Publications

Reports

DPI Online Roundtable Meeting: 'Current Political Situation in Turkey: The Role of Local Government Leaders in Responding to Covid 19 and its Political , Social and Economic Impact' - with Fatma Sahin, AK Party , Mayor of Gaziantep

2nd June 2020

On 2 June, DPI hosted an online roundtable meeting entitled ‘Current Situation in Turkey: The Role of Local Government Leaders in responding to COVID-19 & their Post-Pandemic Strategy’ with Fatma Şahin, Mayor of Gaziantep. This was the first of a series of online meetings with municipality leaders from different political parties and regions of Turkey to discuss the current situation in light of COVID-19.

This first roundtable meeting hosted Fatma Şahin, the current Mayor of Gaziantep, from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), as the key speaker. During the presentation, the Mayor stated that Gaziantep has efficiently handled the pandemic due to the accessibility and inclusiveness of Turkey’s health system, as social security is provided to every Turkish citizen and is made accessible to refugees.

The roundtable brought together a diverse group of participants from Turkey, including academics, civil society leaders, journalists, lawyers, politicians, members of Wise Persons Committee (WPC), as well as DPI’s Council of Expert members, and our funders.

The issue of migrants and refugees was prominent during the discussion session. In the recent years, Gaziantep has experienced an influx of Syrian refugees due to its proximity with the Syrian border. The Mayor discussed how migrants in Gaziantep have been integrated through means of education, healthcare, and employment. Though the influx of refugees coupled with the emergence of COVID-19 has added to the challenges the local administration faces, Şahin noted the measures taken to support the refugees during the pandemic, including broadcasting messages in Arabic.

During the course of the roundtable meeting, the issue of decentralisation and devolution of power to local authorities was also discussed. Participants also discussed the role of women in local administrations. The Mayor noted high levels of women’s representation in Gaziantep, especially in areas traditionally thought to be as male-oriented, such as the economy, infrastructure and sciences. Şahin stated that the inclusion of women in decision-making processes has been something she has always advocated for since becoming Mayor.

The roundtable illustrated how the local administration in Gaziantep has managed the pandemic, and highlighted the areas in which local, central and global governance can adapt to these new challenges.

The roundtable forms part of a larger series of activities in the context of the project ‘Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging

time in Turkey’, supported by the EU and the Norwegian government.

 

 

[Download here for English  and Turkish version]

 

DPI Online Roundtable Meeting, ‘Peace and Technology Series I & II: Exploring the Opportunities and Growing Impact of Emerging Technologies on Peace and Conflict Resolution Processes’

9 April and 15 May 2020

On the 9th April and 15th May, the Democratic Progress Institute (DPI) held the first and second in a new series of Online events focusing on the role of new technologies in conflict resolution.

Participants, for the first event on 9th April, comprised DPI’s core youth group - young figures with diverse professional and political backgrounds from across Turkey (including Ankara, İstanbul, Mardin, Diyarbakır and Zonguldak), including political parties youth representatives (from AKP, CHP and HDP), civil society workers, social workers, university students, and academics. The participants for the 15th May roundtable comprised a group of diverse figures from across Turkey’s media, including senior journalists, columnists and broadcasters representing both mainstream and alternative media outlets, as well as from across the political and social spectrum.

The groups listened and engaged with an insightful presentation delivered by Dr Emre Korkmaz from the University of Oxford and Centre for Technology and Global Affairs at both roundtables. Dr Emre discussed the different ways in which technology can contribute to peace and democratisation, including the opportunities and challenges that surround utilising emerging technologies in a way that optimises the allocation of scarce resources, connects people and groups across borders, and helps relocate power from corporations and states to communities and individuals. The first roundtable also considered how young people, as the primary users of new technology, could be best placed to take advantage of the opportunities provided by new technologies and help break down the barriers to youth inclusion in conflict resolution processes. Whilst particular focus at the 15th May roundtable was given to technology that directly affects the media landscape, such as social media networks, the spread of misinformation and ‘deep fake’.

This Roundtable forms part of a larger series of activities planned in the context of the project: “Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey”, supported by the EU and the Norwegian government.

[Download here for English  and Turkish version]

 

DPI Online Roundtable:‘Opposition’s Perspective on the Political, Social and Economic Effects of COVID-19 in Turkey’ with Pervin Buldan, Co-Chair of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) 

6th May 2020

DPI held an online roundtable on 6 May, entitled ‘Opposition’s Perspective on the political, social and economic effects of COVID-19 in Turkey’. This meeting was the second online roundtable held as part of a series of meetings with political parties in Turkey, including AK Party, CHP, DEVA Party, Future Party, HDP and Saadet Party. This roundtable meeting welcomed Pervin Buldan, who is a Member of Parliament from Istanbul and a co-chair of Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP).

The purpose of this roundtable was to discuss the current political situation and the perspective and policies of HDP following the emergence of COVID-19. The meeting brought together through an online platform a diverse group of participants from different regions in Turkey, including academics, civil society, former Wise Persons Committee (WPC) members, journalists, politicians and lawyers. The participants represented the broad spectrum of different political affiliations in Turkey to allow for a lively, open and insightful discussion.

During the course of the meeting, Buldan expressed an eagerness to work with other opposition parties to advance democratisation in Turkey. She argued that such cooperation between HDP and other opposition parties should be transparent and it would provide an opportunity for working towards democratisation and normalisation.

We will continue our online discussions with other leaders of the political parties in order to keep dialogue alive during the course of this challenging and unprecedented time. The roundtables form part of a larger series of activities planned in the context of the project: “Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey”, supported by the EU and the Norwegian government.

[Download here for English  and Turkish version]

 

DPI Online Roundtable ‘Current Situation in Turkey: Government Perspective and Future Vision’

27th April 2020

DPI held an online roundtable meeting on 27 April entitled ‘Current Situation in Turkey: Government Perspective and Future Vision’. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DPI has re-planned its forthcoming events to take place using online platforms until further notice in order to continue to fulfil its project’s aims and objectives through continued dialogue during these challenging times. This roundtable was the first in our series of online meetings with political parties in Turkey, which starting with The Justice and Democracy Party (AK Party) include The Republican People’s Party (CHP), The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), The Democracy and Progress Party (DEVA Party), The Future Party and Felicity Party.

This first online roundtable meeting with Cevdet Yılmaz, MP, Deputy Chair of AK Party, responsible for Foreign Affairs and former Minister, gave an overview of the recent developments in Turkey and of the government’s policies taken to address COVID-19. The speaker discussed the strategy of the government in handling the pandemic through limited curfews rather than imposing a nation-wide lockdown.

Yılmaz also mentioned the great efforts of the government in trying to prevent the effects of the pandemic on the economy. He suggested that the Turkish government is dedicated to supporting its most vulnerable citizens, expressed optimism with regards to the slowing spread of the virus in Turkey and implied that the restrictions should not hinder democracy in mid-to long term.

This meeting brought together, through an online platform, a diverse group of prominent participants from Turkey and abroad, including events, who have expressed their readiness to engage in an open, frank, respectful and productive conversation with their counterparts across political and other divides, thus ensuring a successful dialogue. We were also delighted to be joined, virtually, by representatives of the European Union, the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as international experts from amongst DPI’s Board Members and Council of Expert members.

DPI will continue our series of online meetings with other leaders of political parties in Turkey to keep dialogue alive and provide a platform to discuss the democratisation, normalisation and the possible solution to the ongoing conflict during the course of this challenging and unprecedented time.

This roundtable forms part of a larger series of activities planned in the context of the project: “Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey”, supported by the EU and the Norwegian government

[Download In Turkish and English]

DPI Online Roundtable: ‘Civil Society Actors in Turkey: Keeping the Dialogue Alive During Challenging Times’ 

17th April  2020

DPI held an online roundtable on 17 April entitled ‘Civil Society Actors in Turkey: Keeping the Dialogue Alive During Challenging Times’. As part of our organisational response to minimise the impact that COVID-19 has on our work, DPI has re-planned its forthcoming events so that they take place online in order to continue fulfilling our project’s aims and objectives.

This online roundtable focused on the role of civil society in dealing with conflict resolution, especially during challenging times, and discussed the role of civil society in Northern Ireland, the ‘parked’ peace process in Turkey, as well as the impact of COVID-19. It follows DPI’s series of events which previously introduced a group of diverse civil society actors in Turkey to the key themes and principles of conflict resolution processes.

The online roundtable brought together leading civil society actors, journalists and academics from Turkey, which included both recurring and new participants. We were also joined by DPI’s Council of Expert and Board members, representatives from the European Union, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ambassador of Ireland to Turkey.

The first session focused on the distinctive and various roles that civil society has played in Northern Ireland at different times. The group listened to an insightful presentation delivered by Pat Hynes, from Glencree Centre for Peace & Reconciliation, Ireland. The speaker highlighted the important role that civil society can play in conflict resolution, including facilitating highly confidential dialogue, mediation and disarmament. The group also participated in an engaging discussion on the impact of COVID-19, as well as Brexit and the implications that it poses to Northern Ireland. Currently, civil society in Northern Ireland continues to work in encouraging dialogue, especially with regards to Brexit.

During the second session, participants discussed the role that civil society presently plays in Turkey, as well as the challenges that it faces and potential openings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The roundtable forms part of a larger series of activities planned in the context of the project: “Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey”, supported by the EU and the Norwegian government

[Download here for English  and Turkish version]

 

Roundtable  Meeting - The Role of Women in Conflict Resolution: Reflections on the Turkish Experience III

 

28th -1st March 2020, Istanbul 

This roundtable formed part of DPI’s conflict resolution series which has focused on women’s role in sustaining dialogue and maintaining efforts to build lasting peace, even in the most challenging times. This roundtable constituted the third meeting of the series in which we have explored Turkey’s solution process with a group of women who represent different political and social sections of Turkey’s society. Promoting women’s participation at all levels of decision-making institutions is one of the core aims of this series.

The following report explores how lessons learnt from past experiences in Turkey can contribute positively to peaceful dialogue even in difficult times and the discussion was supported by input from international experts on women, peace and security from Northern Ireland who shared their own relevant experiences.

This roundtable provided a platform for the diverse group of women to review and discuss their personal and collective roles and responsibilities as women during conflict resolution processes. Participants also discussed how they would share their learning with wider constituencies and their own institutions.

 This   forms part of a larger series of activities planned in the context of the project: “Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey” supported by the EU and Norwegian governments, without whose support this roundtable would not have been possible.

 

[Download here for English and Turkish]

 

Youth Engagement in Conflict Resolution Processes: Lessons Learnt from the Turkish Experience with the WPC

 

14th - 16th February 2020

On 14-16 February 2020, Democratic Progress Institute held a planned Roundtable meeting in Istanbul with a group of diverse young people from across Turkey’s many constituencies. The youth group is comprised of representatives of the three main political parties in Turkey (AK PARTY, CHP and HDP) as well as committed and influential persons from a variety of backgrounds, including teachers, academics, social workers, university students and members of civil society. Following on from three Comparative Study Visits focussing on youth inclusion in peace processes and as part of DPI’s planned series of meetings exploring the role of young people in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and democratisation processes, this roundtable, for the first time, provided a forum for participants to discuss the lessons learnt from the Turkish peace process and the role of the youth in conflict resolution together with members of the former Wise Persons’ Committee.

