Turkish Journalists in Armenia

Muge Akgun, Journalist of the Turkish Radical newspaper, writes about travelling, culture and cuisine. Sonia Tashjian, popular chef of the Armenian television cuisine, ethnographer, travels throughout Armenia, collects and publishes forgotten recipes. Muge and Sonia met in Yerevan, at Sonia’s home. The Turkish journalist tasted “treasures” of the Armenian cuisine and published recipes of some of them in the Radical newspaper.

“Sonia’s home is a real Armenian family hearth. Everything is incredibly tasty here. Aveluk, ghavurma, motal cheese, salads dressed with thyme and the Armenian traditional tarehac,” Muge writes.

Together with her Turkish colleagues Muge Akgun visited Armenia within the framework of Internews’ Dialogue-Building Between Turkey and Armenia project. As part of the journalists exchange component of the project, during April-May 2011, journalists of five leading Armenian media outlets visited Turkey, in July journalists օf the TRT National Broadcast Company carried out filming activities in Armenia, and during November 21-24 popular four Turkish columnists and journalists concluded the project.

Muge Akgun (Radical), Serhan Yedig (Hurriet), Mutlu Tonbekici (Vatan) and Erdal Guven (freelance journalist) visited historical and cultural sites of Armenia, met their Armenian colleagues, representatives of NGOs and politicians, were present in the concert of Narek Kazazyan, 16-year-old traditional Armenian kanon player, made a tour in Yerevan, did shopping in the local food market.

“In a Soviet style huge market I buy aveluk from an old lady representing a typical small business. “Where are you from?”, she asks. My answer is “From Turkey.” The old lady adds a new bunch of aveluk to the already weighted one as a gift and says: “Good you have come here,” Mutlu Tonbekici writes in her column of Vatan daily. She tells about the “Vana khash” meal and Ararat. “This mountain is seen, but is never visible for everyone. When I saw it after two days of waiting, I realized what a wonder Ararat – Yerevan’s Bosporus – is.”

The Turkish journalists were constantly receiving sms messages from their colleagues, who had previously visited Armenia. The colleagues were advising them to visit some sites, eat some meals, meet some people. Thus, the journalists visited Sergey Parajanov museum, Genocide museum, tasted Armenian traditional lavash right from the stove.