Creating space for cooperation: Counterpart Armenia heads to Turkey
Posted by civilsocietyindex on March 2, 2010
Following a video update last week, this week Counterpart International Armenia, CIVICUS’ partners implementing the Civil Society Index, report in more detail on the Cross-Border Initiative.
On February 18, 2010, an unprecedented step was made in Turkish-Armenian civil society cooperation. A group from Counterpart International Armenia travelled to Istanbul, Turkey, for a two-day working meeting with the Third Sector Foundation of Turkey, or TUSEV. The trip was the first activity in the Cross-Border Cooperation Initiative, a continuation of the CIVICUS Civil Society Index (CSI), generously supported by USAID and the Black Sea Trust. While Counterpart Armenia is implementing the CSI in Armenia, TUSEV is carrying it out in Turkey. The goal of the Cross-Border project is to compare Turkish and Armenian civil societies, find similarities and differences, and create future opportunities for cooperation between organisations on the two sides of the border.
The working meeting at TUSEV addressed many important issues. The two organisations first presented their research findings in the framework of the CSI, discussed similarities and differences in the civil societies of each country and discovered areas in which they can share experiences and learn from each other.
The two teams set the framework for the future activities to take place within this initiative. The structures and formats for the outputs of the project, the comparative study and the joint workshop were discussed and agreed upon. The next steps include carrying out the joint comparative study of the two civil societies and a reciprocal visit by the Turkish CSI National Implementation Team to Yerevan in April 2010, to attend Counterpart Armenia’s National Civil Society Conference. During this Conference, a joint workshop will be held dedicated to the Cross-Border Cooperation Initiative.
Counterpart was also able to meet with representatives from many Turkish CSOs that are working with Armenian organisations such as the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV), the Hrant Dink Foundation, Agos, and the Bahçeşehir University. During these meetings other cross-border projects were discussed and many areas for future cooperation were identified.
Looking beyond this Initiative, both organisations are hopeful that the activities carried out within its framework will lead to more opportunities for interaction and cooperation between Turkish and Armenian CSOs.
Below, watch a feature video produced by Counterpart International Armenia on the initiative