Participants were given the opportunity to engage with two members of the former Wise Persons’ Committee – Ali Bayramoglu, Journalist and Political Commentator and Vahap Coskun, Lecturer at Dicle University. The aim of this session was to give the young people a chance to hear the first-hand accounts of those who were directly engaged in the Turkish resolution process. Both speakers gave an insightful overview of their WPC experience as well as sharing their subjective analyses of the process. They discussed the function of the WPC as the bridge to bring the idea of peace and resolution to all levels of society. This led to a very fruitful discussion in which Mr Bayramoglu and Mr Coskun both agreed that a weakness of the Turkish resolution process was here reflected in the WPC experience – there was a lack of concrete points or direction emerging from the process proper which WPC members could pass on to constituencies. This, they noted, is a lesson that must be learnt in order for any future peace process in Turkey to be successful. Participants agreed that hearing such open and honest accounts from the former WPC members gave them great insight into the complexity of a peace process, as well as highlighting some of the major challenges to be overcome in any future resumption of the resolution process in Turkey.

The roundtable was part of the project ‘Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey’, supported by the EU and the Norwegian governments.

We would like to express, once again, our thanks to all of our speakers and participants in the programme for sharing their experiences and expertise and to DPI intern Vera Sibilio for her assistance in preparing this report.

[Download here for English  and Turkish version]

 

Comparative Study Visit: Youth Engagement In Conflict Resolution Processes

Edinburgh  9-13  December 2019

This report provides an account of discussions that took place during DPI’s Comparative Study Visit to Edinburgh on 9-13 December on the topic of ‘Youth Engagement in Conflict Resolution Processes’.

The planned event brought together a group of mostly young people with diverse professional and political backgrounds from across Turkey. This included youth representatives of political parties, civil society workers, social workers, university students, academics and conflict resolution workers, who came together to develop understanding of and promote dialogue about conflict resolution and peace building processes.

This CSV rounded of a series of CSV’s which have explored the systems of devolution in operation across the UK by visiting Edinburgh in Scotland. Participants continued their engagement with important conflict resolution principles, including how young people themselves can meaningfully contribute to resolution processes, and also explored the unique power-sharing arrangement in place between Scotland and Westminster

This CSV forms part of a larger series of activities planned in the context of the project: “Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey” supported by the EU and the Irish, Dutch and Norwegian governments. 

[Download here for English and Turkish]

 

Reverse Comparative Study Visit: The Role Of Media In Conflict Resolution: Reflections On Turkey’s Resolution Process

Istanbul , 24 - 26 September 2019

On 24-26 September 2019, Democratic Progress Institute (DPI) carried out a planned reverse Comparative Study Visit in Istanbul, Turkey, on the theme of ‘The role of media in conflict resolution: reflections on Turkey’s resolution process’.

As part of DPI’s long-running series of meetings exploring the media’s role in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, and democratisation processes, this reverse CSV, for the first time, provided a forum for participants to discuss this topic directly in relation to the situation in Turkey.

The event invited a group of mainstream media professionals and active social media users to reflect on their work and share their insight into the role of media played in conflict resolution in Turkey. The group benefitted from the presentation delivered by Dr Thomas Colley from King’s College London, who talked about how the use of misinformation and social media can shape conflict resolution and democratisation. The participants then engaged in a critical roundtable discussion over the role the media played and the challenges it faced in conflict resolution specifically in relation to Turkey.

This  afforded the participants the opportunity to reflect on their own experiences as journalists and broadcasters during the previous resolution process in Turkey. They shared their own testaments and discussed the collective lessons that could be learnt from the process.

This reverse CSV forms part of a larger series of activities planned in the context of the project: “Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey” supported by the EU and the Irish, Dutch and Norwegian governments.

[Download here for English and Turkish]

 

Comparative Study Visit: The Role of Religious Leaders in Peace and Reconciliation

Dublin and Belfast, 3 –8 September 2019

Between 3rd and 8th of September 2019, DPI carried out a comparative study visit (CSV) in conjunction with The School of Religion, Trinity College Dublin and hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland. This CSV discussed for the first time the role of religious leaders in peace and reconciliation. The aim of the CSV was to bring together a group of religious figures, academics and theologians from diverse communities, ethnic and political backgrounds in order to learn about the role of religious leaders in peace process in Northern Ireland.

The first two days in Dublin included a visit to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, who kindly acted as our hosts for this activity, and to Trinity College Dublin. This was followed by a three-day visit to Belfast, which allowed participants to understand the past and current situation in Northern Ireland, through their engagements with speakers and meeting with former political prisoners from all sides of the conflict. During the course of the visit, participants engaged first-hand with religious leaders and figures who were and still are involved in the peace and reconciliation process in Northern Ireland. The group heard invaluable accounts of their expertise and experiences of The Troubles and engaged in a rich discussion on the role individual religious leaders played before, during and after the peace process in Northern Ireland. Through these series of meetings and sessions, participants were exposed to the successes, as well as failures of religious leaders and institutions to promote peace and reconciliation. These experiences gave the group a valuable insight into the challenges and lessons learnt from Northern Ireland peace process.

The CSV was part of the project ‘Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey’, supported by the EU and the Irish, Dutch and Norwegian governments.

[Download here for English and Turkish]

 

RoundTable Meeting Report:

Lessons Learned From WPC Experience: Opportunities and Challenges. 

Brussels 9-12 July 2019

 

[Download Report Here]

 

Comparative Study Visit To South Africa - Supporting Inclusive Dialogue At A Challenging Time In Turkey .

Pretoria and Cape Town 9th -16th June 2019

Between the 9th and 16th of July 2019, DPI carried out a comparative study visit (CSV) on the theme "Bringing a process back on track: Lessons Learnt from the South Africa experience". The purpose of the visit was to provide a diverse group of influencers from Turkey the opportunity to learn from the period of negotiations to end Apartheid in South Africa and give participants the platform with which to engage in dialogue and discussion with speakers and amongst each other. The study visit, which took the participants to Johannesburg, Soweto, Pretoria and Cape Town, provided access to key protagonists during the times leading up to the negotiations, the negotiations themselves and the resulting state of post-apartheid South Africa. Participants engaged with the first-hand experiences of these actors, from each major political standpoint, who played significant roles in the conflict resolution process and continue to play important roles today. Through these carefully planned series of meetings, the group were exposed to the major successes and challenges encountered during the peace process spearheaded by F. W. de Klerk and Nelson Mandela respectively. The experiences shared and discussions with the group led to insightful lessons being learnt and a deeper understanding of conflict resolution processes being forged.

The event, as well as providing an overview of the process in South Africa, examined many different key themes. Discussion focussed on conditions that enabled negotiations to begin - dubbed ‘talks before talks’ - as the well as the formal process of the negotiations themselves. The architecture of the South African peace process was also explored whereby participants heard about who was involved and how they engaged with each other. The role of media and security structures in the peace process was examined in separate sessions. An overarching theme of the CSV was looking at how to keep the process going even during the most difficult times - with a particular focus on the breakdown period and subsequent resumption of the negotiations between the African National Congress and the National Party. Participants also engaged with speakers on the subject of drafting a new South African Constitution and Bill of Rights which would safeguard the rights of each individual citizen in South Africa. Finally, participants discussed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that was set up in the wake of apartheid as a means of seeking justice for all victims of the conflict.

Participants visited Soweto, the largest township in Johannesburg, to see the house of former President Nelson Mandela. It was important for participants to see the modest surroundings of the man who espoused inclusion and dialogue as part of the process to bring an end to apartheid in South Africa. This was an invaluable way to begin the week-long event as it grounded the participants in the historic and troubled nature of the peace process in the country during the 1990’s.

The first day of meetings (10th June) began with a welcome from DPI CEO Kerim Yildiz before Roelf Meyer, former Chief Negotiator for the government and Director of ITI provided the group with an overview of the transition to democracy in South Africa. Here Mr Meyer explained the founding principle of the peace process was safeguarding individual right on an equal basis for all. In the following session Mohammed Bhabha, ANC negotiator and former Member of Parliament and the ANC's Ebrahim Ebrahim, former Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation shared the experience of their roles in the period both prior to and during the negotiations that eventually led to apartheid being brought to an end. These meetings included lively Q and A sessions as participants found themselves exploring the multiple facets of the resolution process in South Africa and served as a good foundation from which they would build upon during the rest of the comparative study visit. To round off the first day of meetings proper, Sydney Mufamadi, former Minister of Safety and Security, spoke about the architecture of the South African peace process whereby participants heard about who was involved and how they engaged with each other.

On 11th June, Nel Marais, gave a frank and insightful presentation on the role of security structures in the South African peace process. Of particular interest to the group was the shift in approach of the intelligence structures during the talks period as they moved to keep all parties, particularly the ANC and NP, informed of information that could harm the negotiations. The next session saw Dr Michael Sutcliffe, former Chair of the Municipal Demarcation Board appointed by President Mandela, discuss the challenges faced by the peace process following outbreaks of local violence. He went on to cite the continuation of dialogue as the most important factor in such difficult times. The afternoon session was delivered by Mathews Phosa, former Premier of Mpumalanga and former Member, National Executive Committee, African National Congress. In a highly informative session, Mr Phosa shared with participants the lessons that can be learnt from the South African experience with a particular focus on resuming dialogue in the aftermath of the breakdowns in negotiations.

On the final day in Pretoria Mr Jody Kollapen, Judge, High Court of South Africa discussed the constitutional making process and the session gave participants the opportunity to discuss the construction of the new South African constitution as part of the agreement to bring an end to apartheid. The group heard about the inclusive nature of the constitution which was drawn up to protect the rights of each individual in South Africa.

We were then delighted to be hosted at the residence of Elif Çomoğlu Ulgen, the Turkish Ambassador to South Africa. The Ambassador provided a brief on the Embassy’s work in South Africa and the relationship between Turkey and South Africa and the mutual benefit that can be wrought from one another. The group then visited the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg. This further immersion in the story of South Africa added extra layers of detail and stark visual symbols of the challenges and struggles that were overcome through a course of inclusive dialogue.

Thursday 13th June marked our first day in Cape Town and we were joined by two speakers, namely Fanie du Toit, Former Executive Director, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation and Kraai van Niekerk, former Minister of Agriculture for the NP government. First of all, Fanie du Toit delivered a very informative session in which participants discussed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. There were important lessons to be learnt about who justice was for and what its purpose was. Mr du Toit also reasserted that no one method can be completely transferrable from one case to another as each conflict includes its own context, histories and nuances. The afternoon session moved on to discuss Kraai van Niekerk’s experiences as a government minister for the National Party before keeping his post under Nelson Mandela until 1996. As Minister, he discussed the challenges that still abound in the country around land ownership and reform. This demonstrated that peace is an ongoing process and that challenges and difficulties remain beyond the signing of formal agreements and the laying down of arms.

