Degree Name

MA in Conflict Transformation

First Advisor

Tatsushi Arai


The relationship between Turkey and Armenia for the last 95 years has been complicated by the memories of the tragic events of 1915 - 1923, that were acknowledged as Genocide by a number of countries and that are still defined by Turkey as casualties during deportation. Currently, both countries are going through the process of admission to the European Union and are working on various scenarios for effective conflict resolution. One of the potential scenarios is a political apology and forgiveness.

This research concentrates on the readiness of the Armenian society to grant forgiveness and on the conditions under which the apology would be accepted. Using the case study of the Apology Campaign directed to “Armenian brothers and sisters” and initiated by Turkish intellectuals in 2008, this research focuses on the retrospective perception of the campaign by Armenian professionals working on issues of civil society development. Due to the nature of their occupation, education, and work experience they are, more than anybody else in the country, ready to reflect on the possibility of accepting an apology and granting forgiveness. The primary question of this research is about the reasons explaining lack of a feedback to the Apology Campaign. Secondary questions were posed to explore the conditions under which forgiveness can be granted. The analysis of the research participants’ feedback provides an indication of the highest level of potential for forgiveness currently present in the Armenian society.

A qualitative methodology approach was used to capture the individual experiences of the subjects interviewed. Phenomenological interviewing was the primary source of data collection and analysis. Data collection included face-to-face interviews with 7 participants, a thorough review of the books, blogs and studies of the conflict available in the Internet.

The battle for the soul of the Armenian republic is in the response to the question: is the Republic to be defined by the Genocide and anti-Turkism or become a normal state in peace with its neighbors and in pursuit of the welfare and security of its citizens?


Peace and Conflict Studies


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