DPI Online Assessment Meeting- ‘How to Build on Common Interests: Current Situation in Turkey and Opportunities for Conflict ResolutionDPI Online Assessment ‘ 25 September 2023

DPI held an online Assessment Meeting on September 25 titled How to Build on Common Interests: Current Situation in Turkey and Opportunities for Conflict Resolution. In this event, participants heard from the Director of Istanbul Policy Centre, Professor Fuat Keyman, and UN Standby Team Associate Mediator, Associate Professor Esra Çuhadar. Keyman examined the impact of the election results on Turkish politics and international affairs. Professor Keyman also discussed Turkey’s geopolitical strategy of strategic autonomy, how Turkey has pursued this strategy, and its effects on Turkey’s place in the international arena. Çuhadar then focused on the role of civil society as one of the most fundamental areas of working for a solution in periods in the absence of an ongoing political negotiation. She spoke about the importance of inclusiveness in peace processes, and the importance of grassroots organisations in peacebuilding, especially women and youth organisations. Following this, there was a Q&A session where participants had the opportunity to ask questions to the speakers. This discussion included a wide variety of topics including revitalising civil society in Turkey, the role of the opposition in peacebuilding efforts, and the regionality of the Kurdish issue. A consistent theme in the discussion was that of an overall sense of hopelessness in society due to the economic situation, mainly prevalent among youth, and the political disillusionment of the opposition supporters. Participants brought up the feeling of collective dissatisfaction felt by many, and how this can be addressed. Speakers emphasised the importance of rekindling hope, and why that makes the work of organisations such as DPI that focuses on promoting democratisation and peace all the more important.