Roundtable Meeting: The Role of Civil Society in Conflict Resolution

DPI Roundtable Meeting: ‘The Role of Civil Society in Conflict Resolution’ Sanliurfa, Turkey, 1 March 2014 The Democratic Progress Institute (DPI) last weekend held a roundtable meeting in Sanliurfa, Turkey, on the subject of the Role of Civil Society in Conflict Resolution. The aim of the roundtable was to broaden bases for dialogue among civil society within Turkey, on the subject of conflict resolution and related topics. Participants came from across Turkey’s political and geographical spectra, and included representatives from numerous civil society organisations including from women’s organisations, human rights associations (including Bar Associations), minority group representatives and others; national, regional and local journalists and media representatives; senior academics; and key individuals from the art and literature worlds. A number of senior international diplomats and Ambassadors from international embassies also attended the meeting. Panel speakers at the roundtable included international and Turkey based conflict resolution and civil society experts and practitioners. International speakers included Maureen Hetherington, who has worked in and written on community relations in Northern Ireland for 16 years and has directed several major community relations initiatives. Also speaking on the Irish experience was Ireland Ambassador to Turkey, His Excellency Ambassador Kenneth Thompson. Speakers from Turkey included Chief Executive of KAMER Foundation, and Talha Köse, of Istanbul Şehir University’s Department of Political Science. Moderators and other contributors were Wise Persons Committee Member Yılmaz Ensaroğlu of SETA; Professor Dr. Ahmet İnsel of Galatasaray University and DPI’s Catriona Vine. The roundtable meeting examined issues of civil society’s engagement with conflict resolution, the challenges of mobilising civil society, and the importance of civil society in democratic processes. This is the second DPI roundtable meeting to focus on the subject of Civil Society’s Role on Conflict Resolution and is part of the Institute’s Turkey programme. Records of all of DPI’s activities have been published and are available via the Institute’s website. For any further information please contact Eleanor Johnson at