Ruzanna Baghdasaryan graduated from the Yerevan State University in 2013 and holds an MA degree in Art History. She took part in various workshops and seminars on art, peace building and film production.

In 2011, Ruzanna took part in the project “Speaking to One Another” organised by Dvv International, Anadolu Kültür and the Hazarashen Center for Ethnological Studies with a view to contribute to the reconciliation process of the communities of Turkey and Armenia.Within the framework of this project she produced photo stories published in the book “Moush, Sweet Moush”.

In autumn 2013, Ruzanna joined the HY pictures film production company in Armenia as an assistant to the line producer during the shootings of the film “Armenia Commedia” by Anna Condo. Since January 2014, she is the Artistic Director of HY pictures’ teenage project ‘‘NolaLand’’.

Ruzanna is currently in İstanbul for her 5-month fellowship at Anadolu Kültür, as one of the fellows of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme launched by the Hrant Dink Foundation. During her fellowship, Ruzanna will help the organisation establish contacts in Armenia for the “Arts and Activism” project, which will bring together activists and artists from Turkey and Armenia.


SONA DILANYAN: Sona Dilanyan graduated with a degree in Middle Eastern studies at the Yerevan State University and participated in study and research programmes at Missouri State University (USA), the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel) and the University of Fribourg (Switzerland).

Sona Dilanyan is currently a fellow at the Peace Education, Research and Application Center of Boğaziçi University as part of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme established Hrant Dink Foundation. Her current research is focused on women’s role in post-war reconciliation processes. She is also working at the Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation implementing various cross-border dialogue initiatives in South Caucasus and beyond.


HAYARPI HOVHANNISYAN: Hayarpi Hovhannisyan is a designer. Born in Yerevan in 1990, Hayarpi graduated from the Moscow State University of Printing Arts, Faculty of Graphic Arts. One of her graduation projects was an Interactive Book, which included a collection of manuscripts of The Mesrop Mashtots Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (Matenadaran). After her graduation, she temporarily moved to Armenia to decide her future plans.

Hayarpi is currently in Istanbul as a fellow fort he Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme Established by Hrant Dink Foundation at the Istanbul Yıldız Technical University, Faculty of Art and Design. During her fellowship, she will work in the field of Digital Publishing. She is planning to work on a book which will be serve as an interactive guide about Armenian heritage in Istanbul, which will help the reader to freely browse through the chapters and sections. The table of contents will be an interactive map of the city. The book will also feature facts about the city supported by photo and video installations.

In addition to her own project idea, during her fellowship, she will also take a part in Photography courses at Yıldız Technical University as Ömer Halil’s assistant. She will teach special courses of Adobe After Effects at the Department of Interactive Media. During that course, students will be acquainted with a feature of Motion Design and will also do their own projects.


MARIANNA HOVHANNISYAN: Marianna Hovhannisyan holds a BA degree in Art Knowledge from the Department of Fine Arts at the Armenian Open University (2003-2007), where she developed a long-term practice after her graduation. In 2013-2014, she completed an MA degree in Global Arts at the Visual Cultures Department, Goldsmiths, University of London.

For several years Hovhannisyan was involved in the International Summer School for Art Curators (AICA Armenia, 2006-2009). In 2008 she attended a six-month professional curatorial course (Institute of Contemporary Art, Armenia). She also participated in the l’École du Magasin independent curatorial training programme (France, 2008-2009).

Hovhannisyan’s interests are in contemporary, research-based curatorial practice connected with the role of creative methodologies. Her perspective is influenced by both post-Soviet and Western experiences with the enquiries directed towards art and education, archive-practice relation and gendered spaces. Her curatorial work includes the exhibition “2012-” (Gyumri International Biennale); the research-based “Archive-Practice” project (2008-ongoing); and the collaborative exhibition project “Soviet AgitArt. Restoration”.