The discussion about the constitutional making process continued with Albie Sachs, former Judge, Constitutional Court of South Africa and Johnny de Lange, Former Deputy Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development. In a stimulating and engaging presentation, Albie Sachs talked about the circumstances and motivations behind his drafting of the first ever Bill of Rights in South African history. He described this document as containing ubuntu - a philosophical word with a rich history in South Africa, which he defined as ‘a world inside each human being and the dignity that each human being is entitled to have’. Johnny de Lange discussed the ANC’s transition from a liberation movement into a political party. This included an examination of the current difficulties the party faces as its focus shifts from promoting peace and equality to balancing post-conflict economic and social challenges.

As is usual DPI practice, a formal evaluation session was held to garner the views and opinions of participants on the lessons learnt over the course of the visit as well as their suggestions for follow-up activities and future work with DPI. In a very productive session, participants expressed their appreciation at the opportunities they had had to engage with key actors in the resolution process in South Africa as well as the importance and usefulness of the content shared by speakers during the visit. Participants were impressed by many of the methods and mechanisms for peacebuilding employed in the South Africa case and discussed their varying relevance for their own context in Turkey. Discussing further themes that would be valuable to explore further with core groups, participants pointed towards the role of women, the media and youth as good topics to engage with experts from the South African process on.

This Comparative Study Visit also allowed participants to engage with prominent people and visit important sites over the course of the trip. On the final morning of the activity, the group took the ferry out to Robben Island to visit the prison which housed a great number of political prisoners over the course of the struggles in South Africa. We were honoured to be accompanied by Ebrahim Ebrahim who, as an inmate, spent 18 years in total on the island. In guiding participants around the prison grounds, he pointed out fellow prisoner Nelson Mandela’s cell, talked of the discrimination enforced by authorities even between Indian and black prisoners and discussed the symbolic moment when Mandela was eventually freed in 1990. As Mr Ebrahim noted, his release marked a turn away from oppression and an opening up of channels for dialogue between the ANC and NP.

Amongst the guests to join us at dinner were journalists Peter Fabricius and Liesl Louw-Vaudran; Yunus Carrim, MP and former Deputy Minister of Communications; Ambassadors to South Africa from Sweden, Switzerland and Ireland as well as representative from the Norwegian and European Union Embassies. We were greatly honoured by their attendance and engagement with participants. These encounters offered the chance for more informal discussions which leads to the transfer of insightful knowledge not always achieved through a meeting room set-up. Additionally, these occasions, among others, facilitated further bonding between participants themselves. They were afforded the time to talk informally with those whom they would not normally find themselves sharing such experiences with. It is through these encounters, more often than not, that participants form the foundation of relationships upon which deeper and more difficult discussions addressing their differences and divides can take place in the future.

Overall, the CSV was useful and provided participants with the opportunity to discuss the current situation in Turkey and how to share their learning with wider constituencies and their own institutions. Both group discussions, as well as our own side meetings with participants prove that the dialogue amongst themselves and with DPI are highly important. The event has been covered positively in Turkish media and the articles that have been written, along with a photo gallery and brief summary report, can be found on DPI’s website: www.democraticprogress.org.

[Download In Turkish and English]

Annual Report 2018

DPI's Annual Report 2018 showcases the various events and activities the organisation has undertaken during this year, which include seven roundtables (RT), two Comparative Study Visits (CSV) and three assessment meetings. In 2018, DPI witnessed a growth in participation in our internationally-based activities, engaging 190 prominent actors from across a broad spectrum of society in Turkey to discuss conflict resolution and peacebuilding.

Throughout 2018, DPI remained committed to its overall aim of broadening bases for public dialogue on issues of democratisation, conflict resolution, and human rights in the region. DPI continued to work on and advance our planned panels of discussions under the title 'Dialogue in Difficult Times'.

 Download DPI Annual Report 2018

Comparative Study Visit: Youth Engagement in Conflict Resolution Processes. London & Cardiff, 3-7 March, 2019.

13/05/2019

On 3-7 March, DPI carried out the latest in its series of youth engagement activities, this time a comparative study visit entitled ‘Youth Engagement in Conflict Resolution Processes’. A group of Turkish youth, aged 18-35, came from all strata of professional and political society from across Turkish society (including Ankara, İstanbul, Mardin, Diyarbakır and Zonguldak), including political party’s youth representatives, civil society workers, high school and university students, journalists and social workers. The carefully planned programme was designed to further expose participants to cases of meaningful youth involvement in conflict resolution. Indeed, the trip began in London, at DPI’s office as we took a deeper look at United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 – which is the driving force behind increasing the participation of young people in peace processes. The group were subsequently hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. As well as hearing about their burgeoning Youth, Peace and Security programme, DPI’s participants were given insightful introductions into the theme of devolution, particularly the Welsh case, which is something we would go into greater detail during the rest of the CSV. As the group moved to Cardiff, participants engaged in fruitful discussion on the history of power-sharing in Wales, including the importance of the Welsh language. Through a visit to the Senedd (National Assembly for Wales), participants were immersed in the modern traditions and practices of Welsh devolution as well as hearing about the recent formation of a youth parliament in Wales. Participants also visited the office of Urdd Gobaith Cyrmu, Wales’ largest youth organisation, to hear how young people in Wales are being engaged, through the Welsh language, in projects both within and outside Wales. This CSV gave participants the opportunity to engage in discussion with key actors in the Welsh devolution story – including civil servants, Assembly Members and civil society. By studying the Welsh case comparatively, DPI’s youth group focused on the role of young people in bringing about the power-sharing and language structures in place in Wales today as well as looking at the impact that UN SCR 2250 is having on the field of conflict resolution more generally.

This roundtable was part of a series of activities planned in the context of the project: ‘Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey’, supported by the EU and the Irish, Dutch and Norwegian governments

This report is undergoing further editing at present and will be available again soon.

Roundtable Meeting: Peace and the Economy. London, 8-10 January, 2019.

28/04/2019

DPI held its first activity of 2019 on 8-10th January. Entitled ‘Peace and the Economy’, this roundtable meeting was organised in cooperation with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Institute of Global Affairs and was attended by a small diverse group of Turkey’s prominent business people and organisations, including company CEO’s and heads of business associations. Following on from a 2017 comparative study visit to Northern Ireland on this topic, the meeting, provided participants with an opportunity to discuss the links between peace, stability and economic growth and what role the private sector can play in conflict resolution processes. The event began with a warm welcome from Kerim Yildiz, DPI’s CEO, Erik Berglof, Director of LSE’s Institute of Global Affairs and Nick Stewart, Chairman of DPI. An introductory session with LSE’s Mary Martin (Senior Research Fellow, LSE Ideas) and Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic (Senior Research Fellow Department of International Relations), focused on modern ways in which the private sector can be positively engaged in conflict resolution. Dan O’Brien, Chief Economist at the Institute of International and European Affairs, then provided an insightful examination of what connections that can be drawn between peace, stability and economic growth using data from country case studies around the world. The discussion went on to focus on the Northern Ireland case with Dermot Ahern, former Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs, sharing his first-hand experiences of the Northern Ireland peace process and the economic impacts brought about by the resolution of The Troubles. The final session saw Dr Esmond Birnie, Senior Economist at the Centre for Economic Policy at Ulster University analyse the links drawn between political stability and the economy from the Northern Ireland example and highlight the lessons that can be learnt from this resolution process. Participants engaged in fruitful discussion over the course of the event which culminated with an evaluation session. 

This roundtable was part of a series of activities planned in the context of the project: ‘Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey’, supported by the EU and the Irish, Dutch and Norwegian governments

[Download here for English and Turkish]

Roundtable Report: The Role of Media in Conflict Resolution. Dublin & Belfast, 16-19 October, 2018.

09/03/2019

On 16th October 2018, DPI brought a diverse group of members of the mainstream and alternative Turkish media to Dublin and Belfast to examine the role and place of the media in conflict resolution. Following on from our April meeting of the same theme, this roundtable provided a timely opportunity for participants to discuss ways in which the media can contribute to the advancement of democratic and peaceful dialogue in resolution processes.

This roundtable was part of a series of activities planned in the context of the project: ‘Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey’, supported by the EU and the Irish, Dutch and Norwegian governments

[Download here for English and Turkish]

DPI Roundtable Report: Lessons Learnt from International Experiences in Conflict Resolution, Ankara 28-30 September 2018.

04/02/2019

On 29 September, DPI held a roundtable meeting on ‘Lessons learnt from international experiences in conflict resolution’ in Ankara, Turkey.  The meeting brought together a diverse group of more than 50 participants including politicians and policy-makers, civil society actors, academics and journalists, to discuss experiences from peace and transition processes around the world, which offer useful and relevant examples of principles, models and approaches that can guide conflict resolution and democratic advancement. The meeting provided a timely opportunity to review and refresh memories and understanding of the benefits of peace and the nature of peace-making processes. It also served as reminder of the importance of preserving the foundations for inclusive dialogue between different parties and different groups in society even in the most challenging times.

The roundtable was part of the project ‘Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey’, supported by the EU and the Irish, Dutch and Norwegian governments.

[Download here for English and Turkish]

DPI Comparative Study Visit Report: Youth Engagement in Conflict Resolution Processes, Dublin & Belfast, 1-5 August 2018.

29/11/2018

From 1-5 August 2018, the Democratic Progress Institute carried out a Comparative Study Visit to Ireland and Northern Ireland that brought together a group of young participants from across Turkey’s many constituencies. Participants were exposed to the experiences of the Northern Ireland conflict and peace process through a carefully designed programme that introduced concepts and practices of resolution processes as well as providing a platform to discuss the positive contribution that youth specifically can make to such processes. This meeting brought together mostly young figures with diverse professional and political backgrounds from across Turkey including political party’s youth representatives from AK Party, CHP and HDP, civil society workers, high school and university students, journalists and social workers. This CSV fully immersed participants in the experiences of the peace process that took place in Northern Ireland. It allowed them the opportunity interact with key actors from that process but also with those involved in overcoming the lasting effects of the conflict in modern-day Northern Ireland. Our particular focus on youth highlighted the increasing attention given to young people and their ability to act as agents of change amongst divided societies. This was the first meeting centred on youth engagement in conflict resolution process hosted by DPI with future activities forthcoming to build upon the discussions and topics of this seminal visit. The visit was hosted with the kind facilitation of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The roundtable was part of the project ‘Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey’, supported by the EU and the Irish, Dutch and Norwegian governments.

[Download here for English and Turkish]

Roundtable Report: The Role of Media in Conflict Resolution. Oslo, 25-27 April, 2018.

