Strengthening Advocacy for Peace In Turkey

19/01/2022

Start date

01-01-2020

End date

31-12-2024

Fields

Peace

Within the scope of this project, we carry out capacity building and research activities for civil society in Turkey to take a more active role in the efforts to initiate and pursue a new peace process and thus contribute to the field of peace advocacy.

Project duration: 01.01.2020 – 31.12.2024
Supported by: Olof Palme International Center
Partner: Swedish Social Democratic Youth League (SSU)
Working area: Peace

Objective

With this project, we aim to increase the capacity of civil society in Turkey to contribute to peace advocacy and a possible new peace process. In line with this general objective, the project aims to increase the production of knowledge on topics that are important in preparing the ground for a new peace process, to strengthen cooperation between institutions and to encourage young people to engage with the field of peace.

Rationale

In 2013, negotiations were taken up to end almost 40 years of armed conflict and find a peaceful and democratic solution to the Kurdish issue. This so-called “Solution Process” eventually collapsed in 2015. During the two-year period between 2013-2015, we witnessed an environment in which different social groups could discuss the Kurdish issue and its political solution as a result of partial policy changes. Following the collapse of the process, the armed clashes intensified and pushed the debate about the Kurdish issue away from the notions of peace and resolution back to the prior of paradigm of war and terror. After the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016, and the subsequent implementation of a state of emergency regime, fundamental human rights and freedoms were increasingly violated, while civic spaces were palpably curtailed and nationalist and militarist rhetoric governed public life. The civil society organizations, whose involvement in the solution process has already been very limited as recent studies show, had to continue their work under much more difficult conditions after the breakdown of the process. All these difficult and challenging developments compelled us to take even more resolute action to make sure that political peace is being discussed in the public.

Activities

Within the scope of this project, we are going to commission a series of analysis reports that deal with important dimensions of the Kurdish issue such as decentralization, the search for truth, and regional dynamics, adopting a comparative perspective to view the Kurdish issue in relation to other peace processes around the world. In addition, we are planning to organize various workshops and trainings to strengthen the cooperation between civil society organizations working in the field of peace and to make peace advocacy more visible. Within the scope of the project, we will also conduct a number of workshops, trainings and study visits with young people who want to take greater action in the field of peace advocacy and contribute to the field of peace activism.

Published reports

  • Cuma Çiçek, Power-Sharing and Decentralization in the Context of the Kurdish Issue and Political Peace (Turkish, English, Kurdish) 
  • Nesrin Uçarlar, A Peaceful Search for Truth in Turkey: Confronting Racism (Turkish, English, Kurdish)
  • Yasin Sunca, The Regional Kurdish Question in a Global World: Mentalities, Policies and Geopolitical Dynamics (Turkish, English, Kurdish)

Translated articles 

  • From Transitional to Performative Justice, Audra Mitchell (2010) (English original, Turkish translation çeviri)
  • The ‘Others’ in Peace Talks: Representation of ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ in the Turkish-Cypriot and Greek-Cypriot Press, Christophoros Christophorou and Sanem Şahin (2018) (English orijinal, Turkish translation
  • From Transitional to Performative Justice: Peace Activism in the Aftermath of Communal Violence, Birgit Bräuchler (2019) (English original, Turkish translation)

Online meetings and panels

  • Peace and Ecology Meeting (with Zozan Pehlivan, Agit Özdemir, and environmental activists), 31 May 2021
  • Young Peace Activists Meeting (in cooperation with Cyprus Dialogue Forum, participants included young activists from Turkey, Cyprus, and Sweden), 16 June 2021 
  • Cuma Çiçek, Power-Sharing and Decentralization in the Context of the Kurdish Issue and Political Peace (Cuma Çiçek, Elise Massicard, Ulaş Bayraktar), 23 June 2021.
  • Nesrin Uçarlar, A Peaceful Search for Truth in Turkey: Confronting Racism (Nesrin Uçarlar, Elizabeth Oglesby, Yeşim Yaprak Yıldız), 30 June 2021

Field visits

    • Cyprus (24-27 October 2021): Organized in cooperation with the Cyprus Dialogue Forum. The purpose of the visit was to bring together young activists from Turkey, the TRNC, and the Republic of Cyprus to discuss methods, challenges, and strategies in peace work in Turkey and Cyprus. The meeting took place at the Home for Cooperation in the buffer zone of Nicosia. A field trip to the Maraş region took place on the last day of the visit.
    • Diyarbakır (19-22 December 2021): The purpose of the visit was to meet with local rights organizations and activists, learn about their work and discuss possible collaborations. During the visit, we met with institutions working on human rights, ecology, peace, children’s rights, and women’s rights.

Photo gallery


* Please send any questions regarding the project to info@hafiza-merkezi.org.