Hrant Dink Foundation, through the projects implemented under Turkey-Armenia Programme, makes efforts to build closer ties between the peoples of the two neighbouring countries. Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme, initiated for this purpose within the framework of the programme Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process financed by the European Union, aims to foster cross-border affiliation and cooperation of professionals from the two neighbouring countries, while strengthening the ties between these two cultures, and thus enhancing the sense of multi-culturalism. 

It is possible to suggest that, in general, the knowledge of peoples in Turkey about the neighbouring countries is mostly very limited, and even so the current understanding is mostly overshadowed with stereotypes and prejudices. Because of the pressure of the past, the closed borders and the mutual mistrust, the perception of Armenia is under the influence of even deeper prejudices. Anahit Ghazaryan, who came to Istanbul with the Fellowship Scheme, has been teaching Eastern Armenian at Kadir Has University Lifelong Education Center. While teaching Armenian under the programme “Neighbouring Languages Academy”, Anahit also gives first-hand information to her students about the culture in Armenia, which also helps to eliminate bias. 

Anahit Ghazaryan holds Bachelor and Master Degrees in World Literature and Literary Studies from Yerevan State University. After her studies, for two years, Anahit has worked as a radio reporter, where she run a culture blog and two radio shows. At the same time, she was also interviewing and writing articles for Kino + magazine. From 2014-2016, she has studied at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Yerevan. Her areas of interest include Soviet and Modern art, as well as the relationship between Art and Philosophy. As part of her studies at ICA Yerevan, currently, Anahit is working on the "Nu-ba-ra-rats" multidisciplinary festival, as a research curator. From 2015 onwards, she has worked as a language teacher at Birthright Armenia and since November 2016, Anahit is teaching Eastern Armenian as a foreign language at Istanbul's Kadir Has University, Lifelong Learning Center as a fellow of Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme.

Dorukhan Demirbilek from the host organisation, Kadir Has University Lifelong Learning Center, notes that Anahit’s presence at their institution and their centre being a part of the Fellowship Scheme is a great opportunity for them. He describes their goal with this programme, not only as a tool for language education, but also as a chance to present the cultures of the neighbouring countries. According to Dorukhan Demirbilek, Anahit’s contribution to their centre is a very important step in achieving this goal and this is proven by all the positive feedback they receive from the students who attend Eastern Armenian classes in this term.

Anahit Ghazaryan and Dorukhan Demirbilek have talked about their experiences with the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme and their suggestions for future fellows and host organisations.

For more detailed information about the Fellowship Scheme, please click here.

Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme
takes place within the framework of
the Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process programme,
funded by the European Union.