In his column, Oral Çalışlar refers to his recent trip to Van for the DPI event titled ‘Dividends of Peace for
the Region’ and talks about the general atmosphere in the city, including the increased numbers of Iranian tourists. Çalışlar hints at the even greater potential for tourism in the region.
About the DPI event, Çalışlar writes:
“Economic Dividends of Peace
We were in Van for Democratic Progress Institute’s (DPI) event, held in cooperation with Diyarbakir
Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DTSO) and hosted by the Head of Van Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VANTSO) Necdet Takva.
We were talking about the dividends of peace and the speaker was former advisor to the Irish
Government, Derek Mooney. Following the opening remarks by the head of DTSO Mehmet Kaya, during
a session moderated by Dr Esra Elmas, Mr. Mooney talked about the role that businesspeople in Ireland played during the peace process. There are some lessons to be learned from this experience which can be of interest for our case:
Until the 17th -18th century, the use of the word Ireland and the Irish language was banned. The main issue with the IRA was the silencing of the guns. The issue has not yet been completely resolved but there has been a successful process of disarmament. People are not dying; the violence has stopped. Derek talked about how in the beginning it was assumed that the business community would not play an active role in this issue but in time, they turned into one of the most influential actors.”
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