01/02/2019

From April 25-27, DPI held a roundtable meeting in Oslo to discuss the role of media in conflict resolution. The diverse group of participants comprised prominent members of both the mainstream and alternative media in Turkey who engaged in a fruitful and insightful discussions drawing on the international experiences from both the Colombian and Northern Ireland peace processes.

This roundtable was part of a series of activities planned in the context of the project: ‘Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey’, supported by the EU and the Irish, Dutch and Norwegian governments

[Download here for English and Turkish]

Comparative Study Visit Report: Public Engagement in Conflict Resolution Processes. Oslo, 24-27 May 2018

19/12/2018

From May 24-27, DPI help a Comparative Study Visit meeting discussing ‘Public Engagement in Conflict Resolution Processes’ with members of Turkey’s Wise Persons’ Committee in Oslo. The meeting was hosted by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and attended by representatives from the ministry as well as the EU. Speakers included Roelf Meyer, former  Chief Negotiator for the South African Government, Teresita Quintos Deles, former Presidential Advisor on the Philippines Peace Process as well as Idun Tvedt, Norwegian Special Representative for the Philippines peace process  and Norwegian Special Envoy to the Colombian Peace Process, Dag Nylander.

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Roundtable Report: Women’s role in dialogue and conflict resolution in challenging times: Working together to address issues of common interest. Istanbul, 2-4 March, 2018

29/11/2018

From March 2-4, 2018 DPI held a Roundtable meeting discussing ‘Women’s role in dialogue and conflict resolution in challenging times: Working together to address issues of common interest’ in Istanbul. The meeting was attended by Christian Berger, EU Ambassador to Turkey and Brendan Ward, Irish Ambassador to Turkey as well as speakers from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the UN. Please click the link below to download the report.

[Download here for English and Turkish]

Roundtable Report: Dialogue in Difficult Times – The Role of Civil Society in Conflict Resolution Processes. Dublin, October 25-27, 2017.

19/01/2018

On 25-27th October, DPI held a roundtable meeting in Dublin which drew on experiences from Northern Ireland’s conflict and peace process to focus on the role of civil society in conflict resolution processes, particularly in the course of challenging times.

The visit took place over three days in Dublin with a one-day roundtable structured around a comparative study of Ireland’s experience hosted by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The roundtable incorporated sessions with civil society actors from Northern Ireland and Ireland, as well as sessions with senior members of the Irish government and other stakeholders and negotiators, who had experience in navigating several challenging periods before the peace agreement in 1998.

Participants comprised a diverse group drawn from across Turkey’s civil society including from leading human rights and women’s organisations, as well as from the business, legal, media, and academic worlds and represented a broad spectrum of different political affiliations in Turkey

[Download here for English and Turkish]

Roundtable Report: The Role of Women in Peace Processes and Conflict Resolution A Comparative Case Study of Northern Ireland. Ankara, July 29, 2017.

23/10/2017

On Saturday, 29 July 2017, DPI held a roundtable meeting in Ankara, Turkey to discuss the role of women in conflict resolution from the comparative example of Northern Ireland. Participants included Members of Parliament, prominent journalists, leading academics, constitutional lawyers, and representatives of women’s business organisations. 

Speakers Avila Kilmurray and Jane Morrice, two founding members of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, discussed topics relating to UNSCR 1325, the role of the European Union in Northern Ireland’s peace process, attempts to integrate the education system, challenges faced by the Women’s Coalition, representation of women at the negotiating table, and strategies for coping with resistance to women’s involvement.

[Download here for English and Turkish]

Comparative Study Visit Report: Peace & the Economy – The Role of Business and the Private Sector in Peace Processes. Dublin and Belfast, July 10-13, 2017.

31/08/2017

 From July 10 to 13th 2017  DPI carried out a comparative study visit to Dublin and Belfast for senior members of Turkey’s business community to learn about the role of business in the Northern Ireland peace process and the effect of peace on the economy.  Topics discussed included the benefits of peace for the Northern Ireland economy, how businesses influenced the peace process, the role of social enterprises in building community cohesion, cross-border trade between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and the role of sports organisations in conflict resolution. 

The delegation attended meetings in Dublin and at Iveagh House with business people involved in cross-border trade, journalists and diplomats including Mr Bertie Ahern, former Irish PM, and Mr Dermot Ahern, former Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence. In Belfast, the delegation met with business people directly involved in the peace process, academics, and representatives of Northern Ireland’s social enterprise sector. This was the first meeting of business representatives hosted by DPI with future activities forthcoming to build upon the discussions and topics of this seminal visit.

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March 2017 Ankara Roundtable Report: Dialogue in Difficult Times: The Cases of Northern Ireland and the Philippines

26/06/2017

On 4th March 2017, the Democratic Progress Institute (DPI) held a roundtable in Ankara which brought together a diverse group from Turkey’s political and cultural spectra. This inclusive roundtable was the first event organised by DPI in Turkey since the attempted military coup d’état, therefore, the focal theme was dialogue in difficult times.

The roundtable explored the peace process experiences, with their setbacks and challenges, of Northern Ireland and the Philippines. Through analysing the lessons learned from the peace process of the two countries, the engaging discussions emphasised the significance of building trust and confidence on all sides, the role of third parties, and the importance of maintaining dialogue throughout the process.

[Download here for English and Turkish]

Comparative Study Visit: UNSCR 1325 and the Role of Women in the Peace Process, Dublin Belfast, December 2016

30/03/2017

In December, DPI delivered a Comparative Study Visit to Ireland for women participants. The Comparative Study Visit  cohort of 16 included MPs from different parties, journalists, academics and peace activists as well as women working in think-tanks and cultural heritage. This wide range of occupations encouraged a variety of perspectives on the experience and allowed the participants to engage with multiple angles of the Northern Irish peace process.

The six-day agenda was heavily packed and included stays in both Dublin and Belfast. In Dublin, the participants enjoyed  a Roundtable discussion with Dr David Mitchell, an Assistant Professor in Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation at Trinity College who has written extensively on the Northern Irish peace process.  Following this, the Conflict Resolution department of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade hosted a Roundtable on their National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325, before providing a guided tour of Dáil Éireann, the Irish parliament. The last major event in Dublin was a Roundtable with parliamentarians of the Joint Committee on Justice, Defence, Equality and Women’s Rights.

 

DPI Roundtable Meeting: “Conflict, Crisis and the Role of the Media”, November 2016

13/02/2017

The following is a summary of the discussions that took place during DPI’s recent Roundtable meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, from 18 to 20 November 2016. The roundtable addressed the topic of ‘Conflict, Crisis and the Role of the Media’, with a particular focus on the cases of Northern Ireland and Colombia.

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Roundtable Meeting: ‘Conflict, Crisis and the role of the Media’, Geneva, 18-20 November 2016

22/11/2016

The Democratic Progress Institute (DPI) held a roundtable meeting last weekend in Geneva, bringing together senior journalists and cultural figures from across Turkey’s socio-political spectrum, to discuss the role of the media in conflict resolution.

The roundtable facilitated expertise and knowledge sharing from international speakers, including Tom Kelly, former official spokesman for Tony Blair, Owen Bowcott, former Ireland correspondent at the Guardian, and James LeMoyne, former UN Special Representative to the Secretary-General on Colombia, and war correspondent.

Speakers focused on comparative learnings from the experiences of conflict resolution in Northern Ireland and Colombia. The significant role of peace journalism and peace language within the media were salient threads throughout the discussions. Participants identified the issues of ethics and terminology in journalism as common priorities to work on in Turkey. In addition, participants were unanimous in their desire to broaden the base for dialogue and open new channels of communication with all groups in Turkey’s society.

For more updates, follow DPI on Twitter @DPI_UK.

Roundtable Meeting: “Keeping dialogue alive – How to get a process back on track in the aftermath of a major crisis?” Dublin, Dundalk and Belfast, 7-11 October 2016

25/10/2016

The following report summarises the discussions that took place during DPI’s recent roundtable meeting in Ireland, which comprised a series of talks that took place in Dublin, Dundalk and Belfast from 7 to 11 October 2016. The visit focussed on addressing the topic of ‘How to get a process back on track in the aftermath of a major crisis?’ It explored this question in the context of the Irish experience of conflict resolution, and from a gendered perspective.

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Roundtable Meeting: ‘Incorporating and Integrating Women in Peace processes and Conflict Resolution’, Ankara, 15-17 July 2016

08/08/2016

The following report outlines the key points of discussion during DPI’s recent roundtable in Ankara on the topic of women’s incorporation and inclusion in peace processes. This took place against the backdrop of an attempted military coup on the first day of the activity, and further activities of this kind allowing for inclusive national dialogue in Turkey will take place over the coming months.

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Comparative Study Visit on Police Reform and Accountability: London and Belfast, 9 – 13 May 2016

05/08/2016

DPI recently carried out a comparative study visit, in partnership with Turkey based think tank PODEM, to London and Belfast. The visit comprised a series of roundtable meetings from 9 to 13 May 2016, addressing the topic of ‘Towards Advocating Police Monitoring Mechanisms in Turkey’ through an exploration of policing accountability and oversight bodies in the contexts of Great Britain’s and Northern Ireland’s experiences. This visit took place in the context of the very recent establishment of a Policing Ombudsman body in Turkey, which has sparked debate on policy and practice in relation to police monitoring mechanisms. The aim of the visit was therefore to address the challenges related to establishing such a body, including overcoming bureaucratic limitations, issues related to impunity, and deciding on a structure that answers the needs of a multicultural and historically divided society in post conflict contexts such as that of Northern Ireland. PODEM and DPI’s objective in bringing together experts and practitioners in the field of police reform and oversight within Turkey, including academics and members of Turkey’s police academy, was to gain insight into the mechanisms and practices necessary to achieve robust police accountability structures, and to acquire in-depth knowledge of the criteria for success and best practice in this area.

The visit was attended by 8 participants, including representatives from both PODEM and DPI, as well as academics and experts in the field of police reform and accountability, and practitioners from Turkey’s police academy. As well as meeting with speakers from the office of the Northern Ireland Police Ombudsman, the Northern Ireland Policing Board, the UK’s Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the Northern Ireland Office and the Department of Justice, as well as former senior police officers and experts in the area of police reform, participants took part in a field trip to the interface areas of Belfast, and met with former political prisoners from both Nationalist and Unionist communities, to gain deeper insight into the historical context of Northern Ireland’s conflict.

For further information on the visit please visit our partner organisation, PODEM’s website: http://podem.org.tr/en/etkinlik/democratic-police-monitoring-and-oversight-mechanisms-study-tour-to-england-and-northern-ireland/

 

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Conflict Resolution in Colombia – The Havana Talks and Beyond: A Comparative Study Visit Report 16 – 23 April 2016

29/04/2016

The Democratic Progress Institute carried out a comparative study visit to Colombia from 16-23 April 2016, to explore the peace process currently under way in Havana between the Government and the armed group, FARC. Participants met with key actors from both sides of the process, including Colombian President Santos, senior actors and negotiators from around the table including government Head negotiator Frank Pearl and facilitator Senator Iván Cepeda. Also met with were important civil society actors, regional heads of government, and experts in the field of conflict resolution. The visit took place in Bogotá, Colombia’s capital, and in San Jan de Pasto, one of Colombia’s most conflict affected areas in the region of Nariño. Participants in this visit included senior members from all of Turkey’s main political parties, policy makers, senior government advisors, human rights lawyers, popular public figures, well known journalists, academics and civil society leaders including members of Turkey’s wise persons committee. The visit was hosted by the Colombian government and carried out with the kind assistance of the Presidential Office.

