İstanbul Kültür University

Turkey-Armenia Media Reporting Bus Tour 2012

Over a two-week period, 16 journalists from Turkey and Armenia traveled over 3,500 kilometers in Turkey, Georgia, and Armenia, meeting with over 40 civil society representatives, politicians, media leaders and “everyday” citizens as well as visiting dozens of historical and cultural sites in order to gain first-hand insight into their neighboring country and to report in-depth about Turkey-Armenia relations from the field.

The 2012 Turkey-Armenia Media Reporting Bus Tour began in Istanbul on May 24th with meetings at the Armenian Patriarchate, the Turkish-Armenian weekly newspaper Agos, the Hrant Dink Foundation and the TRT public television station. The group also had the chance to attend the PechaKucha Night Vol. 14: Istanbul-Yerevan Close Creative Encounters.

From Istanbul, the journalists flew to Malatya, and traveled by bus to Kayseri, Cappadocia and Ankara before flying to Kars. In these cities the journalists met with Mr. Serdar Boyacı, a representative of the Malatya Philanthropic Armenians Association (HAYDER); Doç. Dr. Aslıhan Doğan Topçu of Kayseri’s Erciyes University; Prof. Dr. Mehmet Metin Hülagü of ERUSAM; Ms. Nilüfer Kısak, head of the women’s organization KAMER’s Malatya office; Mr. Ufuk Ulutaş of the Ankara-based SETA foundation; Mr. Alican Alibeyoğlu, owner of the local Kars media outlet Serhat TV; and Mr. Vedat Akçayöz of the Kars Culture and Arts Association, among numerous others. The journalists also had the opportunity to visit important historical sites such as Mount Nemrut, the Göreme Open Air Museum, and Ani.

On May 31st, the journalists crossed the land border from Turkey into Georgia, and attended a press conference in Akhaltsikhe with Ms. Mariam Mikoyan, member of the Council of Ethnic Minorities of the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia, along with other local activists. The next day the group crossed the land border into Armenia and participated in a meeting with Mr. Levon Barseghyan, head of the Asparez Journalist Club in Gyumri, where the journalists visited the shelters that house survivors of the 1988 earthquake. In Yerevan, the group met with Ms. Susanna Harutyunyan of the Armenia-Turkey Cinema Platform; Mr. Hayk Demoyan, director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute; United States Ambassador to Armenia Mr. John A. Heffern; Mr. Giro Manoian of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) – Dashnaktsutyun party; and Mr. Gegham Baghdasaryan, who spoke about the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. The journalists also traveled to Goris, a town on the southern border of Armenia, where they joined a roundtable with the Goris Press Club and visited the Tatev monastery, and later Lake Sevan.

The journalists represented a wide range of print and television media institutions, including Vatan, Today’s Zaman, IMC TV and news portal from Turkey and Aravot, ArmeniaNow,, and Yerkir Media from Armenia.

The results of the tour include both the numerous articles published by the journalists about their experiences, as well as the strong network the journalists have formed as a result of their shared journey, which will aid them and their colleagues in future reporting on Turkey-Armenia relations.

The video below features pictures taken by freelance photojournalist Umut Vedat during the bus tour.

Articles written by participants from Turkey:

Ermeni ve Türk gazetecileri duygulandıran gezi
May 28, 2012 | | By Zafer Opsar

Güneş Herkesi Isıtır: Malatya
May 28, 2012 | By Kemal Bozkurt

Turkish, Armenian journalists pay visit to Malatya, Kayseri
May 29, 2012 | Today's Zaman | By Sinem Cengiz

Kaplan: "Ermeni vekilimiz olmalıydı”
May 31, 2012 | Agos | By Zeynep Ekim Elbaşı

Güneş Herkesi Isıtır: Kayseri
May 31, 2012 | By Kemal Bozkurt

Kars’ta yıkılan heykellerle ilgili ilginç iddia
May 31 2012 | | By Zafer Opsar

Gümrü’nün yaraları 25 yıldır kanıyor
June 2, 2012 | | By Zafer Opsar

Turkish, Armenian journalists want the border opened
June 3, 2012 | Today’s Zaman | By Sinem Cengiz

Güneş herkesi ısıtır: Kars ve Gümrü
June 3, 2012 | By Kemal Bozkurt

Kabuk bağlamayan yara
June 4, 2012 | | By Zafer Opsar

Heffern: Önemli olan kafalardaki sınırların açılması
June 7, 2012 | | By Zafer Opsar

Ermenistan’da soykırım müzesi

June 8, 2012 | Vatan | Yiğit Can Kaytmaz

Güneş Herkesi Isıtır: Yerevan
June 8, 2012 | By Kemal Bozkurt

Türkiye-Ermenistan İlişkilerinde sinema önemli rol oynuyor
June 8, 2012 | | By Zafer Opsar

2015 will be opportunity to normalize ties with Armenia
June 8, 2012 | Today’s Zaman | By Sinem Cengiz

Ermeni işadamlarından Türkiye’ye çağrı
June 9, 2012 | | By Zafer Opsar

Ermenistan ve Türkiye’den gazeteciler Anadolu ve Ermenistan’ı gezdi (Gamurç/Köprü, Episode 42)
June 16, 2012 | IMC TV | By Linda Yalman

Turks and Armenians should become closer, understand each other
June 17, 2012 | Today’s Zaman | By Sinem Cengiz

Gamurç/Köprü, Episode 44
June 21, 2012 | IMC TV | By Linda Yalman

Gamurç/Köprü, Episode 45
July 3, 2012 (check) | IMC TV | By Linda Yalman

The 2012 Turkey-Armenia Media Reporting Bus Tour was organized by the Global Political Trends Center (GPoT) and the Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) as part of the Support to Armenia-Turkey Rapprochement (SATR) project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). To learn about a similar tour conducted last year by GPoT Center, Internews Armenia and Yerevan Press Club with the sponsorship of the United States Department of State Bureau of Democracy, Rights and Labor (DRL), click here.

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