The Hrant Dink Foundation has established a fellowship scheme with a view to promote cross-border affiliation and cooperation among professionals from the two neighboring countries within the framework of the Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalization Process program financed by the European Union, the Hurriyet Daily News reports.
Executives from the foundation as well as the Delegation of the European Commission to Turkey gathered with representatives of civil society organizations, as well as individuals, at a meeting held in Ankara on June 7. During this meeting they briefed them on the 25 host organizations from Armenia and the programs that they offered as part of the Turkey-Armenia Fellowship Scheme.
In addition those 25 organizations in the estranged neighbor, some 63 organizations from Turkey are also ready to act as host organizations for fellows from Armenia.
During the meeting in Ankara, a member of the selection committee recalled how civil society from Greece and Turkey was in an interactive dialogue and cooperation in the late 1990s and in early 2000s and how this dialogue eventually paved the way for a rapprochement between the Aegean neighbors, who were also estranged until recently.
“Civil society is giving an impetus to politics,” she said, likening the ongoing efforts of dialogue between civil societies in Armenia and Turkey to what happened betweenGreece and Turkey at the time.
“In a way, civil society is actually also strengthening the hands of politicians for taking bolder steps towards each other,” she added.