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Getting a process back on track in challenging times: A Comparative Study Visit Report – Dublin, Dundalk, Belfast, 19th-24th March 2016

08/04/2016

The Democratic Progress Institute carried out a Comparative Study Visit to Dublin, Dundalk and Belfast from 19 to 24 March as part of the Institute’s Turkey programme. This visit explored themes relating to “getting a process back on track in challenging times”, addressing topics from a gendered perspective, examining in particular the experiences of women in conflict and in conflict resolution, and topics relating to women’s incorporation into, and role in, peace processes. Speakers for the visit included government representatives from both the Irish and British governments, founding members of the Northern Ireland Women’s Coalition, former political prisoners from different communities, political actors from various parties in Northern Ireland including Sinn Féin and the Democratic Unionist Party, religious and civil society leaders, experts in the areas of transitional justice and gender, integrated education and media and conflict.  Participants in the visit included parliamentarians from different political parties, media representatives, civil society actors, academics, and policy advisors from across the political spectrum in Turkey. The visit was hosted with the kind facilitation of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and has received significant media coverage in Turkey.

 

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Getting a process back on track – a continued conversation on international experiences – Bilgi University, Istanbul, 28 November 2015

16/03/2016

The Democratic Progress Institute carried out a Roundtable Meeting addressing the topic ‘Getting a Process Back on Track’. The following is a summary of the discussion that occurred during the Roundtable Meeting jointly held by İstanbul Bilgi University’s Centre for Conflict Resolution Studies, and the Democratic Progress Institute, in Istanbul on 28 November 2015. The Istanbul meeting allowed for a continuation of the conversation started in a previous DPI roundtable held in Ankara on 3 October 2015, examining the possibilities for bringing the process ‘back on track’. This subject remains of critical relevance to Turkey, and further analysis and dialogue is needed in this area.

 

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Getting a Process Back on Track: Roundtable Meeting, Ankara, Turkey, 3rd October 2015

10/11/2015

The following is a summary of the conversation that took place during DPI’s recent Roundtable Meeting, held in Ankara, Turkey on 3 October 2015 and addressing the topic of ‘Getting a Process Back on Track’. Identifying the need for a platform for relevant dialogue and discussion, the Roundtable focused on exploring the ways in which to bring a process ‘back on track’ when it has become derailed or is facing significant challenges such as those being faced in the context of Turkey’s resolution process today.

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Keeping a Peace Process on Track: A Comparative Study Visit Report 19th-23rd April 2015

01/10/2015

This report details the discussion that took place during DPI’s Comparative Study Visit to Southern and Northern Ireland in April 2015. Participants in the visit included government advisors, policy makers, high level journalists and media personalities, academics and members of Turkey’s Wise Persons Committee. During the visit key actors from Northern Ireland’s peace process were met with, in Dublin, Dundalk and Belfast. Speakers included former Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, former Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern, and Chair of the Good Friday Agreement, US Senator George Mitchell.

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Ireland Comparative Study Visit Report April 2015 TUR

Comparative Study to the Philippines, 20-27th June 2015

10/08/2015

This report documents the discussions carried out during DPI’s Comparative Study Visit to the Philippines from 20-27 June 2015. The Southern Philippines peace process was explored in a series of roundtables held in Manila and Cotabato (Southern Philippines), and the visit included 18 participants from Turkey, including Members of Parliament from each main political party; policy makers; renowned journalists and media personalities; senior academics and members of Turkey’s Wise Persons Committee. The report details the meetings that took place between participants and key actors from the Philippines process including government actors and representatives of governmental bodies including the Office of the Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process; the Governor of Bangsamoro and the Bangsamoro Transition Committee; Moro Islamic Liberation Front leader and critical actors in the process; Philippines Army military leaders; peace talks negotiators; high level journalists and media personalities reporting on the process; the International Monitoring Team and International Contact Group among others.

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Comparative Study Visit to Dublin, Ireland, 15-18th February 2015

12/06/2015

This report details the discussion that took place during the Democratic Progress Institute’s roundtable meeting in Ireland from the 15th – 18th February 2015, regarding the Irish experience of conflict resolution. The delegation participating in this visit comprised women only, and was composed of high level political actors, media personalities and journalists, academics, policy makers and civil society leaders.

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The Role of Language, Identity and the Media in Conflict Resolution – Roundtable Meeting, Istanbul, Turkey, 8 November 2014

05/02/2015

This report details the discussion that took place during the Democratic Progress Institute’s roundtable meeting in Istanbul, Turkey on 8th November 2014, regarding the role of language, identity and the media in conflict resolution, which took place in partnership with İstanbul Bilgi University. Language and identity are root causes of many conflicts globally, but also play an important role in peace building and democratic advancement at local, national and international levels. This roundtable meeting examined the role of language, media and identity in conflict, the challenges of implementing linguistic diversity, and the politics of language and mother tongue education. We hope that this record of the discussions that took place in Istanbul will encourage further dialogue on the role of language, media and identity in different conflict resolution processes.

For a full briefing on this visit: Download here [PDF]

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Comparative Study Visit Series for Parliamentarians, Ireland, 17th July 2013 – 31st May 2014

30/07/2014

This report details three high-level Comparative Study Visits to Ireland, organised by the Democratic Progress Institute. The aim of these visits was to bring delegates from each of Turkey’s main political parties to discuss the general topic of conflict resolution in the context of the Northern Ireland peace process along with the specific interests of each delegation. These small visits were designed to allow participants from each of the main political parties in Turkey to be able to speak frankly and openly with those who had been involved in the peace process in Northern Ireland. Each visit was facilitated with the kind assistance of the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation, and was hosted by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs.

For a full briefing on this visit:

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The Role of Civil Society in Conflict Resolution – The Irish Experience: Roundtable Meeting, Dublin, Ireland, 9th – 11th April 2014

30/07/2014

This report details the activities and roundtable discussion which took place during the Democratic Progress Institute’s Comparative Study visit to Dublin, Ireland from 9th – 11th April 2014, carried out in partnership with the Glencree Centre for Peace and Reconciliation and hosted by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs. The study focused on The Role of Civil Society in Conflict Resolution with a focus on the Northern Ireland peace process.

For a full briefing on this visit:

Download Here [PDF] 

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The Role of Civil Society in Conflict Resolution, Roundtable Meeting in Urfa, Turkey, 1st March 2014

25/04/2014

This report details the discussion that took place during the Democratic Progress Institute’s roundtable meeting in Urfa, Turkey on 1st March 2014, regarding the role of civil society in conflict resolution. Civil society has become widely recognised as a crucial actor in peace building and democratic reform at local, national and international levels. This roundtable meeting, the second of its kind to be organised by DPI on the subject of civil society, 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. We hope that this record of the discussions that took place in Urfa will encourage further dialogue on the role civil society can play in different conflict resolution processes.

For a full briefing on this visit: Download Here [PDF]

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Language, Culture and Identity in Wales, A Comparative Study Visit Report, 13th – 16th January 2014

25/04/2014

This report details the activities and roundtable discussions experienced during the Democratic Progress Institute’s Comparative Study visit to Cardiff, Wales from 12th to 16th January 2014. The study focused on the subjects of Language, Culture and Identity in Wales, in the context of devolution. We hope that this visit will be valuable for participants, and that it will contribute to ongoing discussions in Turkey.

For a full briefing on this visit: Download Here [PDF]

The Role of Women in Conflict Resolution Comparative Study Visit Report, Ireland, 28th November – 2nd December 2013

08/01/2014

This report details the discussion that took place during the Democratic Progress Institute’s roundtable meeting in Ireland from the 28th November – 2nd December 2013, regarding the role that women can play in conflict resolution. The importance of the role of women and their contribution to peace processes is increasingly being recognised by the international community. This roundtable discussion is one of a series of the Institute’s Turkey seminars on gender and conflict resolution.

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The Role of Women in Conflict Resolution, Roundtable Meeting, Van, 28th September 2013

20/12/2013

This report details the discussion that took place during the Democratic Progress Institute’s roundtable meeting in Van, Turkey on 28th November 2013, regarding the role that women can play in conflict resolution. The importance of the role of women and their contribution to peace processes is increasingly being recognised by the international community. This roundtable discussion is one of a series of the Institute’s Turkey seminars on gender and conflict resolution.

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Comparative Study Visit to Berlin, Germany, 21th October– 24th October 2013

20/12/2013

This report provides a record of all meetings that took place during the Comparative Study Visit to Germany, which was jointly conducted by The Democratic Progress Institute and the Berghof Foundation in October 2013 and was hosted by the German Federal Foreign Office. The overarching aim of the visit was to provide a platform for influential policy makers, media representatives, civil society and key politicians from each of Turkey’s main political parties to learn about the German model of governance. During the visit, a number of roundtable discussions with high-profile German politicians took place, as well as visits to German governmental bodies including the German Parliament. Speakers included internationally recognised conflict transformation experts.

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The Relationship between State and Media and its effect on Conflict Resolution, 29 June 2013

13/11/2013

This report details the discussion that took place during the Democratic Progress Institute’s roundtable meeting in Mardin, Turkey on 29th June 2013, regarding the relationship between the State and the Media, particularly in conflict resolution processes.

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Post Apartheid Reconciliation and Coexistence in South Africa: A Comparative Studies Visit Report 30th April-7th May 2013

07/11/2013

This report details the activities and roundtable discussions experienced during our visit to South Africa, from 30th April to 7th May 2013.The study focused on the subjects of post-apartheid reconciliation and coexistence in South Africa. We hope that this series of Comparative Studies will be valuable for participants, and that it will contribute to ongoing discussion in Turkey.

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Why Civil Society and Conflict Resolution?: Roundtable Meeting, Istanbul, 6th April 2013

11/09/2013

This report details the discussion that took place during the Democratic Progress Institute and the Berghof Foundation’s roundtable meeting in Istanbul, Turkey on 6th April 2013, regarding the role that civil society can play in conflict resolution. Civil society is a crucial actor in peace building and democratic reform at local, national and international levels, and can influence and shape debate.

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The Role of Local Media in Conflict Resolution: Roundtable Meeting, Istanbul, 14th November 2012

19/02/2013

This report details the discussion that took place during the Democratic Progress Institute’s roundtable meeting in Istanbul, Turkey on 14th November 2012, regarding the role that local media can play in conflict resolution.  The media are crucial actors in peace building and democratic reform at local, national and international levels, and can influence and shape debate.

