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Defending Peace in Difficult Times

Start Date: 01.04.2017

End Date: 01.12.2019

Defending Peace in Difficult Times is a research project conducted to understand the reasons and dynamics behind the breakdown of the peace process that took place in Turkey between 2013 and 2015. The project aims to learn from past mistakes to prepare for a similar process that might await us in the future.


The negotiations aimed at ending the armed conflict that had been ongoing for almost 40 years and finding a peaceful and democratic solution to the Kurdish issue, known as the "Solution Process" in the public, ended in failure in 2015. The resumption of hostilities following the process's breakdown greatly affected the work of Hafıza Merkezi. Understanding that our demands for dealing with the past can't make it to the agenda without the presence of a peaceful environment, political peace has been a more insistent demand and a priority area for our work. In line with this, Hafıza Merkezi carried out its Defending Peace in Difficult Times project with the support of the Chrest Foundation between 2017-2019. 


We conducted three reports focusing on the following questions; "Why did the peace process stall?", "What happened during the curfews in 2015-2016?", "What kind of peace visions can there be from now on?" These reports were based on the interviews with actors in politics, academia, and civil society having different perspectives and experiences on the peace process. In three meetings held in Diyarbakır and Istanbul, we had the opportunity to discuss both the reports and the research findings with interested actors from politics, civil society, and academia.

In addition to this research, we prepared a detailed online chronology documenting events during the period between 2013-2015. We conducted study visits to Sweden, Norway, Northern Ireland, and Colombia - countries that have expert institutions in conflict resolution or have gone through conflict processes - and reported our findings from these visits. Moreover, experts and academics with expertise on different aspects of the Kurdish issue in Turkey wrote reports on various topics related to the peace process. 

* Latest update: 8 April 2020.
** The photo used in the visual field was taken in Belfast during the study visit to Northern Ireland in January 2019.