Conversations Across the Divide

Led by Harry Tzimitras
Jan 2015 -

​​​This project aims at fostering knowledge exchange and journalistic dialogue from both sides of th​​e divide in Cyprus. Aiming to discuss themes such as the north Cyprus presidential elections, the Turkish elections in June, and the resumption of negotiations. Possible visits to Istanbul and Athens to observe latest developments, especially in relation to the elections in Greece and Turkey an​d their potential effects for Cyprus.​​

​In February 2017, the PCC co-organized the conference "Challenges to Press Freedom" with the European Parliament Office in Cyprus, the Embassy of Sweden, and the Foreign Ministries of Denmark, Finland and Norway. The one-day conference addressed present-day challenges to freedom of speech in Europe and around the world. The program included Anna Olsson Vrang, Ambassador of Sweden in Cyprus, who spoke about the increasing threats to the freedom of expression; Dunja Mijatovic, the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, who delivered the keynote; and a video message to conference participants from Maired McGuinness, 1st Vice President of the European Parliament, who said that the EP strongly defends media and press freedom. Other speakers included Jonathan Lundqvist, Chairman of the Swedish department of the organisation Reporters Without Borders; Andrey Richter, Senior Advisor to the OSCE Representative on Freedom of Media; and Janne Virkunen, Former Editor-in-Chief of Helsing Sanomat of Finland. A second part of the conference concerned structural and political barriers to media freedom in Cyprus and included journalists from both sides of the divide, as well as PCC researcher Mete Hatay.

After this conference, the OSCE invited the Cypriot journalist associations to Vienna for further evaluation, and the meeting concluded with project proposals, including journalist exchanges across the divide.


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