2016 – 2017 Fellows

Anahit Ghazaryan holds Bachelor and Master Degrees in World Literature and Literary Studies from Yerevan State University. After her studies, for two years, Anahit has worked as a radio reporter, where she run a culture blog and two radio shows. At the same time, she was also interviewing and writing articles for Kino + magazine. From 2014-2016, she has studied at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Yerevan. Her areas of interest include Soviet and Modern art, as well as the relationship between Art and Philosophy. As part of her studies at ICA Yerevan, currently, Anahit is working on the “Nu-ba-ra-rats” multidisciplinary festival, as a research curator.[ÇÖ1]Anahit Ghazaryan is currently a fellow at Kadir Has University, Lifelong Learning Centre as part of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme established by Hrant Dink Foundation. She is teaching Eastern Armenian as a foreign language.

Armen Ohanyan (pen name Armen of Armenia) is a fiction and non-fiction writer and artivist (artist + activist). After earning his Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, in 2000-2007 he led an isolated life as a teacher in a village near the border between Armenia and Iran. Since early 2000’s he has been an active member of and also currently a Board Member at Helsinki Citizen’s Assembly Armenian Committee. In 2007, in order to join the national movement underway in Armenia, he moved to Yerevan, by being actively engaged in the civil struggle.

He launched his literary career at the age of 30, creating innovative-experimental short stories. Armen is the author of the story collection The Return of Kikos (2013), and the novel Mommyland; Flag (2015). His short stories The Return of Kikos and Superstar Mario have won local literary awards; one of his short stories was published in the 2015 edition of Best European Fiction. The pressing, alarming and often unspoken issues of identity, history and reality, gender and sexuality are the core of his prose – stories and questions, which are deeply enrooted not only in the local reality but the global one as well.

Armen is currently in Istanbul as a fellow at the Can Publishing House within the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme established by Hrant Dink Foundation. He is working on promoting Armenian-Turkish literary dialogue by carrying out the translation of the book “The Armenian within us” into Eastern Armenian and representing the 35 Turkish authors of the same book to the Armenian readers.

Arpi Atabekyan was born in Yerevan, in 1989. She graduated from Yerevan State University, Department of Oriental Studies, Chair of Turkish Studies (B.A.). In 2011 she received DAAD (Der Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst e. V.) and Humboldt University academic excellence scholarship and studied Social Sciences in German-Turkish MA program (GeT MA), a joint programme between Middle East Technical University (Ankara) and Humboldt University (Berlin). She worked at the Centre of Oriental Studies in Berlin (ZMO), Berlin Institute of Social Sciences (WZB). Arpi participated in a number of international conferences (INALCO Institute, conference “Choosing one’s language”, 2013, Paris, France; International Conference on Language, Literature & Community 2015, Bhubaneshwar, India, “Focus Caucasia 2.0 Narrating, Imagining and Crafting ‘Modernities’ in the Caucasus”, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena). Arpi’s academic interests are modern Turkish literature, literary sociology, urban sociology, social anthropology, feminism in Turkey and Armenia.

Translations from Turkish: E. Şafak “The Bastard of Istanbul”, novel, Antares Publishing House, Yerevan, 2012; A. Hamdi Tanpinar “Mind on Peace”, novel, Antares Publishing House, Yerevan, 2013; O. Pamuk “My Name is Red”, novel, Antares Publishing House, Yerevan, 2014; A.Ümit “A Momento for Istanbul”, novel, Antares Publishing House, Yerevan, 2015.

Currently Arpi is enrolled in PhD programme at Friedrich Schiller University, Jena. The topic of her dissertation is “Mapping women’s exclusion: the private, the public and the production of gendered spaces in urban Yerevan”. She is doing her fellowship at Center for Spatial Justice – Beyond Istanbul, and her research is focused on mapping of gendered spaces in Karaköy, Istanbul.

Artsrun Pivazyan holds a BA degree in International Relations from European Regional Educational Academy in Yerevan. Currently he studies Peace Studies: International Cooperation, Human Rights and Policy of European Union at the University of Rome 3. Artsrun has participated in several volunteering projects, focusing on civil education, democracy, human rights and peacebuilding. He has done European Voluntary Service at Cultural Association for Theatre and Origami (A.C.T.O.R.) in Bucharest, Romania. He has also conducted a fellowship at Rondine Citadella della Pace in Italy.

Artsrun Pivazyan is currently a fellow at the Peace Education, Research and Application Center of Bogazici University as part of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme established by the Hrant Dink Foundation. His current research is focused on the role of memory in peacebuilding activities. He is also running a blog – Peace and Decoration.

