The project “Towards A Blueprint for Reconciliation: Engaging the Civil Society and Capacity Building” which started within Anadolu Kültür in 2010, entered its second stage between March 2011 – December 2011.
One of the first starting points of the project was to identify the gaps in capacity for the active participation of civil society in the facilitation of peace and reconciliation, as well as the necessity to encourage collaboration and coordination among institutions working in these areas. Another important point is the indispensability of increasing information on the topic of how civil actors around the world use various means and techniques of confronting the past under the umbrella of “Transitional Justice.”
The project’s primary activities include in-depth workshops, translations to enrich our website’s contents, promotional projects to enable us to access a wider audience, and a study visit to Argentina.
Within the scope of the project, we have held three meetings. These meetings helped contribute to the development of relations among civil society organizations working in the field of democratization and human rights in Turkey, as well as with international organizations. Participants informed us about processes and mechanisms of transitional justice that opened up discussions and helped develop new ideas.
The meetings that we have held within the context of the project are as follows:
- Civil Society Initiative for Truth Commissions (Istanbul, 23-24 July)
- Truth Commissions: Turkey in Light of World Experiences (Istanbul, 15-16 October)
- Monuments, Museums, and Memorial Initiatives Workshop (Istanbul, 17-18 December)
We aimed to gather various experiences from post-conflict societies related to truth commissions, criminal justice, memorialization, and institutional reform on our website. In this regard, a large number of sources have been translated to Turkish.
Thanks to the study visit we conducted on 11-15 April 2011, we had the opportunity to examine initiatives in Argentina aimed at confronting the past. We shared these experiences in a report that we published. In September 2011, we held a presentation/discussion at DEPO Istanbul about the trip to Argentina.
The experiences gathered and the observations conducted in the first and second phases of the project “Capacity Building for the Effective Participation of Civil Society in the Solution of the Kurdish Issue” were a significant contribution towards identifying the mission and strategy of the Center for Truth, Justice, and Memory (Hafıza Merkezi), which was established in November 2011.