Breaking the Ice: The Role of Civil Society and Media in Turkey-Armenia Relations

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Almost three years have passed since the Protocols on Turkey-Armenia relations were signed in October 2009. With their failure to be ratified less than a year later, Turkey-Armenia relations have once again seemingly fallen off of the Turkish government, media and public's agenda. Three years from now on April 24, Armenians will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the mass massacres and deportations of Armenians that took place in the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1917. Without a new initiative to re- start the rapprochement process, it seems like the next time the Armenia issue will be on Turkey's agenda in a significant way will be during this commemoration. In short, official relations are "frozen" at present and perhaps for the near future. Yet GPoT Center's extensive experience in "second-track" diplomacy and conflict resolution projects in various countries gives it a long-term view that lends it hope about future prospects for Turkey- Armenia relations. Particularly in Armenia, GPoT has enacted and continues to enact numerous exchange programs, roundtable discussions and research projects with its Armenian partners that bring together stakeholders from both countries to create and foster dialogue.

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