Duygu Bostancı graduated from the Department of Industrial Design at Middle East Technical University. She practices video-making, photography and contemporary dance. Her short dance film “Simulacrum” was screened at SinemaDansAnkara Film Fest in 2014. For already three years, she has focussed on discovering her body and develop movements accordingly.

Currently, Duygu is doing her fellowship at Contemporary Art Institute Yerevan as part of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme established by Hrant Dink Foundation. She is conducting research on folk dances in Armenia and Turkey, based on which she will develop a contemporary dance performance. She is planning to incorporate video and photography components into her project.

Gayane Ayvazyan was born in Yerevan. She received her BA and MA degrees from Yerevan State University (YSU), Faculty of History, and in 2013 she did her PhD in History, with her dissertation focused on “Historiographical heritage of Eremia Kömürcüyan.” In 2011-2012 Gayane worked at the Department of Armenian History (YSU) as a Lab Assistant, and at present she is a Senior Researcher at Matenadaran – Scientific Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts named after M. Mashtots. Gayane has participated in various local and international research programs and conferences. She has authored a number of articles.

Gayane is one of the fellows of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme launched by the Hrant Dink Foundation and doing her fellowship at Istanbul Şehir University – Center for Modern Turkish Studies. Her research is focused on the historiographical heritage of Eremia Çelebi Kömürcüyan, textual research and publication.

Greta Nikoghosyan is a translator (from French into Armenian). In 2007 she graduated from Yerevan State University, Faculty of Romance and Germanic Philology (bachelor’s degree). Then she continued her studies in the Department of European Studies at Malmo University, Sweden. In 2015 Greta graduated also from the Yerevan Brusov State University of Languages and Social Sciences (Master in Specialized Translation and Project Management Technologies).

Currently Greta is doing her PhD at the Matenadaran-Scientific Research Institute of Ancient Manuscripts named after M. Mashtots; her research focuses on “Mekhitarists’ translations from French into Armenian in 18-19 centuries”. Thus as the Mekhitarists of Vienna belong to the Mekhitarist Congregation established by Abbot Mekhitar in Constantinople in 1700, where Mekhitar and his followers began the publication of scriptural, spiritual, and theological works and texts, Greta’s objective is to comparatively explore these literary processes and to define the cultural environment typical of the 18th century Istanbul which became one of the centers of the Armenian translation and the cradle of the above mentioned School of Translation.

Greta is doing her fellowship at Sabancı University as part of the Armenia-Turkey Fellowship Scheme launched by Hrant Dink Foundation. The cooperation with Sabancı University will help Greta to accomplish her thesis and foster her research on the subject of Mekhitarists’ contribution to the Armenian culture and literature.

Mariya Yeghiazaryan was born In Yerevan. She spent her childhood in Moscow for 7 years. Mariya graduated from Yerevan State Linguistic University after V. Brusov, faculty of Translation and Intercultural Communication.

She worked as a journalist in Civilnet Online Television (2011-2015), one of the projects of the Civilitas Foundation. Beside working on political, social, economic and cultural topics, together with Civilnet team Mariya often made reports on the life of Armenian community in Istanbul. In 2015-2016 Mariya worked in Urban Prod Multimedia Association (Marseille, France) where she was a part of the team making social documentaries and implementing various projects.

Mariya is a real voyager. One of her most memorable trips in her life was to Japan, where she had a chance to visit 18 different cities.

Mariya is currently doing her fellowship at Liman Film and RET Film and she is participating in the production and post-production process of the ongoing projects of both companies and assisting the festival applications for their films as part of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme launched by Hrant Dink Foundation.

Nareg Seferian was born and raised in New Delhi, India. He began his higher education at Yerevan State University in Armenia with studies in political science, later receiving a bachelor’s degree in classical liberal arts from St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the United States. He then did graduate work in international affairs at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. Nareg served at the American University of Armenia from 2013 to 2016.

Nareg has a keen and broad interest on all aspects of Armenian-Turkish relations. His research fellowship at Istanbul Policy Center (Sabancı University) focusses on the popular narratives that Armenians and Turks have about one another. His writings and other works are available at naregseferian.com.

Mehmet Karasu received his Bachelor’s degree from Psychology Department at Ege University. He currently works there as a research assistant and continues his education. Mehmet has several published articles, both in national and international level.

In April 2015, Mehmet Karasu and his colleagues travelled to Armenia with the support of Turkey-Armenia Travel Grant, in order to conduct a socio-psychological field research among the youth and CSO workers on their perception of peaceful resolutions to the conflicts between two neighbouring countries.