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The Role of Women in Conflict Resolution: Roundtable Meeting, Istanbul, 19th September 2012

12/11/2012

This report details the discussion that took place in Istanbul, Turkey on 19th September 2012 regarding the role that women can play in conflict resolution. Women are crucial stakeholders in peacebuilding and democratic reform and yet they are too often side-lined because of entrenched gender biases. We hope that this record of the discussions that took place during this roundtable will provide a step towards tackling issues surrounding gender bias and help to shed some light on the importance of women in conflict resolution.

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Constitution Making in a Divided Society: Roundtable Meeting, Kent, 24th – 26th June 2012

12/11/2012

This report details the activities and roundtable discussions experienced during our visit to in Kent, United Kingdom, from 24th June to 26th June 2012. This activity focused on the subjects of constitution making processes in South Africa and Turkey, with a view to discuss ideas as to how Turkey may improve its constitution making process.

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Language, Identity & Cultural Rights and Devolution in Wales: A Comparative Study Visit Report 20th – 24th June 2012

12/11/2012

This report details the activities and roundtable discussions experienced during DPI’s Comparative Study visit to Cardiff, Wales from 20th June to 24th June 2012. The study focused on the subjects of Language, Identity and Cultural Rights and Devolution in Wales. It concludes DPI’s series of Comparative Study visits to the United Kingdom and Ireland (including London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Dublin), all of which have been hosted by the governments of each location visited. We hope that this series of Comparative Studies will be valuable for participants, and that it will contribute to ongoing discussion in Turkey.

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DPI Roundtable: Evaluation of Comparative Studies and International Experiences

17/10/2012

This first section of this report details DPI’s roundtable discussions held in London, Belfast and Edinburgh, from the 22nd-29thJuly 2011. As the first in the series of comparative study visits, the goal of this trip was to bring together representatives from different political parties, academics, journalists and civil society activists to share the experiences of the countries visited. It was an unprecedented accomplishment; for the first time, politicians from opposing parties came together (with academics, journalists and civil society representatives) to travel and discuss the issues raised by the shared experiences of the United Kingdom.

The second section details DPI’s roundtable discussions held in Dublin, Ireland, from 27th November – 1st December, 2011. The discussions focused on the subject of conflict resolution and the peace process in Ireland, and formed the second in a series of round tables that began with visits to London, Belfast and Edinburgh in July 2011.

The final section details DPI’s roundtable discussions held in Polonezköy, Turkey, from the 9th-11th March, 2012. The discussions focused on an evaluation of the comparative studies that had taken place in the preceding months in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The aim was to identify the key lessons learned from these trips and to decide how best to build on these experiences to make a substantive contribution to DPI’s Turkey programme. On Friday 9th of March, participants arrived at Polonezköy, where they began proceedings with an evening meal filled with lively discussion. Talk on the following two days focused on an evaluation of the comparative study trips and the question of how to expand DPI’s work in the future. All participants made substantive contributions to the ensuing conversation.

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DPI Roundtable: The Role of Media in Conflict, Istanbul, Turkey

17/10/2012

This report gives a record of the roundtable meeting entitled ‘The Role of the Media in Conflict’ held in Istanbul on 28 April, 2012. This report details both the speeches given by guest experts in media and journalism, as well as contributions and reflections from the participants during the roundtable discussion. We hope that this report can be utilised as a resource for media professional and civil society members in Turkey, for recognising the challenges that journalism faces as well as recommending a way forward.

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Turkey: Comparative Studies Visit to the United Kingdom – Conflict Resolution

17/10/2012

Report on the DPI comparative study visit to the United Kingdom that took place between 22-29th July 2011.

The goals of this trip were to bring together representatives from different political parties including the ruling party and those representing Kurdish and Turkish opposition interests, policy makers, opinion influencers, academics and journalists for roundtable/seminars to share comparative experiences.
Comparative study of post conflict societies, with experience of peace agreements and conflict resolution is a vital means of gaining information and sharing experiences. The process of devolution and constitutional arrangements are also highly relevant to the Turkish context.

It is hoped that in visiting London, Belfast, and Edinburgh and in meeting key players in the Northern Ireland peace process and UK devolution, strong sharing experiences can be drawn and comparisons made, with a view to opening up the possibility of broadening bases for peace and democratic advancement through dialogue and discussion. Issues addressed during the UK visit are detailed in this report.

Roundtables and structured discourse provided an opportunity to all parties to share knowledge, ideas, concerns and challenges in implementing a future solution to the Kurdish question in Turkey, and the study aimed to create an atmosphere whereby different parties could draw on comparative studies, analyse and compare various 15 mechanisms used to achieve positive results in similar cases across the United Kingdom.

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Turkey: Comparative Studies Visit to the Rep. of Ireland – Conflict Resolution

17/10/2012

A report on DPI’s comparative study visit to the Republic of Ireland 27th Novebmer-1st December 2011.

The aim of the visit to Dublin was to bring together the participants from the previous Comparative Studies visit (to the United Kingdom), to follow up their study of the Ireland – Northern Ireland conflict and peace process. The visit brought together representatives from each major political party (including members from the opposition and government parties) and key policy makers/influencers, journalists and academics from Turkey, with a cross section of Ireland/UK-based professionals and experts in specific subjects relevant to peace, conflict and democracy building. Topics examined in the study are relevant to the situation in Turkey and include the roles of government, media and civil society in the peace process; vocabulary of peace; and rights and identity as part of the peace process. Issues addressed during the visit to Dublin are detailed in this report.

The visit created an atmosphere where the participants were able to draw on
comparative situations, and analyse and compare various conflict resolution
mechanisms used to achieve positive results in the Irish context. Participants were given a unique opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of conflict
transformation and peace building tools. Furthermore, the roundtables and structured discourse provided an opportunity for all participants to share knowledge, ideas, concerns and challenges.

DPI fosters an environment for participants to engage in an open dialogue in order to broaden bases for peace and democratic advancement.

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Research

Assessment report by  Ali Bayramoğlu -The Role of the Opposition in a Politics of Peace

 

May 2020

The following report is written by Ali Bayramoğlu, a journalist, writer and political commentator from Turkey.

Mr Bayramoğlu offers a thorough analysis of the dynamics of the opposition bloc in regards to the Kurdish problem and peace process. The political arena has experienced widespread changes in the previous years and the opposition block is experiencing a systematic expansion. The author acknowledges the imminent possibility of the opposition of today to become the ruling party of tomorrow, rendering their stance on a resolution imperative, with the potential for change to manufacture a new approach towards the Kurdish issue. Political actors of oppositional parties, he argues, are key in establishing social legitimacy, which is necessary for defining and resolving the issue. Outlined in the report are both the internal and external dynamics of the opposition parties, noting that alliances and interactions are now key for political relationships. The author also recognizes potential obstacles to the resolution process, including conflicting internal politics and potentially problematic unsought associations with interlocutors on the Kurdish issue. He concludes that each progressive step taken by the political parties will bring Turkey closer to a resolution.

DPI wishes to thank the author for this engaging report. The views and opinions expressed in the report remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

Click Here For English and Turkish Versions

Assessment report by Ali Bayramoğlu:  The impact of the Covid -19 pandemic on the political, military, and social spheres and the relevance to the ongoing conflict in Turkey

May  2020

The following analysis is by Ali Bayramoğlu, a journalist, writer and political commentator from Turkey.

Mr Bayramoğlu  provides an analysis of the impact of Covid 19 pandemic on the political, military and social spheres and the relevance to the ongoing conflict in Turkey. 

DPI wishes to thank the author for this engaging report, which examines  how Turkey handles the huge  political, social and economic havoc caused by  Covid 19 pandemic.

 The views and opinions expressed in the report remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

 

Click Here For English and Turkish Versions

Assessment report by  Ferda Balancar  - New Political Parties, The Resolution Process And Potential Developments In 2020 In Turkey

 

January 2020

This report was prepared for DPI by journalist Ferda Balancar. It provides analysis of the recent emergence of two new parties onto the Turkish political scene, both of which are founded by figures who were prominent within the AK Party and in government. The author provides an overview of what is known to date about these two new parties and assesses the background of their leaders, the reasons for why two rather than one party have been formed, despite both leaders coming from the same political ‘family’, and what this means for the current constellation of political alliances in Turkey. The reception of these political parties by the general public will, the author suggests, determine how the Kurdish question is handled by the ruling party in the short and medium term.

DPI wishes to thank the author for this engaging report, which details the advent of two new political parties in Turkey, potentially with important ramifications for the resolution process. The views and opinions expressed in the report remain those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

Click Here For English and Turkish Versions

Assessment report by Dr Edel Hughes and Dr Daniel Aguirre - The Business Of Peace: New Political Parties, the Resolution Process and Potential Developments in 2020 in Turkey

November 2019

This report was prepared by Dr Daniel Aguirre and Dr Edel Hughes. The authors are senior lecturers at the University of Roehampton London and Middlesex University London respectively. The report provides analysis of the role and potential for involvement of the private sector in conflict transformation and examines in detail the examples of Colombia and Myanmar and considers whether lessons from these context are applicable to Turkey. The authors conclude that given the specificities of each situation of conflict, it is difficult to apply ‘models’ for businesses to follow as what works in one country may not work in another. Although research in this area is at a relatively early stage, some of the examples discussed, particularly in the case of Colombia, show that business, through the provision of training, jobs, and diversion from engagement in violence, can play a vital role.

DPI wishes to thank the authors for this engaging report, which details two very interesting case studies and assesses whether they could have relevance for Turkey. The views and opinions expressed in the report remain those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

Click Here For English and Turkish Versions

Assessment Report  by Ali Bayramoğlu: Political Actors In the Context Of The Kurdish Problem And New Opportunities For A Politics Of Peace

October 2019

The following analysis is by Ali Bayramoğlu, a journalist, writer and political commentator from Turkey.

Mr Bayramoğlu sets out the new political landscape in Turkey in relation to both the contemporary condition of the ruling AK Party and also structural changes in the opposition bloc. These dynamics are primarily explored in light of different actors’ approaches to the Kurdish issue, in contrast to tradition¬al ideological and political positions. Mr Bayramoğlu suggests that whilst the conservative ruling bloc is growing increasingly entrenched in an authoritar¬ian position, opposition actors—both old and new, and representing a political spectrum—are gaining public support as they offer alternatives to return the Kurdish question to political debate.

