I talked with the co-founders of the Turkish-Armenian Synergy Initiative (TAS), Bircan Ünver, The Light Millennium (NY) and Diana Khachaturyan, Civil Socity Institute (Yerevan) on the TAS and its visionary acts on peace and unity of the societies.
The Light Millennium (NY, USA) is collaborating with the Civil Society Institute (Yerevan, Armenia) to form and launch the Turkish-Armenian Synergy (TAS) Initiative which was originally proposed openly over the Internet in October and November 2007. For the Turkish-Armenian Synergy Initiative, Bircan Unver’s Manifesto for Revolutionary Relations #4 see:>www.lightmillennium.org
The manifesto is an outline to set up the vision and ground for the Initiative. Regardless, it is an ongoing process that needs to be developed. The Turkish-Armenian Synergy Initiative will be developed and activated under the Light Millennium organization. However, when the conditions are met, both co-founders/collaborators of the Initiative may consider forming it as an independent institution in the future.
I was also curious about how this “Turkish-Armenian Synergy Initiative” partnership between Light Millennium and Civil Society Institute came about since both as the cofounders as well as the institutions are different parts of the world. With that thought, I proposed an interview to Diana Khachaturyan, confounder of the TAS in Yerevan, Armenia & with the Civil Society Institute for Turkish Journal, and below her responses.
As first, let’s briefly introduce of Diana Khachaturyan: She graduated Armenian-Russian (Slavonic) University, department of International Relations in 2007. In May 2008 she got involved into activities of Civil Society Institute (CSI :www.csi.am), first as a project assistant, than as Turkish-Armenian project coordinator.
First of all, I would like to learn more about CSI…
“CSI is a non-governmental organization based in Yerevan which aims to assist and promote the establishment of a free and democratic society in Armenia. Since 2005 Peace building and Conflict Transformation department has been operating within CSI” she says.
How did you get involved in CSI?
Suddenly; once I went to participate at some discussions/roundtable organized in CSI and since that time I am there.
How did you have contact with Bircan Unver?
Suddenly I came across the manifesto of Bircan in internet and immediately e-mailed her.
What makes this “Turkish-Armenian Synergy” different?
TAS is supposed to involve not only Armenians from Armenia and Turks from Turkey but also Armenians and Turks from the USA and all over the world in order to work jointly attempting to contribute to reconciliation of two people.
How did people react after learning this program?
Positively… with high interest…
Public feel tired of hearing racist and dishonest histories. Do you think “Turkish-Armenian Synergy” is given a fair chance to hear all sides?
May be… I consider that we, as the both co-founders and the TAS do not consider to involve any “racist and dishonest histories” that are overdone, and won’t serve to any good outcome within the context of the TAS’s Purposes – Open Letter as well as its initial proposal as Bircan’s Manifesto. Anyone likes to continue to or insist to escalate the tension or threat, they can go on another 100 years but this is not, our mission-vision and to form the TAS in terms of creating a discussion platform as a balance or alternate to those long-existing ones… Moreover, if we ever take that chronic and lacked direction, we cannot produce anything else as well as we could easily loose our ground and trust in the communities we live in. In that approach, they won’t pay any attention to us or bother to give us any support for our joint efforts towards to reconciliation and peace. Therefore, we choose to take completely a new direction that also is in line with the signed Protocols.
What is your pure goal?
I consider that our pure goal is to serve peace and highlights the good and much more longer parts of history, and link it with the present and future.
Could you talk a little bit about what is the mood right now in both sides?
I am not aware about current mood in Turkey; in Armenia we can observe hot discussions on the issue everywhere on all levels, everyone independently from age and occupation follows the political developments
Were you able to follow the recent Turkish Armenian issues in US?
If you mean a response of Diasporas regarding Protocols, I am aware about it.
Is there anything else you would like to add to conclude this interview?
Thanks for your interest.