The panel, which took place on October 13th, was the latest leg of the joint project with the Eurasia Partnership Foundation in Armenia (EPF) and brought together Turkish and Armenian journalists. Participants discussed the role of the media bias in the normalization process and how the media can add to the ongoing momentum. Among the discussion topics was also the agenda for the final meeting of the project that took take place in Erivan in November 2009.
For 6 months prior to this meeting, research teams conducted focus group interviews in Kars, Kayseri and Istanbul in Turkey, in parallel to similar interviews in Armenia conducted by the EPF research team. One of the key points to emerge from the research was that both sides voice a need to learn more about the other. Focus group interviews revealed that both Turks and Armenians expressly do not know how the other thinks. Participants of the panel emphasized that the news almost exclusively feature bilateral diplomatic relations with the only visible actors being politicians, while stories on regular people, cultural, artistic or economic affairs or civil society are largely absent from the news.
Participants on both sides underlined that relations have improved drastically with the recent political developments, and emphasized the need to build on this momentum. The last leg of the project, which culminated in a final report, took place in November 2009 in Erivan. The report was published on GPoT’s website.