Vartan Estukyan

(Journalist from Turkey, JiR in 2023/2024)

“My journey with ECPMF’s JiR programme began almost six months ago, a decision I consider to be life-changing. Like many of my colleagues, as an Armenian journalist working in Turkey, I’ve encountered numerous challenges. When I received several threats via email from an anonymous account, I pursued legal action, but the process never even started, as I had anticipated. This led me to question whether I should continue my career in journalism. However, after extensive discussions, I became convinced that journalists should not give up in the face of adversity. A colleague introduced me to ECPMF’s programme, and I applied without hesitation. Yet, it wasn’t just the programme itself that was remarkable; the team and the city were also wonderful and provided significant support during my time of uncertainty.

Through this programme, I was able to reset and breathe more easily than I had in a long time. It also afforded me the opportunity to learn German, a task that wasn’t as daunting as some had made it out to be, as well as participate in two crucial workshops focusing on digital security and video journalism.

Applying to this programme was unquestionably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I highly recommend it to anyone facing challenges or simply seeking a respite. I want to express my gratitude to the ECPMF team, who were incredibly friendly, supportive, and made everything seamless for the fellows.”

Photos: Andreas Lamm