DPI Reverse Comparative Study Visit ‘Communicating Peace and Enhancing Dialogue: Reconsidering the Role of Media in Conflict Resolution’ 23 October 2021

DPI held an in-person reverse Comparative Study Visit (CSV) entitled ‘Communicating Peace and Enhancing Dialogue: Reconsidering the Role of Media in Conflict Resolution’ on 23 October 2021 in Istanbul. The event explored the potential ways in which the media can make use of the growing momentum for the Kurdish issue in Turkey and how it can play a meaningful role in starting and sustaining a well-rounded public debate on issues pertaining to peace and conflict resolution. The keynote speaker Owen Boycott, former Ireland correspondent for The Guardian, discussed his first-hand experience as a journalist reporting the Troubles in Northern Ireland and shared with the group the role that the media can play in promoting peace, in terms of both opportunities and challenges. In the afternoon session, participants engaged in a discussion about the current media climate in Turkey and the role of media in conflict resolution, moderated by DPI’s Council of Experts member, political commentator, and columnist, Ali Bayramoğlu. The discussion started by focusing on what it means to be a journalist in Turkey right now, the function of mainstream media in Turkey as a tool for government propaganda, and alternative platforms that are mainly online. Overall, the reverse CSV, carried out during the course of a difficult time in Turkey, proved to be timely and provided the media group with a platform to hear from a journalist’s first-hand experiences from the Northern Ireland case, as well as discuss their own experiences. DPI will continue to include the media group in its programme. This reverse CSV forms part of a larger series of activities planned in the context of the project: “Forging Pathways to Peace and Democracy in Turkey”, supported by the Norwegian, Irish, and Swiss governments.