From 1-5 August 2018, the Democratic Progress Institute carried out a Comparative Study Visit to Ireland and Northern Ireland that brought together a group of young participants from across Turkey’s many constituencies. Participants were exposed to the experiences of the Northern Ireland conflict and peace process through a carefully designed programme that introduced concepts and practices of resolution processes as well as providing a platform to discuss the positive contribution that youth specifically can make to such processes. This meeting brought together mostly young figures with diverse professional and political backgrounds from across Turkey including political party’s youth representatives from AK Party, CHP and HDP, civil society workers, high school and university students, journalists and social workers. This CSV fully immersed participants in the experiences of the peace process that took place in Northern Ireland. It allowed them the opportunity interact with key actors from that process but also with those involved in overcoming the lasting effects of the conflict in modern-day Northern Ireland. Our particular focus on youth highlighted the increasing attention given to young people and their ability to act as agents of change amongst divided societies. This was the first meeting centred on youth engagement in conflict resolution process hosted by DPI with future activities forthcoming to build upon the discussions and topics of this seminal visit. The visit was hosted with the kind facilitation of the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
The roundtable was part of the project ‘Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey’, supported by the EU and the Irish, Dutch and Norwegian governments.