GPoT Center, Yerevan Press Club (YPC) and Internews Armenia organized a media reporting bus tour starting from Istanbul and ending in Yerevan between May 3-18, 2011. Journalists from Turkey and Armenia visited many historical places and had meetings with several NGOs and local political leaders.
Starting from Adana, the group visited Antakya, Şanlıurfa, Diyarbakır, Van and Kars by bus during the Turkey part of the tour. The journalists then crossed the Turkish-Georgian border and after changing buses, they moved to Akhaltsikhe. After spending one night in Georgia, the group crossed the Georgian-Armenian border and spent one night in each of the following cities: Gyumri, Alaverdi, Yerevan, Goris and Meghri. The group attended a meeting entitled "Armenia-Turkey Policy and Media Discussions
" organized by GPoT in cooperation with YPC
(the Eurasia Partnership Foundation) in Yerevan, which was the final destination of the bus tour participants.
The first visit of this diverse group of journalists was to the Çukurova Young Businessmen’s Association (CUGIAD) in Adana. In Antakya, the group had the chance to interview the leader of Vakıflıköy, the last remaining Armenian village in Turkey, as well to met with the president of the Hatay Youth Association. The group had a pleasant time at night by attending the rehearsal of Antakya Civilization Choir. One of the most interesting meetings was with the mayor of Diyarbakır, Osman Baydemir. Participants also met with the mayor of the Sur district of Diyarbakır, Abdullah Demirbaş. Besides these meetings, the group visited many historical sites in eastern Turkey, including old Armenian settlements.
In the Armenia part, the first stop was Gyumri, in which participants visited the Asparez Journalist Club. The journalists also visited families living in temporary shelters after the earthquake of 1988. One of the most interesting meetings for the journalists was with the Women Resource Center in Goris. They also visited several TV channels and had interviews with media representatives.
It was a very productive and instructive journey for both the Turkish and Armenian journalists, and also for the Georgian journalists whom accompanied the group for a few days. The journalists began writing their impressions and the historical and social background of the places they visited on the tour in articles set to appear in Star, Yeni Şafak, Radikal, Zaman, Taraf and Bianet. List of articles written by the Turkish participants of the bus tour:Ermenistan-Türkiye İlişkilerinde Normalleşme ve Medyada Temsili
May 23, 2011 | Bianet | By Burcu Ballıktaş
Tigran sen neden burada değilsin
May 24, 2011 | Star | By Mehmet Ali İzmir
Ermenistan'daki bütün yollar Anadolu'ya çıkıyor
May 25, 2011 | Star | By Mehmet Ali İzmirAslında dost olmak ne kolay!
May 27, 2011 | Radikal | By Hakkı ÖzdalKızım hatırlasın, torunum unutsun
May 26, 2011 | Taraf | By Özgün ÖzçerÇin malı yerine Türk malı alıyoruz
May 27, 2011 | Taraf | By Özgün ÖzçerTarber teğer çnatsel eğbayr (Ayrı düşük kardeşim)
May 24, 2011 | Yeni Şafak | By Aysel YaşaÇiçekler açan anıt
May 28, 2011 | Taraf | By Özgün Özçer
Bir 'protokol' vardı ne oldu?
May 28, 2011 | Radikal | By Hakkı ÖzdalOnlar gitti, biz eksik kaldık
May 29, 2011 | Radikal | By Hakkı ÖzdalBarev Hayastan
June 1, 2011 | Bianet | By Burcu Ballıktaş"Yolunuz Pamuk Olsun"
June 2, 2011 | Bianet | By Burcu BallıktaşErmenistan'ın Diğer Yüzü
June 3, 2011 | Bianet | By Burcu BallıktaşŞimdi Masal Bitti!
June 4, 2011 | Yeni Şafak | By Aysel Yaşa"Merhaba"nın Kudreti
June 7, 2011 | Bianet | By Burcu BallıktaşGüneş Doğmadan Dünya da Aydınlanmaz Elegez'de
June 13, 2011 | Star | By Mehmet Ali İzmir