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Common Future for Turkey and Armenia Citizen's Diplomacy Project

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23.08.2010

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On 28-30 June 2010 the Society and Democracy Association (Turkey) with its partner, Analitical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation organised a Multi-track diplomacy workshop "Common Future for Turkey and Armenia Citizen's Diplomacy Project" in Istanbul. Dr. Edward Kaufman from University of Maryland has facilitated the workshop that 20 university students from Armenia and Turkey had participated. The participants had the opportunity to have a consensus regarding to the Armenian-Turkish relations.

The Declaration written by the participants of the “Common future for Turkey and Armenia citizens’ diplomacy project”, 28-30 June 2010, ISTANBUL WORKSHOP

The deadlock between our countries – Armenia and Turkey - should and can end. This deadlock has been hurting the dialogue between our people for too long.

Regardless of our governments’ policies, regardless of macro-political constellations, the relationship between our two nations should normalize and step towards a “common future” rather than hiding behind a closed border We as the participants of “Common Future for Turkey and Armenia Citizen’s Diplomacy” workshop, that took place June 2010 in Istanbul, urge our governments to take the necessary steps towards the opening of the common border between Armenia and Turkey.

There is no doubt that the closed border between our two countries prevents our societies from interacting and communicating and therefore accelerating the normalization process. In that regard, we are more than happy to see that a consensus among us has been reached on the issue or the border opening between Armenia and Turkey.

We should not forget that states are not the sole actors in the domain of international relations. Civil society organizations and other non-governmental actors also have the potential to plan and implement confidence building measures among conflicted countries. In this declaration, we as the participants of ‘’Common Future for Turkey and Armenia Citizen’s Diplomacy’’ Workshop, have reached a consensus on the necessary steps to be taken on three separate levels. We believe that the governments of Armenia and Turkey should implement and support these steps as listed below in the following three categories: ‘’Bilateral Relations’’, ‘’Regional Cooperation’’ and ‘’Societal Interaction’’.

We, ourselves, volunteered to take action and be our own advocators of this ‘’Common Future Declaration’’. We call the people of our countries to help us to create a firm basis on which a common and peaceful future can be realized. After all, our shared emotions in hundreds of years of coexistence proves that this is not only ‘a thing of the past’ but might as well be our way into the future.

BILATERAL RELATIONS

- The elected governments of Armenia and Turkey should continuously inform the public about Armenia-Turkey relations
- The oppositions in Armenia and Turkey should play a constructive role in the normalization process
- Civil societies of Armenia and Turkey should continue their influential role in the Armenia-Turkey relations
- More dialogue between domestic opposition and government should be seek in Armenia and Turkey
- Political parties in Armenia and Turkey should be clear in their programs regarding to the Armenian-Turkish relations
- Parliamentary relations between Armenia and Turkey should be established
- Business associations between Armenia and Turkey should be strengthened
- Sister cities or towns should be encouraged between Armenia and Turkey
- Inter-cultural projects should be supported by the government agencies of Armenia and Turkey
- The number of flights between Yerevan and Istanbul should be increased and flag carrier airlines should start direct flights in that route

REGIONAL COOPERATION

- It should be underlined that the opening of the border will lead Turkey to have more active role in the Armenia-Azerbaijan relations
- Armenia and Turkey should play a constructive role in the peaceful resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
- The role of the Black Sea Cooperation should be emphasized for regional cooperation
- Armenian and Turkish governments should come to a compromise in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict during the negotiations that are going now in the framework of Mink group of the OSCE without delays
- Armenia and Turkey should establish and develop their cooperation in the framework of NATO. The border should be opened in case of emergency such as flood, fire, earthquake, and other natural disasters

SOCIETAL INTERACTION

- The learning of Armenian and Turkish languages should be encouraged by universities in Armenia and Turkey
- The accreditation of diplomas in both countries should be recognized without waiting for the establishment of diplomatic relations
- Media in Armenia and Turkey should give more time for non-political coverage on Armenian-Turkish relations
- Cultural activities that stress the commonalities among the societies of Armenia and Turkey should be supported
- Reconstructions of historical and religious places should be done by the governments of Armenia and Turkey
- Cooperation between the youth branches of political parties and youth unions should be
encouraged
- Cross border university programs should be launched between Armenia and Turkey
- Websites and social networks should be founded in favor of bringing Armenian and Turkish youth together
- Workshops should be facilitated in order to remove the negative stereotypes and prejudices between the Armenian and Turkish societies
- A celebratory year of commemoration should be dedicated in both Turkey and Armenia
- Joint sport activities should be organized by interested (local and national) clubs
- The relationship between Turkey and the Armenian Diaspora should be improved with the idea of the Armenian Diaspora is also the ‘’Anatolian Diaspora’’
- The usage of offensive words should be prohibited in the context of perceptions and the stereotypes against the other while the school textbooks are being rewritten
- Armenian Government should reconstruct the Turkish Mosque in Armenia and
Turkish Government should reconstruct the main Armenian churches in Turkey (Dvin and Ani).
- It must be considered that a train line between Gymru and Kars can connect the people of Armenia and Turkey

List of the Participants

Lilya Hovhannisyan Yerevan State University
Eva Aleksanyan Yerevan State Linguistic University after V. Brusov
Jenya Gyukbangyan Yerevan State University
Ashot Avetisyan Yerevan State University
Veronika Danielyants Russian-Armenian (Slavic) State University
Hasmik Grigoryan Yerevan State University
Karen Sirunyan Yerevan State University
Hakob Nikoghosyan Yerevan State University
Artak Khachatryan Yerevan State University
Natalia Skvortsova Russian-Armenian (Slavic) State University
Suzan Meryem Rosita Kalaycı Cambridge University
Merve Tabur Bogazici University
Özgür Dikmen Marmara University
Pınar Akyasan Yıldız Technical University
Ersin Taş Sabanci University
Sesil Gülkeser Mimar Sinan University
Kerem Yıldırım Marmara University
Nora Mildanoglu Bogazici University
Taha Deveci Istanbul University
Pelin Baş Sabanci University

http://www.commonfuturecitizensdiplomacy.org

 

 
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