The issue described by some as the “Turkish question” and by others as the “Kurdish question” has been standing in front of us for a century with vast repercussions in political, social, economic and cultural spheres. In the past, we have at times witnessed increased optimism for peace and resolution, and the rise of pessimist sentiment due to war and conflict at some other times.
In addition to the policies pursued by politicians and social actors, numerous NGOs organized many panel discussions, conferences and events during periods of optimism or pessimism. Thus, we can claim to have sufficient knowledge about the historical roots and evolution of the question at hand.
However, we cannot say the same for the very “peace or resolution process” itself in the last few years, which is conducted sometimes in secret, sometimes overtly. We believe that at the present the issue must be debated with its different dimensions through different perspectives, under the light of international cases. As such, we organize the conference entitled “From War to Peace, From Conflict to Resolution” in Ankara and Diyarbakır.
As such we wish to make a thorough analysis of the last few years and discuss the probable processes from different. Although it is impossible to exhaust the entire debate in a single conference, we shall take up the most burning issues, in our opinion, under four headings: Disarmament during Negotiation Processes, Initiatives for Peace and Resolution, Negotiation from Women Perspective.
The following questions could be taken up under the theme Initiatives for Peace and Resolution: How did the direct and indirect talks between the Turkish state and the Kurdish movement evolve in the last years? How can we discuss these negotiations within its historical context? What were the main topics of debate? How did these negotiations shape hopes for peace and resolution? What is the role and impact of third parties and international observers during peace talks? What stages did negotiations go through in similar cases across the world?
The debate under the heading Disarmament during Negotiation Processes could turn around the following questions: Does disarmament correspond to the mutual refusal of violence by the two sides? Under which circumstances did disarmament take place in different cases across the world? In the context of the Kurdish question in Turkey, what do the sides expect in terms of disarmament? In which situations does disarmament help resolve the issue, and which problems it does not?
Negotiation from Women Perspective could spark a debate around these questions: What does women perspective prioritize in peace talks? How does women perspective contribute to the societal peace processes? Is peace possible without the voice of women? How women were included or excluded in similar negotiations the world over?
Our hope is to contribute to societal peace with this and similar events…
From War to Peace, from Conflict to Resolution 13. December 2014, Elite World İstanbul Hotel
13. December, Saturday
09.30-09.50 Inaugural Speeches: Ibrahim Gürbüz, İsmail Beşikçi Foundation Ulrike Dufner, Heinrich Böll Stiftung Turkey Representation
09.50-11.00 Open Forum: Resolution/Peace Process from Two Perspectives Mahir Ünal, Justice and Development Party (tbc) Idris Baluken, Peoples’ Democratic Party (tbc) Moderator: Şirin Payzın, Journalist (tbc)
11.00-13.00 First Panel Discussion: Initiatives for Peace and Resolution International Experiences, Alvaro de Soto, Global Leadership Foundation Direct and Indirect Initiatives during Negotiations, Fehim Işık, Journalist-Author The Role and Impact of International Observers, Francesc Vendrell, John Hopkins University, Washington DC Moderator: Ayhan Bilgen, Human Rights Defender
13.00-14.30 Lunch Break
14.30-16.30 Second Panel Discussion: Disarmament during Negotiation Processes Disarmament in the Conflict between the Turkish State and PKK, Cengiz Çandar, Journalist-Author Why do Armed Groups Disarm? Harun Ercan, Koç University International Experiences, N.N. Moderator: Şemsa Özar, Boğaziçi University
16.30-17.00 Tea-Coffee Break
17.00-19.00 Third Panel Discussion: Negotiation from Women’s Perspective Women in Negotiation Processes, Nimet Tanrıkulu, Women’s Initiative for Peace Women in Peace-Building, Yüksel Genç, Journalist-Author International Experiences, Helen Scanlon, University of Cape Town Moderator: Mehmet Tarhan, Conscientious Objector / LGBT Rights Activist
From War to Peace, from Conflict to Resolution 14. December, 2014, Diyarbakır Liluz Hotel
14. December, Sunday
10.00-10.30 Inaugural Speech: İsmail Beşikçi, İsmail Beşikçi Foundation Nejdet İpekyüz, Diyarbakir Institute for Political and Social Research (DİSA)
10.30-12.30 First Panel Discussion: Initiatives for Peace and Resolution International Experiences, Alvaro de Soto, Global Leadership Foundation Direct and Indirect Initiatives during Negotiations, Fehim Işık, Journalist-Author The Role and Impact of International Observers, Francesc Vendrell, John Hopkins University, Washington DC Moderator: Ayhan Bilgen, Human Rights Defender
12.30-14.00 Lunch Break
14.00-15.30 Second Panel Discussion: Disarmament during Negotiation Processes Why do Armed Groups Disarm? Harun Ercan, Koç University International Experiences, N.N.
- Moderator: Nurcan Baysal, DISA
15.30-16.00 Tea-Coffee Break
16.00-18.00 Third Panel Discussion: Negotiation from Women Perspective Women in Negotiation Processes, Nimet Tanrıkulu, Women’s Initiative for Peace Women in Peace-Building Yüksel Genç, Journalist-Author International Experiences, Helen Scanlon, University of Cape Town
Moderator: Mehmet Tarhan, Conscientious Objector / LGBT Rights Activist