Investigating the Faults

Armenia – Turkey:

The Armenian-Turkish controversies became the aim of the recent journalistic expedition organized by the Go Group Media and financed by the Eurasia Foundation in Armenia.

Four journalists – Abkhazian, Georgian and South Ossetian – went to Armenia and Turkey for almost two weeks to get a boots-on-the-ground insight into the two nations’ current mutual perceptions and to see how their recent experience of trying to end their century-old feud could be applied to the conflict developments in the South Caucasus.

What happened in 1915 still remains a hotly disputed subject. Armenia, along with the Armenian Diaspora, accuses the then Ottoman rulers of carrying out genocide.  Turkey disputes the charge, saying that a few hundred thousand died and that the deaths occurred in a civil war in which many Turks were also killed. The decades-long debate over the use of the word ‘genocide’ has twisted into bargaining.

Several lessons have been learned during the investigation. One of them is that if Armenia and Turkey succeeded in normalization of mutual relationship and opened the border closed for almost one hundred years, it would influence the entire South Caucasus region. However, conversations with Armenian and Turkish experts, journalists and locals indicated that the expected normalization of the relationships between the two countries stalled and, what is more, preventing of the further deterioration was seen crucial. Another lesson learned is that the international community needs to be involved more actively to help to break the regional deadlock.While planning this research together with the Eurasia Foundation in Armenia, we called it ‘Building Interactive Dialogue between Peoples in the Region’.

It happened even literally as the Abkhazian-Georgian-South Ossetian team joined the Armenian-Turkish group of journalists for the three last days of the mission. The latter were traveling together across two countries with the similar aim – to begin to better understand the ‘other’ side.

This research of the Go Group Media seeks to present and explain the Armenian-Turkish problems to Georgian and especially Abkhazian and South Ossetian societies, which critically lack the knowledge and understanding of these particularly powerful developments in the Caucasus region.

GO Group Media pays the special thanks to Internews Armenia and Yerevan Press Club for the invaluable help in organising this journalistic mission.

Mission participants

Anaid Gogoryan,  “Chegemskaya Pravda” newspaper
Sofo Bukia,“Liberali”magazine
Goga Aptsiauri, Radio “Liberty”
Irina Kelekhsaeva, Tskhiinval/i Television

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