Mine Gencel Bek, Metin Bayrak, Özlem Şendeniz and Hasan Gedik from Istanbul, Ankara, Iğdır and İçel (Mersin), members of the Shared Memory Initiative, were supported with the Turkey-Armenia Travel Grant to visit Yerevan to collect ethnographic data through interviews in an effort to study what people living at the shadow of the closed border think about each other today.
Mine Gencel Bek
“Even the Armenians, who were sceptical about the opening of the borders, were friendly and nice to us and this is because people both in Armenia and Turkey keep wondering about each other.”
“I live in Iğdır, near Ararat; every day I see the mountain. Looking at it from the other side was a shocking experience for me. When we went to Bagaran, near Halıkışlak we saw the road on the other side. And when we asked whether we could take that road, we were told, “No, we cannot because it is in Turkey.” We can see, hear, feel it but we cannot get beyond it. I have never felt like that; my home was so close and so far away from me.”