In March 2017, Karasu will continue his academic research at Caucasus Research Resource Center – Armenia (CRRC) as a part of Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme, organized by Hrant Dink Foundation.

Banu Pekol was educated at Üsküdar American Academy, Cornell University, Courtauld Institute of Art (BA Hons), Istanbul Technical University (PhD). She worked as Asst. Prof. Dr. of architectural heritage and history at Özyegin University, Department of Architecture. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses at universities including Istanbul Technical University, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University and The Netherlands Institute in Turkey. Dr. Pekol works as consultant to architectural conservation and reuse projects of non-Muslim heritage in Turkey, connected to the Association for Preservation of Cultural Heritage. Dr Pekol is among the founding members of the Association, as well as of Europa Nostra-Turkey, and her areas of research include architectural conservation, energy-efficient conservation, the reuse of historic structures for new purposes, and the conservation of contested heritage sites.


She was a Salzburg Global Seminar Fellow on ‘Conflict Transformation through Culture’, and is part of CitizensLab. She is member of the international think-tank, Global Diplomacy Lab. She has been awarded the Otto Gründler Award, Hellenic Ministry of Culture Grant, Joint Grant from Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Bodossaki Foundation, and the AVISTA Award.

Now as one of the fellows of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme launched by the Hrant Dink Foundation, Dr. Pekol is hosted by the Eurasia International University, conducting fieldwork and research on the conservation of architectural heritage in Armenia.

Cansu Yetişgin has completed her BA studies at Istanbul University Political Science and International Relations Department. During her senior year, as a youth and environmental activist, she has done an internship at Toplum Gönüllüleri Vakfı, in the department of Global Relations. During this period, Cansu gave a series of peer education in different cities on environmental awareness and represented her organizations at various international student exchange programmes. In order to develop herself on green politics, she also did an internship at the Federation of Young European Greens and worked with the Green Group at the European Parliament; where she participated in the climate change campaigns and capacity building activities. Cansu currently carries on her research as a fellow at Urban Foundation for Sustainable Development in Armenia, within the framework of Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme, implemented by Hrant Dink Foundation.

Rezzan Alagöz received her Bachelor’s degree from Istanbul University Sociology Department in 2007 and her Master’s degree from City University of New York on with her thesis on “The Impacts of Neo-Liberal Policies on Turkey in 2000-2001”. Rezzan is a PhD candidate at Mimar Sinan University Sociology department and works as a research assistant at Adıyaman University Sociology department. With her thesis on “The Closed Armenia-Turkey Border”, Rezzan conducts a research on the impacts of the closed border over the people’s daily lives who live on both sides of it and their perceptions towards each other.

As a fellow at Hrant Dink Foundation’s Fellowship Scheme, Rezzan Alagöz will continue her research at Center for Civilization and Cultural Studies in Yerevan State University for four months. During the time she spends in Armenia, Rezzan is planning to conduct a comprehensive literature review, while doing oral history in the border villages.

Karen Tovmasyan received his first master’s degree in International Relations and History in 2007 from Yerevan “Gladzor” University. In 2015, received his second Masters in Journalism and media management from the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs in Tbilisi. He has also taken doctoral courses in International Relations and History and has published several scientific articles about the United States diplomacy in Iran and Turkey during the 1945-1947.

He has developed his skills in communications and media during his internships at the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty RFE/RL general headquarters in Prague, as well as at the United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI) office in Yerevan and at the German Near and Middle East Association /NUMOV office in Berlin.

He started his career in journalism in 2013 and during this time has worked for the leading media organizations in Armenia and South Caucasus region such as iLur.am, 7or.am, Jam-news.net, Newscaffe.ge, Georgia Today, etc. Currently he works as a reporter from Armenia for the leading English language media group in Georgia “Georgia Today” and is covering political developments in Armenia. Karen has participated in various media workshops, trainings and projects in Czech Republic, Germany, Lithuania, Ukraine, Israel, Georgia, Russia and Turkey.

Karen, who is in Istanbul right now with the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme organized by the Hrant Dink Foundation, continues his work at A&B Communications within this framework.

Gevorg Galtakyan has first received a degree on physics and mathematics in 2008, which forms his analytical background. Then, he decided to canalize his passion for social sciences and received Bachelor’s degree in 2013 and Master’s degree in 2015 on Turkish studies from Yerevan State University. The subject of his Master’s thesis was linguistic analysis of Ottoman parliament member Krikor Zohrab’s lecture notes on Philosophy of Criminal Law, published in 1909. He has also been working as a freelance translator since 2014.

As part of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme established by the Hrant Dink Foundation Gevorg is currently doing his research in Istanbul Şehir University, Centre for Modern Turkish Studies.