European Union Initiative
Closed Borders, Open Minds training took place in Yerevan
Armenia | Regional Studies Center
Regional Studies Center Foundation, in partnership with Civic Forum NGO conducted a training course entitled “Closed Borders, Open Minds” within the framework of the programme Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process financed by the European Union. The first phase of the training course took place in Yerevan, Armenia on 12-18 May 2014.

The training course aimed at deepening participants’ knowledge, developing their skills and shaping positive opinion and political context on the Armenia-Turkey normalisation process. The objectives of the first training course were:


to promote active citizenship among the participants by motivating them to act as agents of change and opinion leaders in their local communities;


to give an opportunity of sharing experience on non-violent actions and advocacy campaigns, and learning from the best practices and failures;


to create a platform and set ground for future cooperation across the borders by bringing together youth leaders from both countries and equipping them with tools and methods;


to serve as a framework for intercultural dialogue and communication between the participants;


to encourage the participants to contribute to the Armenia-Turkey normalisation process by making an effort in their personal and professional capacities;


to advocate with policy-makers a faster Armenia-Turkey normalisation process.


The training course was based on non-formal education methodology, including work in small groups, debates, discussions, workshops, visits, etc. Contributions from experts in the field of human rights established a theoretical framework and a common reference point for learning and communication, and there were opportunities to meet civic activists who will share their practical experience. The project was adapted to the needs and expectations of the participants.




  • Cengiz Sinem, correspondent for Todays Zaman Newspaper

  • Izturan Gurkan, freelance writer and journalist

  • Tatar Atakan, member of Young Europeans of Turkey (JEF Turkey), Sociology student at Boğaziçi University, Istanbul

  • Umut Vedat, freelance photojournalist and film maker

  • Kaylaci Suzan, Raphael Lemkin Fellow of 2014 at the Armenian Genocide Museum Institute in Yerevan

  • Tatli Memhet Salih, Actual Youth Association, Political Science student at Ankara University

  • Arslanoglu Imren, Assistant Project Coordinator at Creative Istanbul Ateliers

  • Dalli Cem Mert, History student at Boğaziçi University

  • Vural Ahmet Yilmaz, English Language and Comparative Literature Student at Koç University


  • Grigoryan Seda, Research fellow at Archeology and Ethnography Institute

  • Ghazaryan Lilit, freelance journalist

  • Yeghoyan Arman, Civil Contract public movement

  • Ayvazyan Narek, Assistant to the PM, National Assembly of RA

  • Kiloian Manushak, International relations’ student at Yerevan State University

  • Midoyan Lilit, Communication officer at EcoLight, Project Coordinator at "Prim" community development fund

  • Ghazinyan Robert, Project Coordinator at Credo NGO

  • Sahakyan Julia, MA student at American University of Armenia

  • Gregorian Adrineh, independent documentary filmmaker
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