DPI wishes to thank the author for this engaging report, which examines the ever-changing dynamic in Turkey and the subsequent effect on a possible reso¬lution to the Kurdish question. The views and opinions expressed in the report remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

{Click Here For English and Turkish Versions}

Assessment report by Sevtap Yokuş: Constitutional-Legal Deadlocks and Opportunities for a Prospective Resolution Process in Turkey  

30/09/2019

This assessment provides an analysis of the role of the existing Constitution as an impediment or opportunity for the resolution process in Turkey. It considers the role of the Constitution in democratisation and safeguarding of fundamental rights and freedoms as preconditions for successful resolution to the conflict. It goes on to consider the potential role of the Constitutional Court as an instrument in upholding such elements of the Constitution. The paper addresses specific areas where the Constitution could be developed to build better foundations for the resolution process, such as constitutional citizenship, education in the mother tongue, and effective political participation particularly on the local level. In considering factors of the government system, the balance between the legislative and the executive is flagged as a potential challenge, alongside the relation between central and local government and the role of state of emergency regulation. The author assesses risks to the process caused by legislation on the state of emergency and on elections, political parties, associations and meetings and demonstrations, among others. The author concludes that the political atmosphere in Turkey stood in the way of democratic constitutionalism and democratic legislation, and that measures towards such constitutionalism would serve the resolution process, due to the close relation between peace and democratisation. The assessment was prepared for DPI by constitutional law scholar Prof. Dr. Sevtap Yokuş. The views and opinions expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of DPI.

[Download here for Turkish and English]

Assessment report by Alper Görmüş: Efforts to Solve the Kurdish Question: The Standpoints of the Parties and the Opposition (2002-2019) 

30/09/2019

This assessment paper provides an analysis of the political efforts in relation to the Kurdish question in Turkey since the first AK Party government in 2002. It considers the initial steps, including lifting of the State of Emergency in 2002 and explicit addressing of the Kurdish question from 2005 onwards. It goes on to consider different steps including in media, education, and direct engagement towards negotiations. The paper addresses the democratic opening in 2009 and the failure of these first efforts later in the same year due to the events at the Habur border crossing. A timeline of decline in the resolution process is presented, ending with the 2015 return to conflict. The author also looks at the position of the opposition during all of these different stages of the process, and highlights opportunities and barriers from the point of view of resumption of a resolution process. The author concludes that although the three initiatives of the government ultimately failed, they laid a foundation that their absence would not have provided. Hence, the overview warrants not only pessimism, but provides the benefits of hindsight that can help to overcome similar issues in the future. This assessment was prepared by journalist and media critic Alper Görmüş. The views and opinions expressed are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of DPI.

[Download here for English and Turkish]

Assessment report by Fazıl Hüsnü Erdem: Changes in a New Era of Turkey’s Politics 

31/07/2019

This assessment paper provides an in-depth analysis of the post-restructured Turkish polity, effectively what he has termed a new era in Turkey’s politics. Prof Dr Erdem delves into the distinctive dynamics of the new political system, the actions and strategies of the various political parties and actors, and the ramifications this new system may have on future politics, democracy in Turkey and the Kurdish Issue. Overall, Prof Dr Erdem takes an optimistic outlook to the prospects of the new political era. The alliance system, he asserts, has made all political parties much more important in elections, upturning the old hallmarks that had previously typified Turkish politics. The new system may prove to compel parties to come together, compromise and ‘soften the language of politics’ in Turkey. This report was prepared for DPI by Prof Dr Hüsnü Erdem, Professor of Constitutional Law at Dicle University in Diyarbakır, Turkey. The views and opinions expressed in this assessment are his own and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

[Download here for English and Turkish]

Assessment report by Dr Edel Hughes :  The EU And Conflict Transformation: Playing A Crucial Role?

June 2019

This report was prepared by Dr Edel Hughes, senior lecturer at Middlesex University London.
The report explores the policies and activities of the European Union in the area of conflict transformation through outlining the EU’s claims in terms of its capacity to act as a peacebuilder and assessing the institutional mechanisms that exist in order to lend it support. The report also provides an overview of the involvement of the EU in the Kurdish conflict in Turkey and asks whether it could play a greater role in the search for a solution. The author traces the EU’s self-identification as a project concerned with securing and maintaining peace through economic cooperation back to the 1951 Treaty Establishing the European Coal and Steel Community and examines the institutional mechanisms relating to peace and stability that have been developed through the years. DPI wishes to thank the author for this engaging report, which details the advent of two new political parties in Turkey, potentially with important ramifications for the resolution process. The views and opinions expressed in the report remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

Click Here For English and Turkish Versions

Assessment report by Ferda Balancar: Politics and Religious Orders in Turkey 

30/06/2019

This assessment paper gives an analysis of the various religious orders and organisations in Turkey particular attention given to the presence of the role of a religious organisation in the 15 July coup attempt in 2016. Mr Balancar gives a background on the origins of the various orders, which can be broadly split into the Naqshbandi, Nur Movement and the Suleymanites. As Mr Balancar recounts, many of the orders have been at times quite close to government, the Gülenists being the classic embodiment of this with their permeation of many levels of the Turkish bureaucracy and key governmental structures such as the military, police and the judiciary. According to Mr Balancar, the implications following the attempted coup and subsequent liquidation of Gülenists from government are that the very same threat remains as other religious orders may fill the vacuum the Gülenists have left behind. Without the conception of a new democratic constitution, Mr Balancar argues the risk of bureaucratic entrenchment of certain influential groups will continue and is of utmost concern with likely repercussions on issues such as the Kurdish Issue and the future of democracy in Turkey. This report was prepared for DPI by journalist Ferda Balancar. The views and opinions expressed in this assessment are his own and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

[Download here for English and Turkish]

Assessment report by Dr Edel Hughes - Conflict in Turkey: Context, Applicable Law, and the Search for a Solution

 

June 2019 

This report was prepared by Dr Edel Hughes. The author is a lecturer in law at the National University of Ireland, Galway.The report provides an overview of the legal parameters of the Kurdish conflict in Turkey through outlining the applicable international humanitarian and human rights law. On addressing the conflict and applicable law, it then provides an outline of how the attempts at resolution have unfolded thus far. The author highlights the contested nature of both the legal and political parameters of the conflict, noting that even categorising the Kurdish issue in Turkey as a ‘conflict’, rather than as an ‘insurgency’ or as ‘terrorist’ violence, for example, is significant and would draw criticism from some quarters.

DPI wishes to thank the author for this engaging report, which provides a timely overview of the legal parameters of the Kurdish issue in Turkey, as well as of the attempts at a resolution to date. The views and opinions expressed in the report remain those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

.

Click Here For English and Turkish Versions

Assessment report by Ali Bayramoğlu: The Transformation of Turkey’s Political Equation

30/05/2019

This assessment paper provides an analysis of the changing political situation in Turkey. Turkey is now widely considered as having entered a new era, and specific attention is therefore paid to the impact of the Kurdish dynamic in such changed circumstances. Mr Bayramoğlu outlines the new era of Turkish politics starting from the evident shift from the recent period of extensive political transformation and accompanied by a series of elections between 2014 and 2019. He then contrasts this with the forthcoming period, and the notable absence of scheduled elections until 2023. As Mr Bayramoğlu maintains, the current circumstances at the transition between eras are likely to have a great impact on the future of Turkey’s politics. This report was prepared for DPI by writer and political commentator, Ali Bayramoğlu. The views and opinions expressed in this assessment are his own and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

[Download here for Turkish and English]

Assessment report by Ali Bayramoğlu: New Political Developments, the Kurdish Problem and the Near Future

13/02/2019

This assessment paper analyses the possible effects of the upcoming March 2019 elections on the political system and the trajectory of the Kurdish issue within this framework. The author argues that due to the securitization of Turkey’s dominant political discourse, the March 2019 local elections will be dominated by a discourse of besiegement and will unlikely produce a change in power due to the strategic interdependence of the AKP and MHP, and the current ideological unity of the two parties. The possibilities for a resolution of the Kurdish issue in the context of both current political dynamics with Turkey and regional developments, particularly in Syria, are also considered in this paper. This report was prepared for DPI by Ali Bayramoğlu. The author is a distinguished writer and political commentator. He is a member of DPI’s Council of Experts and a former member of the Wise Person’s Committee in Turkey. The views and opinions expressed in this assessment are his own and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

Dowload here [English and Turkish]

Research report by Ana Villellas Ariño, María Villellas Ariño, and Pamela Urrutia Arestizábal on “The Experience of Ahotsak: Women’s Dialogue Across the Divide in the Basque Country”

13/12/2018

This research report prepared for DPI by Ana Villellas Ariño, María Villellas Ariño, and Pamela Urrutia Arestizábal of the Escola de Cultura de Pau in the Autonomous University of Barcelona provides an analysis of the Ahotsak (Voices) movement, which emerged during the Basque conflict to facilitate further female participation in the peace process. The report tracks the growth of the Ahotsak movement, from its roots in the public rapprochement of two female MPs from opposite ends of the political divide, to its expansion into the Basque parliament and civil society. The report also tracks the obstacles that faced the peace process, such as violence carried out by the separatist ETA group, and details how Ahotsak worked around this to maintain the dialogue at during difficult times. The report exemplifies the effectiveness of increased female participation in peace processes, and the way a mutual goal of peace can propel people to work across political divides. The authors conclude that although there are conflicting opinions about whether the movement has permanently disappeared or is on standby, it has helped propel the emergence of other platforms that promote the role of women in transforming conflicts. The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

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Assessment report by Ali Bayramoğlu: The Beginning of the Presidential Era and Turkey’s Future

27/09/2018

This report provides an assessment of Turkey’s political landscape following the June 2018 parliamentary and presidential elections and reflects on the implications of these post-election balances for Turkey’s politics, its potential trajectory, and critical challenges such as the Kurdish issue. Following an analysis of the sociological and political implications of the elections, including a detailed analysis of voter patterns and profiles, the report goes on to discuss the political meaning of the election results and the first presidential acts following the shift from a parliamentary to presidential system. The report is the latest in a series prepared for DPI by prominent writer, columnist and former Wise Persons’ Committee Member, Ali Bayramoğlu. The views and opinions expressed in this assessment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

Download here [English and Turkish]

Assessment report by Prof. Dr. Sevtap Yokuş: Elections and the Presidential System in Turkey

07/09/2018

This latest assessment prepared for DPI by Prof. Dr. Sevtap Yokuş provides an analysis of the June 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey and considers the potential impact of the structural transformation from a parliamentary to a presidential system of government on the checks and balances between government bodies, with reference to latest examples from practice. Methods of democratising politics as a means of balancing power under current circumstances and the development of local self-government in Turkey as a democratic mechanism that can serve social peace are then discussed. The author concludes that in order for Turkey to restart on a course of democratisation diverse voices including economic actors, civil society organisations and opposition parties all need to make more concerted demands for democratisation, freedoms, and the resolution of the conflict through political means. Sevtap Yokuş is Professor at the Department of Constitutional Law, Altinbaş University. The views and opinions expressed in this assessment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

Download here [English and Turkish]

Assessment report by Prof. Dr. Sevtap Yokuş: Elections and the Presidential System in Turkey

