D. Nigar GÖKSEL
An inspiring conference on Turkey-Armenia relations was held in Yerevan this past Tuesday. At the end of the event, which was organized by the Yerevan-based Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation, and supported by the Eurasia Partnership Foundation and USAID, a number of students among the audience took the microphone kindly asking that their “elders” guide them in making a difference in the relationship. Thirty young students were motivated to give me their email addresses with hopes that I could link them with Turkish counterparts upon my return to Istanbul.
The conference witnessed a clash of opinions between Amberin Zaman, Turkey Correspondent of the Economist, and Chairman of the Liberal Democrat Party in Turkey Cem Toker, about Turkey’s domestic trends. By evening, the debate had made its way to the Armenian press under the title “TURKISH POLITICIAN AND JOURNALIST HOLD A HEATED DEBATE” – where the discussions were labeled “surprisingly frank.” Armenians were amazed to see Turks arguing with each other in Yerevan. “We imagine Turkey as one very unified bloc – in fact not only unified within its borders, but with the entire Turkic world,” a young Armenian man admitted hours after the conference.