Currently, Hovhannisyan is a research fellow at the SALT Galata within the scope of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme of the Hrant Dink Foundation. The fellowship aims to study the archives of American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Mission as well as the archives of SALT Research as a reference to explore the city life in the early 19th and 20th centuries in several Anatolian cities which had a significant Armenian population. The fellowship will also combine and interpret the visual and textual sources about relations with state, economic development, social life, city building and formation of identity. Her research will serve as a contribution to the SALT exhibition planned to be held in 2015.


ASTGHIK IGITYAN: Astghik Igityan is a Turkologist-journalist and is the coordinator of the Armenian edition of the bilingual news website ermenihaber.am.

As a journalist with the knowledge of Turkish, she is specialised in writing about the subjects concerning Armenia-Turkey normalisation process, the Armenians of Turkey and the Armenian Genocide. She has a 5-years of experience in journalism during which she has written articles about Armenia-Turkey issues and made interviews with the prominent representatives of the Armenian community in Istanbul.

Astghik Igityan is one of the 18 fellows of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme launched by the Hrant Dink Foundation. She has been given the chance to live in Istanbul and pursue a 4-month fellowship programme offered by CNN Türk, a 24-hour news network that covers stories inside and outside Turkey.

At CNN Türk, Astghik is following social, cultural and political developments about the Armenian community in Turkey to get better understanding of their lives, issues and achievements. She is also following domestic developments and news in Turkey and reporting from the field.


DANIEL KHACHATRYAN: Daniel Khachatryan received his BA (2008) and MA (2010) in International Relations from the Yerevan State University, Armenia. Daniel’s academic background also includes courses in International Politics, Scandinavian Government and Politics at the University of Oslo, Norway (2009) and an advanced graduate training in Public Diplomacy and International Relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, United States (2011). His professional experience in foreign policy, peacebuilding and conflict resolution was greatly shaped by a dynamic career in public and non-governmental organisations both in Armenia and internationally.

Coming from a family of musicians, Daniel has a keen interest in playing the violin and piano. As one of the fellows of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme launched by the Hrant Dink Foundation, he currently resides in Istanbul doing his fellowship at the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV).


SARGIS KHANDANYAN: Sargis received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the Yerevan State University. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Digital Anthropology from the University College London, UK. His master dissertation title is “The impact of digital on journalism in the context of the Gezi park protests in Istanbul” and he did his fieldwork in the Istanbul-based newspaper “Agos”, which is published in Turkish and Armenian languages.

Sargis is a journalist. He has been working as a journalist and social media editor for the CivilNet.AM online news channel, a media project of the Civilitas Foundation based in Yerevan. Currently he is the Istanbul correspondent of CivilNet. He also has a weekly programme called “The People’s Voice” wrapping up the most important and trending news in Armenia with a sarcastic and critical approach.

Sargis Khandanyan is actively involved with Armenia-Turkey and Armenia-Azerbaijan normalisation processes at civil society level. He is interested in documentary filmmaking and made his first film “Under One Dome” in London.

Sargis Khandanyan is a fellow at change.org, the world’s biggest platform for petitions as part of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme established by the Hrant Dink Foundation. He is currently a Campaigns Intern at the change.org East Europe and West Asia team based in Istanbul and on the platform he is dealing with campaigns concerning Armenia and Armenians.


SEDA SHEKOYAN: Seda Shekoyan is an art critic, curator and cultural journalist. Born in Yerevan in 1988, she holds her MA in Art History and Theory from the Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts. Since 2007, Seda is a regular contributor to many local periodicals such as ”Hraparak” newspaper, ”Armenian Times” web portal, ”3 Million” magazine, ”Revisor” magazine, ”Panorama” newspaper. From 2012 to 2013, Seda was the editor-in-chief of the official website of Public Television Company of Armenia.

