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EPFEurasia Partnership Foundation was established in 1992 in Washington DC as a non-profit organisation (sponsored by the US State Department). Its Armenia office was opened in 1995.

EPF launched its Armenia-Turkey Cross-Border Dialogue and Cooperation Programme in 2006. The programme aims at supporting Armenian-Turkish normalisation by strengthening the capacity of the NGO, media and business sectors and by developing and maintaining cross-border partnerships (Eurasia initially acted as a donor in this area but later engaged in project implementation.).

EPF has provided funding for Armenia-Turkey projects to organisations such as the ICHD, AIPRG, the Yerevan Press Club, Patker Photo LLC, the Analytical Center for Globalization and Regional Cooperation, the Urban Sustainable Development Foundation and the Youth Academy. EPF has focused on three main areas: (a) support for cultural projects; (b) research; (c) exchange visits of eminent journalists and opinion-makers (retired officials, academicians, etc.) to Armenia and Turkey.

In October 2010, EPF, the Union of Manufacturers and Businessmen (UMBA), Yerevan Press Club (YPC), and the International Center for Human Development (ICHD) - which have formed a quadrilateral consortium to engage in joint programming in the context of Armenia-Turkey relations- won the USAID tender with a proposal titled Support to Armenia-Turkey Rapprochement. The proposal foresees work on three priority areas: business partnerships, civil society, and informal inter-governmental dialogue. Changes in the operating environment will be adapted to through an open-door grants pool to support innovative ideas in any area related to the process of rapprochement. This work will span until September 2012 and has a budget of nearly 2.5 million USD.

 

Cultural projects

In 2007 and 2008 – as part of a project entitled "Musical Bridge across the Armenia-Turkey Border" – EPF supported the Armenian Komitas State Quartet's visit and concert in Turkey and the reciprocal visit of the Bosphorus Quartet to Armenia. In 2008 it supported concerts (and a master class in Istanbul) by Eduard Tadevosyan from the Komitas State Quartet and Cihat Askin, a renowned Turkish violinist.

In July and December 2008 EFP and the Turkish Anadolu Kultur organised workshops for Turkish-Armenian filmmakers. These included a visit by Turkish film professionals and journalists to Yerevan.

The participants of the first visit included Azize Tan, Director of the Istanbul International Film Festival; Cigdem Mater, Anadolu Kultur Cultural Center Coordinator; Alin Tasciyan, film critic and FIPRESCI jury member; Janet Baris, film journalist; Evrim Kaya, film journalist; and film directors Mehmet Binay, Arin Inan Arslan, Seyfettin Tokmak, and Melek Ulagay Taylan.

Participants of the second visit (in December) included Cigdem Mater, journalist Lusin Dink, cinema journalist Alin Tasciyan, and film directors Ezel Akay, Mujde Arslan, Inan Arslan, Senem Tuzen, Zeynep Guzel, Eylem Kaftan, Firat Mancuhans, Sibil Cekmen and Cem Oztufekci..

In December 2008 Eurasia, the American University of Armenia and Anadolu Kultur supported a photo exhibition by Osman Koker entitled "Armenians in Turkey 100 Years Ago".

 

Research

Migration Study

In 2009 EPF commissioned Alin Ozinian to research the situation of Armenian migrants working in Turkey. The research, entitled "Identifying the State of Armenian Migrants in Turkey" was conducted from April to August 2009 with support from the government of Norway.

Media Study

Supported by the Norwegian government and USAID and implemented in partnership with the Istanbul-based Global Political Trends Center (GPoT), the "Reducing Media Bias in Armenia and Turkey" project featured a pair of research papers on the media coverage of Armenian-Turkish relations in Turkey and Armenia. Both papers were published online in October 2009. The report on media coverage in Armenia, entitled "Coverage of Armenian-Turkish Relations and Turkey in Armenian Media in 2006-2009", is available at EPF's website.

