‘LANGUAGE, CULTURAL AND IDENTITY RIGHTS, AND DEVOLUTION IN WALES’
DPI recently organised a Comparative Study Visit to Wales, United Kingdom, which began on 21st June and was completed on 24th June 2012. The visit was hosted by the Welsh Government, and included numerous roundtable discussions with participants and key note speakers, in government buildings in Cardiff. Participants included journalists, academics, civil society representatives and Members of Parliament from Turkey’s main political parties. Panel speakers during the visit included the political party leaders in Wales; experts on language, cultural and identity issues in Wales; as well as specialists in the area of devolution in the United Kingdom; and other senior figures within government. In addition to roundtable discussions, a number of cultural visits were made by the delegation within Cardiff and in the surrounding area, including to the Wales Millennium Centre, the Millennium Stadium and the National Museum of Wales. This activity is part of DPI’s Turkey programme, which has previously included Comparative Study visits to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, as well as roundtable activities in Turkey.
The Comparative Study visit to Wales, entitled Language, Culture and Identity Rights and Devolution in Wales, examined issues of language, identity and culture in the context of Wales, and focused in particular on the subject of the United Kingdom’s devolution in the context of the Welsh experience.
Previous DPI activities in this series have taken place over the last year, with participants visiting London, Belfast, Dublin and Edinburgh, and taking part in roundtable discussions on diverse subjects including conflict resolution, constitutional arrangements, devolution in the Scottish and Northern Irish contexts, and language and identity issues across the United Kingdom. The response of these activities has been highly positive, with extensive media coverage and a continuation of discussion occurring as a result. Journalist Cengiz Çandar, a participant in the visit, commented on the success of the meetings, and remarked that \’the most striking aspect of this final part of the DPI Comparative Studies series in the UK has been the level of engagement by the Members of Parliament participating. The MPs on this visit really led the discussion through their questions and contributions\’.
Other DPI Comparative Studies planned to take place this year include a visit to South Africa. Future studies are intended to take place in other relevant parts of the world.
Records of all of DPI’s Comparative Studies visits have been published and are available via DPIs website: www.democraticprogress.org. A record including all of the discussions in Wales will be available from DPI. For a hard copy of these publications or for any further information please contact Eleanor Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org