From 2010 to 2012, Seda Shekoyan was the Director of the Fine Arts Department at the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art (ACCEA). She is a curator of many exhibitions and projects organised in Armenia and abroad such as ”Spying on Armenia”, ACCEA, Armenia, 2010; “Toy of the Idle Time”, ACCEA, Armenia, 2010; Narine Zolyan. Fragments: Revision or Endless Reincarnation”, ACCEA, Armenia, 2011; ”Meeting in Spite of the Context”, Kunstverein Talstrasse, Germany, 2011; ”Changing the Place of Encounter”, InteriorDAsein gallery, Germany, 2012; ”Development of Interdisciplinary Platforms”, ACCEA, Armenia, 2013; “Translation – Everywhere”, ACCEA, Armenia, 2013.

Since October 2014, Seda Shekoyan has been doing her curatorial fellowship at the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art as part of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme established by the Hrant Dink Foundation She researches on the collection, current exhibitions, library and archive of the Museum and at the same is engaged in the development of joint projects between Armenia and Turkey.


HAROIUT MARACHLIAN: Harout Marashlian was born in Aleppo. After graduating from school, he travelled to Armenia to learn the Armenian language and literature. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Armenian Linguistics Faculty of Yerevan State University. After defending his thesis on the ‘‘Literature of the Armenian Diaspora’’ he began to work as a researcher in the Literature Institute after Manuk Abeghyan at the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia. From 2010 to 2013, he worked at the Armenian Virtual University as a lecturer of Western Armenian classes. He is currently a researcher at the Hrachya Acharyan Language Institute of the National Academy of Sciences. Harout has participated in a number of conferences related to diaspora and diaspora literature. He is one of the fellows of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme launched by the Hrant Dink Foundation and doing his fellowship at the Istanbul Sehir University. During his fellowship at the Istanbul Sehir University, he will continue his research on diaspora literature and will teach Western Armenian.


SOFYA MANUKYAN: Sofya Manukyan received her BA in Linguistics and Intercultural Communication and MA in European Studies from the Yerevan State Linguistic University and a MA in Theory and Practice in Human Rights from the University of Essex. Sofya’s particular interest in business and human rights issues resulted in her working with Essex Business and Human Rights project at the University of Essex as well as with the Business and Human Rights Department of the Danish Institute for Human Rights. Sofya is currently a fellow/visiting researcher at the Istanbul Bilgi University Human Rights Law Research Center as part of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme launched by the Hrant Dink Foundation.


SONA MNATSAKANYAN: Sona Mnatsakanyan is a specialist of Armenian language and literature. She received her BA and MA from the Yerevan State University (YSU). From 2010 to 2012, she assisted the department of Modern Armenian Literature at YSU as a lecturer of the Literature of Armenian Diaspora. She then started to work for the State Engineering University (SEUA)as a lecturer of Armenian language and literature, simultaneously collaborating with the Zangak publishing house in Yerevan. Sona is currently doing her PhD at YSU, and her thesis topic is ‘‘The Development Trends of Istanbul Armenian Poetry during the Diaspora Period’’.

In 2012, she conducted a three-month research in the field of Diaspora Studies at Fribourg University (Switzerland). She participated in conferences in Istanbul and in Yerevan, presenting papers concerning the issues of Armenian-Turkish relations and their representation in literature. Now as one of the fellows of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme launched by the Hrant Dink Foundation, Sona is hosted by Kadir Has University’s Lifelong Education Centre as a lecturer of Armenian language. She will live in Istanbul till the end of May 2015 while teaching and doing her PhD research.


ANNA MURADYAN: Anna Muradyan is a freelance journalist cooperating with various local and international media organisations. She graduated from the Caucasus Institute in 2008 and received a bachelor degree in journalism; she also holds a MA degreee in Physics from the Yerevan State University. Anna started her professional career as a journalist in May 2009 and won a couple of First Prizes at prestigious journalism competitions held by local organisations. She implemented a project on citizen journalism in different regions of Armenia. She is currently based in Istanbul as a fellow fort he Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme established by Hrant Dink Foundation at Yuva Association, Turkey engaged in their project on migrant issues as an interviewer.