The report on media coverage in Turkey is available at epfound.am/files/gpot_analysis.pdf

 

Visits

In October 2009 Eurasia and the Hrant Dink Foundation organised a visit by Armenian journalists to Bursa for the second leg of the football world qualifying match between Armenia and Turkey (on 14 October). The Armenian journalists who participated in the programme included Boris Navasardyan (Yerevan Press Club), Petros Ghazaryan, (Kentron TV), Yuri Manvelyan (editor of the tert.am news website), Ruben Markaryan (editor of Yerkir weekly), Hakob Chakryan (Azg), Anna Israyelyan (Aravot daily), Tatul Hakobyan (Armenian Reporter), Levon Barseghyan (Asparez Journalists Club, Gyumri).

Two months later, on 17-20 December 2009, EPF organised a visit by Turkish journalists to Armenia. The group met with the Armenian journalists who had earlier come to Turkey, spoke with Armenian officials (including the Minister of Foreign Affairs), held press conferences and gave a number of interviews. The Turkish participants were Ferhat Boratav (CNN Turk), Kadri Gursel (Milliyet), Ozgur Ulusoy (Cumhuriyet), Senay Yildiz (Aksam), Ipek Yezdani (Milliyet), David Judson (Hurriyet Daily News), Bilge Eser (Sabah), Irem Koker (Hurriyet), Gokce Aytulu (Referans) and Markar Esayan (Taraf), as well as Mensur Akgun, Sylvia Tiryaki and Can Yirik (from the Global Political Trends Center (GPoT)).

On 25-27 March 2010 EPF and GPoT organised a high-level visit by retired Turkish officials and top journalists to Armenia. The group included Yalim Eralp (ex-spokesman of the Turkish MFA and former Principal Advisor to Prime Ministers Mesut Yilmaz and Tansu Ciller); Sadi Erguvenc (retired Lieutenant General of the Turkish Air Force, former head of the Intelligence Department at the National Security Council Secretariat and the Strategy and Force Planning Division at the General Staff); Mehmet Ali Birand, (executive editor of CNN Turk and Kanal D anchorman); Erdal Guven (columnist at Radikal); Sami Kohen (columnist at Milliyet); Anna Turay (Group 7 Public Relations); and Dilhan Deniz Kilislioglu (journalist at CNN Turk).

On 8-11 July nine opinion makers and media professionals from Armenia visited Turkey to discuss with Turkish counterparts the entire range of recent developments in Armenia-Turkey relations. On July 8th, the group participated in a conference entitled ‘Turkey-Armenia Policy Discussions’ and discussed the acceleration of the civil society dialogue to address the current diplomatic impasse in bilateral relations.  On the second day of the visit, the group was in Ankara to meet with several senior Turkish officials: Feridun Sinirlioğlu, the Director-General of the Turkish Foreign Ministry who spoke on the current situation in Turkish-Armenian relations and explained the Ministry's vision in carrying the relationship forward; Suat Kınıklıoğlu, MP (AKP), Deputy Director of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Spokesperson for Parliament's Foreign Relations Commission, and Yaşar Yakış, MP (AKP), former Minister of Foreign Affairs and ambassador. Mr. Kınıklıoğlu and Mr. Yakış also briefed the group on the government's activities and stance on Armenian-Turkish rapprochement and answered questions from the Armenian journalists and experts. 

In September 2010 Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) together with Istanbul-based Global Political Trends Center (GPoT) held a two workshops entitled “Talks on Turkey/Armenia” for Armenian and Turkish journalists ( 15 from each country) covering history, culture, political and social structures of modern Turkey and Armenia. Turkish and Armenian experts traveled to Yerevan and Istanbul both to make presentations at the workshops and to give interviews to foreign page editors of leading newspapers and TV channels. The Yerevan workshop took place on 2-5 September with lectures delivered by Zafer Yörük (Lecturer of Media and Politics at Izmir University of Economics) and Behlül Özkan (Lecturer of Foreign Policy at Bogazici University in Istanbul). The topic was ‘Nuts-and-bolts of Turkish domestic politics: the mechanisms, the power, the party system.’  In Istanbul on September 20-22, Armenian experts Heghine Manasyan (Country Director for Caucasus Research Resource Center), and Hovhannes Hovhannisyan (Associate Professor of Theology, Yerevan State University) delivered lectures on Armenia for the Turkish journalists. Coverage of this event available at:  http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=armenia8217s-european-perpectives-2010-09-23

On 7-10 October EPF brought five Turkish tour operators to Armenia for a four day familiarization tour and also held a special workshop meeting with Armenian tour operators on October 8th. On 4-9 November, Armenian tour operators and media representatives (13 persons in total) paid a return trip to the Eastern parts of Turkey to get to know the region. A workshop meeting with Turkish counterparts was held in Van on 6 November.

