October 15–19, 2016
As a grantee of the The Hrant Dink Foundation Turkey-Armenia Travel Grant, with a view to increase direct contacts and to promote cooperation between the peoples of the two neighbouring countries, “Free Citizen” CISC NGO President Hovsep Khurshudyan visited Istanbul in October 2016.
He had a meetings in the 5 organisations, as well as had an opportunity to meet with a Garo Paylan MP of the Turkish Parliament!
“The trip, which was funded by Turkey-Armenia Travel Grant helped me significantly change my perceptions about Turkey and Turkish people, especially about intelligentsia and civic activists. I had an opportunity to speak with ordinary people at the streets and in the bazars. Now I am sure, that Turkey should become a one of the main priorities in Armenian foreign policy. I’ve even managed to give an interview for the research in the Istanbul (Helsinki) Citizens Association. Also I’ve raised my awareness on the situation on the Armenian community in Turkey”, – told Mr. Khurshudyan.
A lot of ties were established between “Free Citizen” CISC NGO and organisations based in Istanbul and as it appeared – there is a big place for future collaboration and working on the joint projects.
Some preliminary agreements were set on further collaboration between Free Citizen Civic Initiatives’ Support Center and Arax Publishing House Co. LTD, which is also headed by Hovsep Khurshudyan, from one side and Araz Publishing, Anadolu Kültüre, (Helsinki) Citizens Association and Agos newspaper from the other.
Peoples cannot be enemies to each other. The only enemies we have – that is in us, in our brain – lie, ignorance, hubris, and rancor. We should start to communicate, to know better each other, to reduce the tension between our peoples, to discuss and resolve problems, existing between us as civilized people do.
“Free Citizen” CISC NGO Press-Service
See also: “Turkey, Russia and the Caucasus: Common and Diverging Interests” – Chatham House Briefing Paper.