Turkish, Armenian NGOs to strenghten ties with travel grant

Published on 12/03/2014 under Haberler

Daily Sabah

Turkish and Armenian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are working together on a joint travel initiative to promote better ties between Turkey and Armenia.

Turkey’s Hrant Dink Foundation, Community Volunteers Foundation (TOG) and Armenias Civilitas Foundation and Youth Initiative Center (YIC) joined forces for the project.

The travel grant will be provided to 200 people over a period of 16 months, including students, NGO officials, academics, researchers, journalists, artists, athletes, businesspeople and local administrators from Turkey and Armenia.

The trips will focus on efforts to promote greater interaction between both countries’ youth, as well as workshops on human rights and democracy.

The events will include networking events for NGOs, student exchange programs, language classes, academic activities, philanthropy, panels, conferences, exhibitions and concerts.

People who receive grants will be able to recount their experiences in Armenia and Turkey on the NGOs’ websites.
Armenia and Turkey currently have no formal relations.

Turkey froze its ties with neighboring Armenia in 1992 over Armenias conflict with Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. In 2008, Turkey took steps to restore relations and President Abdullah Gül paid a landmark visit to Armenia. In 2009, foreign ministers of both countries signed an accord to normalize relations. However, efforts have failed thus far since Turkey has insisted that an agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh must be reached before ties between the two states can be normalized.