On 28 June 2010, EPF announced a call for proposals to produce video reports about Turkey and a series of interviews with political figures and opinion-makers in Turkey.  The winning team (Yerkir Media TV) was identified and contracted in the end of July.  The finalized video reports were submitted to EPF in late-September 2010. Four short films were broadcasted in November 2010 on Yerkir Media TV channel and 4 talk shows were organized following the broadcast of those films.
One of the last EPF activities in 2010 was the 3-day joint meeting (Armenia-Turkey Policy Discussions) held 22-24 November in Yerevan in which Armenian and Turkish experts wrapped up the year by evaluating the completed projects and their influence on the Turkey-Armenia dialogue process. The second and third days of the meetings were mostly devoted to the design of the future steps and follow-up activities. The participants broke into 4 groups to discuss the four major legs of the future programs, namely state-to-state relations, business development, civil society and media, and open dialogue projects. Petros Ghazaryan from Kentron TV hosted GPoT Director Dr. Mensur Akgun as a guest on his TV talk show.


Eurasia Partnership Foundation Staff

Gevorg Ter-Gabrielyan (Country Director)

Ter-Gabrielyan joined EPF with over 18 years of experience in the private, public and NGO sectors. He was previously Senior Policy Advisor and Eurasia Programme Manager for International Alert in London and the Deputy Director of the Center for Regional Research in Yerevan. He has taught courses on politics and economics with a focus on the Caucasus and the United States at both Yerevan State University and Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He has also worked as a business consultant in Moscow. Ter-Gabrielyan holds a PhD from Moscow State University in Turkic Linguistics, a Masters Degree in Society and Politics from Lancaster University, and a Masters in Public Administration from Bowling Green State University.

E-mail: gtergabrielyan@epfound.am

 

Vazgen Karapetyan (Associate Country Director)

Vazgen Karapetyan joined EPF in 1998 as a Programme Coordinator for the newly established South Caucasus Cooperation Programme. In 2003-2004 he studied at the Department of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill under the Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Programme. Before re-joining the Foundation in 2006, he worked as Programme Manager with Catholic Relief Services in Armenia. Karapetyan is a graduate of the Yerevan State Medical Institute. He also holds an MA in Political Science and International Relations from the American University of Armenia. He is a member of Transparency International's Anti-Corruption Center (Board Member since 2006).

E-mail: vkarapetyan@epfound.am

 

Artak Shakaryan

Artak Shakaryan joined the Foundation in 2009 as a Programme Manager for the newly established "Mutual Bias and Objectivity in the Media of Armenia and Turkey" and "Armenian Labour Migration in Turkey" projects. Prior to joining EPF, he held leading positions at the Armenian National Academy of Sciences and the Ministry of Sport and Youth Issues. He has a BA and an MA in Turkish Studies from Yerevan State University and a Ph.D. in Ottoman Studies from the Armenian National Academy of Sciences. Shakaryan is fluent in Turkish. As a Turkologist he often appears at press or academic conferences to talk about developments in Armenian-Turkish relations. He also publishes commentary on the subject on his blog, www.blog.co.uk/user/sugartak/ (in English) and www.turkaget.wordpress.com/ (in Armenian and Russian).

E-mail: ashakaryan@epfound.am

Eurasia Partnership Foundation
56 Zarobyan Str.
Yerevan 0009, Armenia.

Tel: +374 10 586095,
Fax: +374 10 586096

E-mail: info@epfound.am

August 2010

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