The South Caucasus and Turkey: History Lessons of the 20th Century

From the publisher Considering the idea of the regional cooperation among countries of South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia) and possible rap­prochement in Turkish-Armenian relations, the future dialogue among the societies of these countries becomes more and more important. The publication – “The South Caucasus and Turkey: History Lessons of the 20th Century” introduced by the South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, is the collection of scientific articles prepared by authors from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey presenting the research and analytical materials on the key issues regarding history lessons in the South Caucasus and Turkey. The analyses of the educational systems of these countries, in particular the textbooks on national and international histories in the context of collective memory, will contribute to the future discussions on the quality, aims and ideological content of the history courses in the South Caucasus and Turkey. Since 2006, the South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation promotes dialogue between the societies of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. As a result of the various activities of many actors in the civil society and scientific community in Turkey and South Caucasus, we can observe rising interest in mutual understanding and exchange. To further support the process, the South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation and the Heinrich Boell Foundation Turkey decided to establish Ani Dialogue – a forum for further exchange on areas of common interest between civil societies in Armenia and Turkey and thereby providing further possibilities. The aim of the Ani Dialogue is to foster rapprochement between the civil societies of Armenia and Turkey, thus also contributing to reconciliation and normalization of mutual ties on the state level. To achieve this, the Ani Dialogue, on the one hand, encourages endeavors of the societies of Armenia and Turkey to cope with the burden of historical legacies, and on the other hand, promotes efforts contributing to the sustainable democratic development of both countries. The Ani Dialogue aims for a synergy with other civil society initiatives in this field. In October 2009, supported by the US government, the foreign ministries of both countries have signed a historic accord normalizing relations after a century of hostility. However, ratification of the bilateral Protocols, indicating the establishment of diplomatic relations and agreeing on the opening of borders, has stalled in 2010 and the improvement in relations between the Armenian and Turkish governments has come to a standstill. Meanwhile, the two societies are increasingly interested in knowing about each other, starting to open mental borders and establishing ties. In Turkey, we can observe an increasing activity of civil society actors to cope with the historical burden as well as to search for possibilities to build a common future with the society of Armenia. The contacts on civil society level have begun even prior to the official rapprochement and have continued after its suspension. This process has become a ground for the idea to establish the Ani Dialogue by the Heinrich Boell Foundation and thus further support the cooperation between the two societies. The Ani Dialogue is built on this interest in mutual understanding, exchange and co-operation of the societies. This publication presents one more contribution and effort of the South Caucasus Regional Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation to continue supporting the process of understanding, experience-sharing and establishment of mutual ties in the South Caucasus and Turkey.

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Heinrich Boell Foundation
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Sergey Rumyantsev. Introduction. "History Lessons" in the Year of "Anniversary" Part 1. Beginning of the 20th Century: “Recent” Past Ilham Abbasov. Azerbaijan from 1918-1920s: Experience of Deconstruction of the Myths about “Eternal Friendship” and “Bitter Enmity” Satenik Mkrtchyan. The Republic of Armenia’s Neighbours at the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries in Contemporary World History Textbooks Nino Chikovani. The Images of Self and Neighbours in Georgian History Textbooks: Representation of the Events of the Beginning of the 20th Century in the Post-Soviet Period Ceyhan Suvari. The Effect of Religious Identity on the Construction of Otherness: Perception Of Armenian Identity in the Turkish Education System Part 2. The End of the 20th Century: Searching for New Interpretations Sevil Huseynova. Azerbaijan in the Late 20th – Early 21st Centuries: Ethnic Boundaries in the Context of Relations with “Neighbours” Mikael Zolyan. Writing the History of Present: The Post-Soviet Period in Armenian History Textbooks Ruslan Baramidze. April 9, 1989 as a Site of Memory: The Policy of Commemoration and History Teaching in Georgia Elif Kanca. The “Single Nation, Two States” Idea: Turkey-Azerbaijan Relations in the Post-Soviet Period