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.

For the regions and societies with long-lasting conflicts, peace-building is a long and a challenging process. These deep conflicts emerge and arise on top various elements and reasons; thus, building the peace and creating conflict-free areas require strong effort and deep expertise, way more than goodwill. Artsrun Pivazyan, who did his obligatory military service at the Azerbaijan border of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, has begun to think about what is on the other side of the border in those days, where is seen as ‘enemy’ inside his own society. After the completion of his service, Artsrun started to focus on conflict resolution and peace-building and he placed the idea of coming together with young people from the conflicted areas, where the perception of ‘enemy’ towards the other is strong, into the centre of his research.

Artsrun Pivazyan holds a BA degree in International Relations from European Regional Educational Academy in Yerevan. Currently he studies at Peace Studies: International Cooperation, Human Rights and Policy of European Union programme at the Rome Tre University. Artsrun has participated in several volunteering projects, focusing on civil education, democracy, human rights and peacebuilding. He has done European Voluntary Service at Cultural Association for Theatre and Origami in Bucharest, Romania. He has also conducted a fellowship at Rondine Citadella della Pace in Italy. Artsrun Pivazyan is currently a fellow at the Peace Education, Research and Application Center of Bogazici University as part of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme established by the Hrant Dink Foundation. His current research is focused on the role of memory in peacebuilding activities, while contributing to the ‘memory walk’ project, to be implemented by Karakutu Association. 

Aylin Vartanyan Dilaver, the assistant director at the host organisation, Boğaziçi University Peace Education, Application and Research Centre, argues that the general aim of their centre is to create a preventive environment starting from their own campus, rather than a conflict-free one. Vartanyan Dilaver gave information about a workshop that they are going to conduct together with Artsrun, which will also include the students of the university who do research on the disadvantaged areas. In general terms, according to Aylin Vartanyan Dilaver, preventing conflict can be sustained through small encounters, and through the Fellowship Scheme, the impossible encounters with the ‘other’ are made possible. 

Artsrun Pivazyan and Aylin Vartanyan Dilaver have talked about their experiences with the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme and their suggestions for future fellows and host organisations.

Please Note: Armenian, Turkish and English subtitles are available in the videos.

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