17th Abant Platform to Discuss Kurdish Issue

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The Abant Platform, a think tank supported by the Journalists and Writers Foundation, will convene to discuss Turkey’s long-standing Kurdish issue on July 4-5, 2008, at the Abant Palace Hotel in Bolu, Turkey.

The meeting will begin with an opening address by Abant Platform President Mete Tuncay, followed by four main sessions and one closed session. On the first day, the sessions will begin at 11 a.m. and will be chaired by Professor Naci Bostanci. After the first session, titled “Historical Background, Common Heritage, and Exploring the Future,” the meeting will explore other relevant issues, including “World Practice: Comparisons and Models” and “Balance Sheet of the Past and Aspirations and Solutions.”

Some of the speakers at the meeting and their topics are as follows:

  • Ali Bulac, “Historical Background”
  • Sadik Yalsizucanlar, “Theme of Unity in Turkish, Kurdish, Persian, and Arabian Literature”
  • Necdet Subasi, “Forming a New Language to Understand Each Other”
  • Professor Levent Koker, “Individual, Group, and Cultural Rights in Terms of the Kurdish Issue”
  • Sahin Alpay, “Lessons from the World”
  • Assistant Professor Kemal Sayar and Professor Mumtaz’er Turkone, “Criticism of Kurdish Politics”
  • Umit Firat, “Criticism of Turkish Politics”
  • Mustafa Akyol, “The Media’s Role in Creating a Solution”
  • Altan Tan, “Perspective for the Future: What Needs to Be Done?”

The meeting will end with a final evaluation session on July 5.

The members of the organizing committee are journalist-author Ali Bulac, Professor Mumtaz’er Turkone, Umit Kardas, Altan Tan, and Abant Platform Secretary-General Salih Yaylaci.

The participants of the meeting will include Abdulmelik Firat, Ahmet Sisman of the Ensar Foundation, Ali Fuat Bilkan of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) University, Ali Fuat Bucak from the Urfa Helsinki Citizens Foundation, Bekir Karliga, ’78s Foundation President Celalettin Can, former National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Deputy Undersecretary Cevat Ones, Fuat Keyman of Koc University, head of the Democratic Party (DP) Diyarbakir branch Galip Ensarioglu, former deputy Hasim Hasimi, Zaman daily columnist Huseyin Gulerce, presidential adviser Murat Yilmaz, Necdet Subasi of Mugla University, DP deputy leader Nevval Sevindi, Neyire Akpinarli of Erfurt University-Germany, Nezir Akyesilmen of the Young Civilians, Rights and Freedoms Party (HAK-PAR) leader Sertac Bucak, Sennur Agirbasli of Erfurt University-Germany and Umit Firat.

The meeting in Abant, a town in Bolu province, was previously planned to take place in Diyarbakir on March 27-28. It was postponed to July because the original date was deemed an inappropriate time to discuss the issue in consideration of the items topping the country’s agenda.

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