On November 6, DPI held an in-person Reverse Comparative Study Visit (CSV) entitled ‘Peace Dividends: Beyond National Borders’ in Istanbul, in collaboration with Diyarkabır Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The event was the second meeting organised under the series titled ‘Mapping dividends of peace in Turkey’, a series that aims to explore the interconnected relationship between conflict, peace, and the economy through the lessons learned from relevant international experiences – in this case, the Northern Irish experience. The group included both reoccurring and new participants to ensure continuity while increasing diversity. The keynote speaker Dermot Ahern, former Minister of Foreign Affairs from the Republic of Ireland, discussed his reflections as a prominent politician in the Northern Ireland peace process experience living near the border. Ahern talked about the economic inequalities that existed in Northern Ireland and the economic deprivation on the six bordering counties in the Republic of Ireland bordering Northern Ireland due to the conflict. He discussed the role that business communities and economic incentives could play to generate public support for peace, the effect peace has had on the social and economic conditions of the island of Ireland. Overall, this reverse CSV, carried out during a difficult time in Turkey, proved to be timely and provided the economy group with a platform to hear from a senior politician’s experiences from the Northern Ireland case, as well as discuss their own experiences. The participants greatly valued the opportunity to participate at an in-person event, following the first online meeting of the economy series.
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.