In an effort to better understand the new dynamics between Turkey and Armenia after the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War in 2020, and the absence of civil society and grassroots engagement in the normalization process, The Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation conducted a parallel study in Armenia and Turkey from October 2022 to May 2023. As part of this exercise, the project team held 55 one-on-one interviews in both countries. In major cities (Yerevan, Ankara, İstanbul), the project team met with policy-makers, former diplomats, civil society actors, and analysts previously involved in Armenia-Turkey dialogue/ normalization efforts. The project team also organized field visits to the Armavir and Shirak regions in Armenia as well as the cities of Kars and Iğdır in Turkey and met representatives from local communities living in border cities.

This report consists of three sections: the first is focused on questions surrounding the mistrust that hinders communication on both official and unofficial levels; the second explores the information and analysis gap that exists between the two societies, making each side’s motives and interests hard to grasp; the third section looks into the economic interests and anxieties of the border communities. Each section is organized along the “problem-solution” continuum.

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