CANDAN BADEM: Dr. Candan Badem is an associate professor of history at Tunceli University, Turkey. He received his BA from Boğaziçi University in 1992, his MA from the University of Birmingham in 2001 and his PhD from Sabancı University in 2007. Before finally settling down as an academic, he worked in various companies and travelled extensively in ex-Soviet countries. In 2010, his dissertation was published (The Ottoman Crimean War, Brill) along with his book about his native Kars province under Russian control (Çarlık Rusyası Yönetiminde Kars Vilayeti, Birzamanlar). Together with Dr. Sonya Mirzoyan from Yerevan, Dr. Badem has recently written a book on the history of the construction of the Tbilisi – Gyumri – Kars Railway (1895-1899) as part of a project supported by the Institute for Historical Justice and Reconciliation, Leiden. He is one of the very few scholars from Turkey who has ever done research at the National Archive of Armenia. His main area of study is the Ottoman-Russian wars in the 19th and 20th centuries and Ottoman-Russian borderlands with a focus on the South Caucasus. Some of his publications can be downloaded at https://tunceli.academia.edu/CandanBadem.

As one of the fellows of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme launched by the Hrant Dink Foundation, Dr. Badem will be hosted by the Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia, where he will be conducting his research under the guidance of Prof. Ruben Safrastyan. Dr. Badem is fluent in English and Russian. He currently resides in Tunceli with his wife Esra and daughter Ekim.


GAYE COŞAR: Gaye Coşar has been a freelance conference interpreter and journalist for many years. After briefly studying History at the Middle East Technical University (METU), she continued her studies in English Literature and Psychology at the University of Western Sydney, Australia. Both an Australian and Turkish citizen, she met the concept of multiculturalism at a very early age. This has been one of the driving factors for her interest in the fields of minorities, refugees and migration. She has extensively provided interpretation and translation services to international organisations such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Gaye has worked for nearly ten years with trade unions and women’s organisations focusing on labour-capital relations, international organisation and women’s rights. She has done a lot of voluntary work for various non-governmental organisations working in human rights, international law and justice. She has worked as a foreign news editor and simultaneous interpreter at NTV, the first private news channel of Turkey and was also part of the Al Jazeera Turk News Channel team for two years. Gaye has a special interest in the Middle East, the South Caucasus and minority rights. She is an Istanbul lover, the city which has been home to her for more than 15 years. Gaye loves to travel and she is an avid reader, classical music listener and walker.

Gaye Coşar is a fellow at Civilitas as a journalist as part of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme established by the Hrant Dink Foundation.

NİL DELAHAYE: Nil Delahaye has been practicing Capoeira for over five years and is now developing ways to combine social work with her passion for Capoeira. After studying Turkish studies and Hausa in Paris, she obtained an MA in cultural management in Istanbul where she began to explore the cultural rights of minorities and migrants in Turkey in the context of sub-Saharan African artists living in Istanbul. After working in various cultural centres during a six months stay in Africa, she began working at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Turkey, where she spent two years in project development and implementation. There, her mission was to help create the grounds and fora for cultural and artistic expressions for diverse migrant populations in Istanbul. During that time, she was given the opportunity to evaluate the positive results of using sports and arts for social relief purposes. Nil then decided to shift her working area towards a more on-site approach and is now working on using movement and music for the benefit of disadvantaged groups.
Today, she is doing her fellowship at the Women’s Resource Center in Yerevan as part of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme established by Hrant Dink Foundation. Nil is also working as a French/Turkish literary translator and intermittently publishes in the web-magazine Turquie Européenne.

