DPI held its first in-person event since the start of the pandemic on September 11 in Istanbul. The roundtable entitled ‘Youth’s Peace Memory & Vision in Turkey II’ was organised in conjunction with the Istanbul Bilgi University Centre for Conflict Resolution Studies and Research (CCR). The event followed DPI’s online roundtable in June 2021, where the focus was youth’s memory of peace in Turkey, allowing participants to share their memories and perceptions of the peace process that took place between 2013-2015. This time the focus was youth’s vision of peace, as well as expectations and strategies, highlighting the social, psychological, and economic benefits of peace for the youth
The meeting brought together a diverse group of youth participants, figures with diverse professional and political backgrounds from across Turkey.
Turkey has one of the highest percentages of young population in the world as the population in the 15-29 age group amounts to 23.2% of the country’s population. 16% of the voters who will vote in the next elections will be young people. Participants discussed how even though the peace process in Turkey is parked, it established peace as a legitimate solution in the minds of the people and created a precedent from which valuable lessons can be learned. Participants also discussed how focusing on the dividends of peace for everyone -unifying young people around the common goal of a better future- could be an effective strategy to increase public support for peace.
The event 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.