia and Turkey at the moment,” acting as a transit zone and “a connecting link.”

Turkey closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in solidarity with Azerbaijan after Armenia occupied Azerbaijani lands in the Nagorno-Karabakh War. Russian troops protect Armenia’s borders with Turkey and Iran, in compliance with the agreement concluded between Moscow and Yerevan in 1992.