November 30, 2009

State of Armenian Irregular Migrants in Turkey

On November 30, 2009 CRRC-Armenia hosted a presentation on the main findings of the investigative journalistic research “State of Armenian Irregular Migrants in Turkey”. The presentation held by Armenia-Turkey Project manager at Eurasia Partnership Foundation, Artak Shakaryan, was based on the research paper authored by Alin Ozinian.

The investigative journalistic research has been carried out in Istanbul, Antalya, Trabzon and Ankara, through focus group and in-depth interviews, as part of the Eurasia Partnership Foundation “Identifying the State of Armenian Migrants in Turkey” project.

The exact number of Armenian migrants in Turkey is unknown to this day, but according to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan the real number was 50.000 in January 2009. Other politicians have suggested different numbers reaching as high as 70.000. According to the study about 95% of all the illegal Armenian workers in Turkey are women. It is teresting that most of the Armenian immigrant men don’t work and come to Turkey to stay with their wives and keep them safe.

Armenian migrants mostly live and work in Istanbul. Some of them also work in Antalya or Alanya during the summer period as a hotel personnel but they stay just for 3 or 4 months. Most of the illegal Armenian women workers are between 40 and 60 years old. The youngest of them are 20 years old.

The incomes of the Armenian immigrants are between 100 USD and 600 USD, rarely it may rise to 1000 USD. The factory workers get the lowest income. Women who work as house-maids or baby-sitter have clearly stated that they would be ashamed to do such a job in Armenia because of the acquaintances in their homeland.

The situation of the children of Armenian migrants, however, is the most heartbreaking subject. The children of Armenian migrants cannot go to any public school or Armenian Minority school as they have no Turkish citizenship. Most of these uneducated children spend their lives by playing on the streets. They are prone to have bad habits and develop a criminal personality.

The concern was raised during the meeting of Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Ergdogan and His Eminence Archbishop Aram Ateshian and the Armenian delegation at Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul on November 6. Erdogan assured the Armenian delegation that over time all problems will receive their solutions. Most importantly, he gave a positive resolution to the problem of the children of Armenian irregular migrants working in Istanbul allowing them to be included in Armenian community schools as “guest students”.

The event is covered by PanARMENIAN.NeT Armenian News Agency here.

November 11, 2009

IMF Regional Economic Outlook for the Caucasus and Central Asia

The global crisis has severely impacted the Caucasus and Central Asia (CCA), with growth for the region now projected to drop from 6.6 percent in 2008 to 1.5 percent in 2009. But this average masks important differences across countries. Most CCA energy exporters are projected to record solid growth in 2009, given limited linkages to international markets, long-term energy export contracts, and supportive policies.

However, the energy importers, including Armenia, are facing a marked slowdown in growth and deteriorating living standards as a result of a sharp drop in remittances from Russia. In 2010, a modest recovery is expected for the CCA as a whole, including for Armenia.

These and other issues were discussed at a lecture organized by CRRC-Armenia and conducted by Ms. Nienke Oomes, the IMF Resident Representative in Armenia on November 10, 2009 at YSU Big Hall. The lecture was based at IMF recent publication "Regional Economic Outlook: Middle East and Central Asia", which can be downloaded from the IMF website.

November 6, 2009

CRRC Publication Research Fellowships 2009

CRRC Publication Research Fellowships 2009 AvailableExplore issues – handle data – satisfy your curiosity – get published – generate opportunities
CRRC is offering a new round of research fellowships. Are you curious about a social science issue? Do you have some ideas or hypotheses that you want to explore further? This fellowship could be the perfect opportunity for you!

What issues are we looking to address?
We're looking for social science research that addresses pressing issues your country faces. The Millennium Development Goals (click here) constitute one such urgent research agenda. Other likely issues include child poverty, youth, social capital, migration and democratization. Pretty much any advanced analysis based on our Data Initiative is of interest to us. We can also help you develop your topic if you are unsure about it, but are committed to undertaking professional research. Look at our blogs, and, to see some of the issuesthat previous fellows have worked on.

What issues are we NOT looking to address?
We are open to innovative ideas and projects. But we are not particularly interested in geopolitical studies, partisan pieces, or research that is unfocused, speculative (or too theoretical) and does not ground itself in the relevant existing literature. We prefer research that can make a real impact by improving people's lives.

What results?
We want you to produce international quality research. You should aim to publish your research in a peer-reviewed journal (we will help you find one). This will give your research international recognition. We also expect your work to contain prescriptive richness and ask you to present you findings to relevant interested groups (international organizations, NGOs, government agencies) in your home country. We definitely want you to use some of our great data from the Data Initiative and other surveys.

Who is the fellowship for?You are smart, committed, curious and want to apply all your abilities. Typically you will have at least a Master's Degree. You are committed to develop your research ability and have a track record of excellence. You may work in fields other than research, but you are interested in getting back into research because you realize there are excellent long-term opportunities there. We require a working knowledge of English, since you want to publish internationally. Exceptions can be made for those doing quantitative and survey work. (Sorry, no funding for stipends abroad, or for expatriates.)

What do you get?
Primarily you get the satisfaction of doing excellent work and of being part of a small but vibrant community of internationally recognized research scholars in the South Caucasus. Moreover, if you get published internationally, many opportunities follow. The fellowship provides an opportunity to prove your professionalism, which you can use for many other applications (jobs, consultancy work, joint research projects, conference participation, and international research stipends such as CRRC’s Carnegie Fellowship, to name the most obvious). Depending on your research project, you can also get between 2000 and 4000 USD for pursuing your research interest (surveys, for example, may have higher costs).

Is it easy?Yes and no. We will help at every step. But it certainly is not easy money. In research you confront new challenges and difficult decisions all the time. That is why we are doing it, after all. It requires determination and persistence -- we hope you will join us in the thrill of discovery.

How to prepare?
Our online application procedure is specifically designed to help you develop your research proposal. Write us a short e-mail now (latest by November 13, 2009) at to find out more, telling us about your field of interest, and, if you have it, your provisional research topic. We will send you an email to let you know about the next step and to invite you to discuss your ideas at our open houses.