Turkish, Armenian journalists visit Central Anatolia
Wednesday, 30. May 2012, 19:19
Several Turkish and Armenian journalists are traveling throughout Turkey, Armenia and Georgia from May 24 to June 6 in order to gain first-hand insight into their neighbors and to report in-depth about Turkish-Armenian relations from the field.
The group is scheduled to visit six places in Turkey:
İstanbul, Malatya, Kayseri, Cappadocia, Ankara and Kars.
Following these visits in Turkey, the group will travel to
Armenia, where they will spend a week visiting cities and villages across the
country, including Gyumri, Goris, Sevan and Yerevan.
Organized by the Global Political Trends Center (GPoT) of
İstanbul Kültür University in partnership with the Yerevan-based Eurasia
Partnership Foundation as part of the Support to Turkey-Armenia Rapprochement
project and funded by the United States Agency for International Development
(USAID), the Turkish-Armenian Media Reporting Bus Tour aims to establish a
network for future reporting on Turkish-Armenian relations.
Nora Mildanoğlu, a member of the foundation, stated that
Armenians in Turkey are not stuck in the past, adding that they want to develop
a positive dialogue.
“Internal dynamics are very important in Turkey. I believe
that Hrant Dink’s assassination changed the dynamics in Turkey. Ten years ago,
no one spoke about their origins. Now, people in Turkey are questioning their
origins,” said Mildanoğlu, adding that change should not come from above but
below. Mildanoğlu also said that the problems between Armenians and Turks
should not be solved by third parties and that both countries should discuss
The journalists also met with Rober Koptaş,
editor-in-chief of Agos, a weekly newspaper printed in both Turkish and
Following their visit to İstanbul, the journalists
traveled to Malatya, Dink’s birthplace, where they had the opportunity to visit
old Armenian settlements and meet Turkish citizens of Armenian origin.
Serdar Boyacı, who is a Turkish citizen of Armenian
descent and the head of the Malatya Armenians’ Organization (HAYDER), welcomed
the journalists on Saturday and informed the group as to the situation of
Armenians in Malatya as well as his organization’s work regarding the Armenian
The journalists also met Nilüfer Kısak, head of the
Diyarbakır-based women rights foundation the Women’s Center (KAMER), in
Malatya. Kısak informed the group as to the projects her organization is
working on in partnership with the Hrant Dink Foundation.
The Turkish and Armenian journalists’ third destination
was Kayseri, where they were accompanied by Dr. Aslıhan Doğan Topçu, an advisor
for the documentary “Kayseri Ermenileri” (The Armenians of Kayseri).
They visited one of the oldest churches in Kayseri, the
Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Church, and the province’s Armenian quarters, including
Efkere and Talas, on Sunday.
The group then met with Dr. Mehmet Metin Hülagü, director
of the Center for Strategic Research at Erciyes University (ERUSAM) and a
member of the Turkish Historical Society
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