Roundtable Meeting: ‘The Role of Civil Society in Conflict Resolution’

‘The Role of Civil Society in Conflict Resolution’ – Roundtable meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, 6 April 2012. The Democratic Progress Institute (DPI) this weekend held a roundtable meeting at Point Hotel, in Istanbul, Turkey, on the subject of civil society’s role in conflict resolution. Among participants were some of Turkey’s most renowned journalists and media personalities, representing both national, regional and local television and newspaper media from throughout Turkey; representatives from civil society including from women’s organisations, human rights associations and others; lawyers; senior academics; and key individuals from the art and literature worlds. Panel speakers at the roundtable included international and Turkey based conflict resolution experts and key figures from Turkey’s society. Speakers from Turkey were Ali Bayramoğlu (Yeni Şafak), Cengiz Çandar (Radikal), Cengiz Aktar (Taraf), Ayşe Betül Çelik (Sabanci University), Bejan Matur (poet and writer) and Etyen Mahçupyan (Zaman, TESEV). Avila Kilmurray, a key actor and civil society representative within Northern Ireland’s peace process also spoke at the meeting. This activity is part of DPI’s Turkey programme, which has included a series of roundtable meetings both in Turkey and internationally. The roundtable meeting examined issues of civil society’s engagement with conflict resolution and peacebuilding and the importance of civil society in democratic processes. Previous DPI activities in this series have seen participants visit London, Belfast, Edinburgh, Dublin and Cardiff, and take part in roundtable discussions on diverse subjects including conflict resolution, constitutional arrangements, devolution in the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish contexts, and language and identity issues across the United Kingdom. The response to these activities has been highly positive, with extensive media coverage and a continuation of discussion occurring as a result. Other DPI future activities are planned within Turkey and elsewhere. Future studies are intended to take place in numerous relevant parts of the world. Records of all of DPI’s Comparative Studies visits have been published and are available via the Institute’s website. A record including all of the discussions in this roundtable meeting will be published and made available on DPI’s website. For any further information please contact Eleanor Johnson at