07/09/2018

This latest assessment prepared for DPI by Prof. Dr. Sevtap Yokuş provides an analysis of the June 2018 presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey and considers the potential impact of the structural transformation from a parliamentary to a presidential system of government on the checks and balances between government bodies, with reference to latest examples from practice. Methods of democratising politics as a means of balancing power under current circumstances and the development of local self-government in Turkey as a democratic mechanism that can serve social peace are then discussed. The author concludes that in order for Turkey to restart on a course of democratisation diverse voices including economic actors, civil society organisations and opposition parties all need to make more concerted demands for democratisation, freedoms, and the resolution of the conflict through political means. Sevtap Yokuş is Professor at the Department of Constitutional Law, Altinbaş University. The views and opinions expressed in this assessment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

Download here [English and Turkish]

Assessment report by Ali Bayramoğlu: A Survey of Turkish Politics Spring 2018

16/05/2018

This assessment prepared for DPI by prominent writer, columnist and former Wise Persons’ Committee Member, Ali Bayramoğlu, explores the internal and external dimensions of the current political situation in Turkey and assesses the country’s direction and likely scenarios in terms of its political order and foreign policy. The paper contributes to DPI’s ongoing evaluation of the situation in Turkey which takes into account different views and perspectives, at a time of significant political change, both externally and internally, and not least in the run-up to elections in June 2018. The views and opinions expressed in the assessment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

Download here [English and Turkish]

Assessment Report by Prof. Dr. Erol Katırcıoğlu: Political and Economic Trends 2002-2017 Implications for Conflict Resolution in Turkey

13/11/2017

This assessment by Turkish economist Prof. Dr. Erol Katırcıoğlu’s provides an economic as well as political and sociological perspective to the Kurdish issue and prospects for conflict resolution in Turkey. Using available statistical data to analyse trends in public expenditure in predominantly Kurdish provinces against political voting patterns and indicators of governance, the study challenges the position that resolution of the Kurdish issue lies in economic development alone. Rather, a political solution is required to address the identity-related demands of the Kurdish population. This report contributes to DPI’s ongoing appraisal of the situation on the ground in Turkey,  which  takes  into  account  different  views  and  perspectives. It is one of a number of assessments on the topic of the Kurdish resolution process undertaken by a diverse range of experts both in the region and internationally at a time of significant political change. The views and opinions expressed in this assessment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DPI.

Download [English and Turkish]

Assessment report by Ali Bayramoğlu: Politics and the Kurdish Problem in Turkey After the Constitutional Reform

13/09/2017

This report provides an assessment of Turkey’s political structures and climate following the constitutional referendum of 16 April 2017. It considers possibilities of a potential resolution process or return to politics with regard to the Kurdish issue, and analyses the opportunities, situations and actors that might actualize this potential. This assessment was prepared for the Democratic progress Institute by prominent writer, columnist, and Member of Turkey’s  Wise  Persons’ Committee, Ali Bayramoğlu. The views and opinions expressed in this report are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of DPI.

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Download here [Turkish]

The Role of Business in Northern Ireland’s Peace Process

24/08/2017

This research paper focuses on the role and actions of the private sector and business community in contributing to the Northern Ireland peace process. 

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Download here [Turkish]

Analysis by Sevtap Yokuş: TÜRKİYE’DE 2017 ANAYASA DEĞİŞİKLİKLERİ VE ÇÖZÜM SÜRECİ

21/04/2017

Türkçesini İndir [PDF]

English Translation [PDF]

Constitutional Amendments in Turkey 2017 and the process of resolution

Assessment report by Ali Bayramoğlu: Turkey’s new political paradigm and the Kurdish question

03/04/2017

This analysis of the new political paradigm in Turkey was prepared for the Democratic Progress Institute (DPI) by prominent writer, columnist, and Member of Turkey’s Wise Persons’ Committee, Ali Bayramoğlu. It presents the author’s assessment of the shifting political sands and analysis of the current political situation.

Download here [PDF]

Türkçesini İndir [PDF]

New Assessment by Ali Bayramoğlu: As Tensions Mount in Kurdish Politics

02/12/2016

This is an assessment report of recent events in Turkey by Ali Bayramoğlu. It contributes to DPI’s ongoing evaluation of on-the-ground situation in Turkey and is one of a number of assessments on the topic of the Kurdish Question, undertaken by experts both in the region and internationally.

Download Here [PDF]
Türkçesini İndir [PDF]

Security Sector Reform in Transitioning Environments: Potential and Challenges to Peace-building and Post-Conflict Transformation

08/11/2016

This paper focuses on one of the first and most important stages in peace-building and post-conflict transitional processes, namely Security Sector Reform. It does so by highlighting the importance of reshaping the security sector in order to build sustainable peace and development in the long-term, as well as stressing the need for a proper implementation of these processes to promote grassroots reconciliation and capacity building.

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Getting a peace process back on track after a crisis

30/09/2016

This paper assesses common types of crises encountered during a peace process, the challenges actors have faced and how they overcame them. 

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New Assessment by Ali Bayramoğlu: The Latest Situation on the Kurdish Front, Autumn 2015 – 2016

19/09/2016

This is an assessment report of recent events in Turkey by Ali Bayramoğlu. It contributes to DPI’s ongoing evaluation of on-the-ground situation in Turkey and is one of a number of assessments on the topic of the Kurdish Question, undertaken by experts both in the region and internationally.

Download Here [PDF]

Türkçesini İndir [PDF]

The experiences of Scottish Devolution

04/07/2016

The UK and in particular the case of Scotland, continues to provide a useful case study on questions of governance, presenting numerous topics in relation to power sharing and devolution processes. This paper is a continuation of DPI’s previous studies in this area, and presents an updated account of recent events within Scotland’s political landscape.

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DPI Briefing Note: Catalonia – from 2012 to 2016

17/06/2016

The case of Spain and Catalonia demonstrates the challenges and complex questions presented by decentralisation processes, which can be an important means by which to enhance democracy and to protect and promote the diverse cultural, economic and geographical rights and interests of different groups within a State. This paper outlines the current context in Catalonia from this perspective, observing the period from 2012-2016.

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The role of European Union accession in democratisation processes

16/06/2016

This paper presents the achievements, challenges and toolbox of the European Union in the field of democratisation. By giving an overview of the European Union’s multi-faceted approach to democracy promotion, this paper puts forward the capacity of the European Union to act as a ‘normative power’. This paper forms part of DPI’s ongoing research on democracy building and aims to support and strengthen collaboration and research on democratic advancement.

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The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Refugees, Conflict, and International Law

10/06/2016

This research paper is the result of a collaboration between DPI and Al Marsad, an independent human rights organisation with a history of engagement with refugee issues, and with whom this research paper was co-written. The paper seeks to provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of the current refugee movement crisis with a specific focus on conflict resolution, examining both the likelihood of conflict occurring, and outlining avenues in which this may be addressed. The relevant international legal frameworks, academic understandings of the relationship between refugees and conflict, and past historical precedents are provided, along with a clear overview of the refugee situation in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, which draws directly from the testimonies of Syrian refugees themselves. In particular, this paper explores how the dual needs of securing security and the human rights of refugees can be met together.

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DPI legal factsheet on the use of torture in conflict situations

02/06/2016

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DPI Briefing Note: Colombia Peace Talks with the ELN

29/04/2016

This briefing note gives a background of the ELN in the context of conflict in Colombia and identifies the issues to be discussed in peace negotiations with the Colombian Government.

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Türkçesini İndir [PDF]

DPI Briefing Note: Current Peace Process in Colombia

29/04/2016

This brief provides a background to the Colombian conflict and an overview of the peace negotiations currently taking place between the Colombian government and the FARC.

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Türkçesini İndir [PDF]

DPI Briefing Note: A Fresh Start for Northern Ireland

29/03/2016

This briefing note provides an overview of the events which led to new peace negotiations in September through November 2015 and the resulting ‘Fresh Start’ agreement.

Download here [PDF]

Türkçesini İndir [PDF]

Counter-Terrorism Measures in Internal Armed Conflicts: the Obligations from International Law

14/03/2016

This legal briefing paper sets out the applicability of international obligations to situations of counter-terrorism or military operations in internal armed conflicts, and addresses some of the key issues arising in this complex area of international human rights law.

Download Here: Counter Terrorism in Internal Armed Conflicts [PDF]

DPI Briefing Paper – Minority Culture, Language and Identity in Conflict

08/03/2016

This briefing paper outlines common ways in which issues of minority language, identity, and culture affect conflict.

Download Here: Minority Culture Language and Identity in Conflict [PDF]

The Role of Civil Society in the Basque Country Peace Process

08/03/2016

This report analyses the different organisations within Basque civil society and their roles in a conflict which has been referred to as the last armed struggle within modern Europe.

Download Here: Civil Society in Basque Country [PDF]

DDR and Former Female Combatants

08/03/2016

This paper forms part of DPI’s ongoing research programmes in the areas of DDR and the gendered effects of conflict, and examines key themes and lessons learned from recent DDR experiences internationally.

Download Here: DDR and Female Combatants [PDF]

DPI Briefing Note – Child Soldiers and International Law

08/03/2016

The following Brief by DPI outlines the obligations presented by international law in regard to child soldiers, as well as some of the policy issues to be addressed in this area.

Download Here: Child Soldiers Brief [PDF]

DPI Guest Lecture and Information Brief on New Media and its role in democratic transition process

18/02/2016

DPI this week held a guest lecture on the topic of New Media and its role in democratic transition processes, with an Egyptian activist and researcher speaking on the topic. The following short briefing paper looks at the way in which the relatively new phenomenon of New Media has been observed to play a pivotal part in political dialogue and democratic transition globally, especially amongst (but not limited to) youth; a trend which is likely to continue as internet penetration gathers pace worldwide.

New Media Brief Feb 2016

Conflict Resolution in the Philippines and Debate on Basic Law – Sevtap Yokuş

18/02/2016

This report, published in both English and Turkish languages, is an account by DPI participant Professor Dr. Sevtap Yokuş of the Philippines experience of conflict resolution, following on from DPI’s visit to Manila and Mindanao in 2015.

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Türkçesini İndir [PDF]

DPI welcomes UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security

11/12/2015

DPI welcomes the United Nations Security Council’s unanimous adoption of Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security on 9 December 2015, and considers it a significant step forward in the field of conflict transformation and peacebuilding. The following is a brief summarising the content and significance of this important Resolution.

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Resolution of Turkey’s Kurdish Question: A Process in Crisis, 2015

01/12/2015

Through focusing on the events of the latter half of 2015, the purpose of this report by Dr Edel Hughes, is to problematize the reasons for the current suspension of the process and assess the prospects for a return to dialogue. This forms part of DPI’s ongoing assessment of events in the region from diverse perspectives.

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The Process of Resolution: from Politics to Arms

10/11/2015

This is an assessment report (available in English, Turkish and Kurdish languages) of recent events in Turkey by Ali Bayramoğlu.  It contributes to DPI’s ongoing evaluation of on-the-ground situation in Turkey with regard to the Kurdish resolution process. It is one of a number of assessments on this topic, undertaken by experts both in the region and internationally.

Download Here [PDF]