EMİNE ONARAN İNCİRLİOĞLU: Emine Onaran İncirlioğlu completed her MA and PhD studies in anthropology at the University of Florida in Gainesville, US, after receiving her undergraduate degree in architecture from the Middle East Technical University (METU) in Ankara, Turkey. She taught anthropology and design in various universities in the US, UK and Turkey. İncirlioğlu is among the founding members of the Turkish Cultural Studies Association, and her areas of interest and publication include ethnography, cultural studies, Romani/Gypsy studies, gender studies, sociocultural change, and space-culture-identity relations. After 12 years of teaching at the Department of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at Bilkent University, in Ankara, she moved to Istanbul in 2012 to teach courses in anthropology and culture change at the Department of Sociology, in Maltepe University.

She is looking forward to going to Yerevan in February 2015 to work for four months on the database of the Caucasus Research Resource Center, where she will be based couple of months as a fellow of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme established by Hrant Dink Foundation and learn the basics of the Armenian language. In the next phase of her life, İncirlioğlu is planning to focus on Armenian studies. She also wants to spend part of the year in the US to continue writing based on the materials she compiled in Armenia and to enjoy her time with her daughter Defne…


MELTEM NAZ KAŞO: Meltem Naz Kaşo is a short story writer, a freelance journalist, and a social science researcher. In Yerevan, Meltem conducts comparative research for the non-governmental organisation Public Information and Need of Knowledge (PINK Armenia) as a fellow for the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme. Her focus is on the nature of the transnational collaboration of LGBTI activist groups in Armenia and Turkey in an effort to describe its influence and implications on the mainstream societies in both countries whose members have a history of animosity.

She is also a contributor to the best selling English daily newspaper in Turkey, Today’s Zaman, with a focus on human rights violations, animal rights and environmental issues. Meltem obtained her bilingual International Baccalaureate Diploma from the United World College of the Adriatic in Trieste, Italy. During her stay in Italy, she was the editor of a city guide called “Welcome to Trieste-The Guide” which helped immigrants overcome language and cultural barriers. After her graduation, Meltem earned the Shelby Davis Award and was admitted to the University of Chicago. She studied abroad in cities such as Detroit, Rome, Florence, Cairo, and Paris. While at the university campus in Chicago, Meltem led student seminars on issues such as racism, LGBTI rights, immigration, and xenophobia as a facilitator for the initiative Emerging Minds Project. In December, 2013, she received a Comparative Human Development degree and graduated with honours. Meltem is a member of both the United World Colleges Turkish National Committee and the Alumni Schools Committee of the University of Chicago, taking responsibility in the selection of prospective students for both institutions.


SUZAN MERYEM ROSITA: Suzan Meryem Rosita is a historian, artist and filmmaker working on the Genocide and Holocaust discourse in Turkey. Having studied previously at Bogazici University, Yale University and the University of Cambridge, she is now a doctoral researcher at the European University Institute (Florence). She is especially interested in the concept of historical silence and the different modes of cultural memory. She has published in various formats and genres. Her current projects include the widely discussed “Silent Book” project which will be installed in 100 libraries around the world by 2015; and two new projects entitled “Voices in the Dark” and “Consumption Patterns”. These mixed-media art installations and performances aim at engaging the public in the process of history writing in an effort to bridge the drift between academia and the public through the channel of art. Among other awards, she has received the Paul Harris Fellowship by Rotary International for her humanitarian work in Nepal and most recently the Raphael Lemkin Fellowship by the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Yerevan. She is the first scholar from Turkey to receive this award and she appeared on Armenian TV and radio programmes frequently discussing the Turkish government’s denial of the Armenian Genocide.

Currently, she is finishing her PhD thesis entitled “The Silent Nation” and is based in Gyumri as one of the fellows of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme launched by the Hrant Dink Foundation. In cooperation with her host organisation Gallery 25, Suzan Meryem Rosita will realize her art projects “Voices in the Dark” and “Consumption Patterns” for the year 2015 and develop a cross-border communication between Turkey and Armenia through the channels of art and critical discourse.