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Turkish, Armenian NGOs push peace process through 'TANGO diplomacy'

 With political efforts to bring about reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia seemingly stymied, nongovernmental organizations are working on diplomatic moves of their own, planning a network to help Turkish and Armenian groups develop joint projects.
“It’s not always easy for governments to develop relations. However, short-term results can be achieved with the cooperation of NGOs, which can contribute to the efforts of the governments,” TKSSD Chairman Serdar Dinler told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Wednesday.
To that end, Dinler’s organization and the Armenian Marketing Association have launched the “TANGO Network Project” – “T” for Turkey and “A” for Armenia, plus “NGO” – in order to bring groups from both countries together.
Civil-society organizations from Turkey and Armenia will gather in Istanbul in October to make contacts, brainstorm new project ideas and discuss future joint opportunities to bring the countries’ peoples closer together in the absence of diplomatic ties.
“Such activities by civil-society organizations are essential in building the public support and social approval necessary for the success of the attempts [by the governments],” Dinler said. “In addition to the public and private sectors, the social sector combines sensitivity to the major, unmet needs of society with direct and indirect financial sources coming from the economies of the other two.”
The German Marshall Fund’s Black Sea Trust has already begun supporting the project; representatives from the fund, as well as from the U.S. Embassy in Turkey and the European Union, are expected to participate in the October gathering as potential donors.
The TANGO Network’s activities – which will include creating a website to foster cross-border communication between NGOs and highlight best practices from current and past projects in both countries – will help enable the Turkish and Armenian governments to better understand the situation of the two societies, Aram Navasardyan, the chairman of the Armenian Marketing Association, told the Daily News on Wednesday.
He added that the NGOs’ experiences will help the governments build their reconciliation efforts in a more proper way.
The Armenian NGOs that participated in the meeting in Yerevan included the Association of Armenian Industrialist Businessmen; the Civilitas Foundation, formed by former Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian; the Maternity Foundation of Armenia; Ararat World; the Center for Corporate Research; the Union of Armenian Government Employees; the Areg Scientific Culture Youth Association; the Spectrum Center for Strategic Analysis; the Achilles Center for Protection of Drivers’ Rights; the Armenian Union of Consumers; the World Independent Youth Organization; the Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation; the Eurasian Foundation; the International Center for Human Development; the European Movement in Armenia; the Caucasus Media Institute; the Civic Development and Partnership Foundation; the Araza Social Benevolent Organization; the Yerevan School of Political Studies; the Farmers’ National Union; and the Civil Society Education for Sustainable Development.

 

“It’s not always easy for governments to develop relations. However, short-term results can be achieved with the cooperation of NGOs, which can contribute to the efforts of the governments,” TKSSD Chairman Serdar Dinler told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Wednesday.
To that end, Dinler’s organization and the Armenian Marketing Association have launched the “TANGO Network Project” – “T” for Turkey and “A” for Armenia, plus “NGO” – in order to bring groups from both countries together.
Civil-society organizations from Turkey and Armenia will gather in Istanbul in October to make contacts, brainstorm new project ideas and discuss future joint opportunities to bring the countries’ peoples closer together in the absence of diplomatic ties.
“Such activities by civil-society organizations are essential in building the public support and social approval necessary for the success of the attempts [by the governments],” Dinler said. “In addition to the public and private sectors, the social sector combines sensitivity to the major, unmet needs of society with direct and indirect financial sources coming from the economies of the other two.”
The German Marshall Fund’s Black Sea Trust has already begun supporting the project; representatives from the fund, as well as from the U.S. Embassy in Turkey and the European Union, are expected to participate in the October gathering as potential donors.
The TANGO Network’s activities – which will include creating a website to foster cross-border communication between NGOs and highlight best practices from current and past projects in both countries – will help enable the Turkish and Armenian governments to better understand the situation of the two societies, Aram Navasardyan, the chairman of the Armenian Marketing Association, told the Daily News on Wednesday.
He added that the NGOs’ experiences will help the governments build their reconciliation efforts in a more proper way.
The Armenian NGOs that participated in the meeting in Yerevan included the Association of Armenian Industrialist Businessmen; the Civilitas Foundation, formed by former Armenian Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian; the Maternity Foundation of Armenia; Ararat World; the Center for Corporate Research; the Union of Armenian Government Employees; the Areg Scientific Culture Youth Association; the Spectrum Center for Strategic Analysis; the Achilles Center for Protection of Drivers’ Rights; the Armenian Union of Consumers; the World Independent Youth Organization; the Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation; the Eurasian Foundation; the International Center for Human Development; the European Movement in Armenia; the Caucasus Media Institute; the Civic Development and Partnership Foundation; the Araza Social Benevolent Organization; the Yerevan School of Political Studies; the Farmers’ National Union; and the Civil Society Education for Sustainable Development.