ARARAT PROVINCE, Turkey—Responding to a story reported in Asbarez about an Armenian-American expedition raising the flags of Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic at summit of Mount Ararat, the president of the local Ararat province chamber of commerce said if local citizens “knew about it [the flags], they would bury the climbers on Ararat.”
The Turkish Habermynet Web site quoted the chamber of commerce president Mehmet Erat making the statement and added that the flags will be taken down and replaced with the Turkish national flag.
On July 15, a team of 11 men, including six from Southern California, two from New Jersey, two from Canada, and one from Fresno reached the summit of Mt. Ararat.
The head of the Turkish Mountaineering Federation Aladdin Karaca claimed to the Hurriyet newspaper that the climbers had not received official permission and climbed Mt. Ararat illegally.
Although the team got the proper permits needed for the climb, once they got there they were told that the Ministry of Tourism had sent a fax saying that they had cancelled the permits.
Noel Gharibian, one of the climbers stated that for the Kurds in the area it was more about business and actually getting people up on the mountain. Thus, the team was able to go on with the climb.