By Roza Grigoryan
Photos by Armen Simonyan
Yerevan-Istanbul Open Camp: creating bridges
From June 25 to July 2, Mkhitar Sebastatsi Educational Complex of Yerevan is hosting the Yerevan-Istanbul Open Camp for learners of different ages, including the learners and teachers of Karagyozyan Armenian School of Istanbul.

During the camping event, the learners and teachers of Yerevan and Istanbul will implement joint projects devoted to native studies, technologies, music, sports, education and entertaining projects and will participate in the authentic ritual wedding project (part of an open ethnographic festival).

In an interview with, the camp’s director Knarik Nersisyan noted that the group from Istanbul’s Karagyozyan Armenian School was visiting Armenia for the first time ever. This camp is expanding the Armenian-Turkish educational-cultural exchanges program through which the Educational Complex collaborates with the Hrant Dink Foundation and Istanbul’s Dadian School. Joint and ongoing programs for preservation of cultural heritage and exchange programs are held with emphasis on regional cooperation.

“A month ago, we visited Dadian School in Istanbul where we collaborated in the field of education for the first time. This was followed by the initiative of the Karagyozyan School and the visit. We have launched a series of projects, and in October, we will be visiting Karagyozyan School to make our cooperation ongoing,” Knarik Nersisyan stressed in an interview with

According to her, the group of Karagyozyan School mainly consists of Armenians, but there are also Turkish teachers who have even participated in a liturgy at an Armenian church.

“There are 35 people from Istanbul, and 50-60 Armenian learners. We establish cordial and family ties. We want to eliminate the barrier in Turkish-Armenian relations with these kinds of projects. After all, political issues can be solved through education,” Knarik Nersisyan noted.

Let us add that there are three items on the agenda, including Armenian-Turkish educational and cultural bridges, Yerevan-Istanbul open camp and continuity, development, expansion of launched projects and response visit.