Παρασκευή, 31 Οκτωβρίου 2008

Turkey - Armenian "mutual understanding" - στα πρόθυρα ΑρμενοΤουρκικής φιλίας ?

VERCİHAN ZİFLİOĞLUISTANBUL - Turkish Daily News http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=118874
The rapprochement that started with the Turkish president's visit to Yerevan last month to watch a Turkey-Armenia football match has also intensified the efforts of non-political actors in the two countries. As officials in both countries continue seeking greater formal reconciliation, a group of Turkish and Armenians historians and social scientists gathered around a table in the Armenian capital Yerevan last month to hold an academic discussion about ways to reach mutual understanding.
The academics were brought together by the Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association, or DVV International, the main aim of which is to establish peace and stability in Central Asia and the Caucasus. Turkish and Armenian social scientists and historians brainstormed on the two peoples' past and present relations during a weekend workshop titled “History and Building Bridges for Dialogue and Understanding.” During the meeting, the parties exchanged views on the richness of oral and documentary history that is either not utilized or used selectively to substantiate partisan viewpoints. After scientists became acquainted with each other individually, they analyzed the Turkish-Armenian relations from an academic perspective based on past and present experiences. The countries' education systems were scrutinized, with the official history taught in schools and its effects on future generations specifically criticized.
Participants from Armenia and from Turkey included professor Doğu Ergil, professor Leyla Neyzi of Sabancı University, historian Fikret Adanır and professor Ayhan Aktar, and spoke to the Turkish Daily News about their unique academic workshop in Yerevan. The academics had the chance to discuss, free of prejudice, various issues during the meeting. Ergil, Neyzi, Adanır articulated a shared view, saying they and the Armenian participants were looking for academic means to understand one another and that the chance to meet was an opportunity they cherished. A second meeting will soon be held as part of the project. Historians from both countries will focus on existing historical documents, and social scientists will collect oral history. Based on primary and secondary sources, the academics will then shed light on the experiences of the two peoples over the last century. Figures and documents collected during the project will be gathered in a book that will be written in Turkish, Armenian, German and English and in an easily understandable form and tone. The targeted audience for the book is ordinary citizens in Turkey and Armenia. The book will be sold where it is easily accessible for both peoples.

Bilateral relations through academic lens Ergil, who noted they approached history as a coherent unit during the workshop, said they did not focus on a specific period or event. “We are two peoples who have lived together for centuries,” he said, adding that during the workshop they searched for answers to the following questions: Why was a centuries-long joint journey of two peoples stopped? Can that journey restart? If it restarts, what kind of responsibilities should academics undertake? Ergil said history is full of bitter episodes between Turks and Armenians, but in the end, the two peoples should meet on common ground.
“During the studies we will carry out, we shall not take phenomena we have already had in mind as Turkish and Armenian historians but phenomena that have been experienced by people of both sides. Our main goal is to bring to light a map of emotions and values shared by Turks and Armenians,” he said. An official from DVV International said any meetings between Turks and Armenians often becomes marked by the painful events that occurred in 1915.
“We Armenians still carry traces of that big pain inside us,” the official said. “The attitude of Turkish academics with whom we collaborated was highly objective. We had the opportunity to discuss many issues from a perspective that was free from prejudices.” He also highlighted the significance of cooperation of Turkish and Armenian social scientists. He said such meetings and joint projects would contribute to solving problems and establishing dialogue between the two peoples.
Academics' dream
Neyzi, an anthropologist, said studies they planned to undertake would not be based on official history accounts but focus on ordinary individuals. “We, as Turkish and Armenian academics, share a dream,” she said. “Our dream is for friendship, reconciliation and dialogue.” The biggest mission of such projects is to look at the issues from different perspectives and to prepare ground that will allow for a tolerance-oriented coverage of history to flourish, she said. Adanır, on the other hand, said he was happy to meet Armenian colleagues. “Our project is currently in its preparatory stage. But I am hopeful about the results.”

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but here is the other part of the 'friendship" story >>.. http://armenianaffairs.blogspot.com/
η άλλη όψη της "ιστορικής" φιλίας " εδω .. >> http://armenianaffairs.blogspot.com/2006/02/armenian-letters-3-justice-does-not_06.html .. Out of twelve tactics of Genocide denial ..>>

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