Yerevan youth on road map .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:none; color:#000000;} .hurriyet2008-detailbox-newslink:hover { font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size:13px; font-weight:bold; text-decoration:underline; color:#990000;} YEREVAN - Yerevan’s new "it" cafe, Square One, is a popular place for young Armenians to meet and these days the focus of all talk invariably turns to the road map signed between Turkey and Armenia to improve ties.

Most of the youth who congregate at Square One don’t believe Turkey will open its borders with Armenia anytime soon, blaming their government for agreeing to a road map on improving ties between the two countries.

While political plurality is the norm at the caf�, one thing most agree on is that Turkey should recognize that the deaths of Armenians in 1915 constituted genocide, dismissing the "road map" as a ruse.

Despite their obvious strong feelings toward Turkey, youth are open to interaction with their counterparts in Turkey. A 22-year-old youth branch member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Mıhitar Markaryan, while openly hostile to the new deal reached with Turkey, says he sees young Turks as having almost no knowledge about what happened in 1915, adding, "It would be meaningless to accuse them of anything."

Movses Xecho, who was born in Syria, said he had many Turkish friends. "My Turkish friends know what happened to us in the past and apologize for it," he said. "It is enough for them to be aware of what happened and share my sorrow." While most have a basic understanding of the Turkish language, none can speak it. They say Turkish was spoken at home from time to time.

Armen Mihirchiyan, a student in the department of Turkish Studies at Yerevan State University, noted his deep desire to visit Turkey and get to know Turks better. Still he has certain reservations about closer Turkish-Armenian relations. "While Turkey shows a desire to establish closer relations with Armenia, it also continues its anti-Armenian propaganda. While it is us who should set preconditions for improving ties, it is Turkey that does so," he said.

Syrian-born Harut Marashliyan voiced his reservations about the opening of the border between the two countries. "Kurds who live in eastern Turkey may migrate to Armenia if the border is opened. If that happens, Armenia may face a Kurdish problem even before it has addressed many of its own problems," he said.