The Ankara Conference on Peacebuilding & Conflict Resolution

"Using Cultural Diplomacy as a Tool to Build Sustainable Peace"

(Ankara, International Conference, April 17th - 19th, 2012)

Conference Book

The Ankara Conference on Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution

"Using Cultural Diplomacy as a Tool to Build Sustainable Peace"

Ankara, April17th " 19th, 2012

Thank You

The ICD would like to extend its sincere gratitude to all those in the organisation of the conference and to the entire Cultural Diplomacy in Africa & Mediterranean team including; Dragos Prodan, Pauline Soudier, Rudolf Sulik, Shizuka Arai, Ksenija Kovacic, Madalina Puiu and Julia Richter.

Special thanks go to team leaders; Youssef Benbakka and Myriam Zekagh for all of their hard work, inspiration and dedication to the success of the conference.

Finally, the ICD and all of the organisers would like to thank the participants and speakers, whose enthusiasm and participation were a vital contribution to the phenomenal success of this exciting and vibrant international event that was thoroughly enjoyed by all involved.


The Ankara Conference on Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution explored how Cultural Diplomacy could be used as a tool for peacebuilding and for solving conflicts. The conference agenda focused on analysing current conflicts and what role cultural diplomacy has played in the past and could play in the future in terms of building peace.
The program examined how culture can have a crucial role in the field of conflict resolution and how intercultural dialogue and cooperation through cultural relations can help in terms of building sustainable peace.

The Ankara Conference on Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution 2012 was the brainchild of Cultural Diplomacy in Africa & Mediterranean, a program of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy. CDAM aims at sharing the ICD"s philosophy that diplomacy must transcend mere discussion and include practical implementation of theory. Sometimes actions speak louder than words: cultural diplomacy must show rather than tell. For this conference, the ICD had the pleasure of benefiting from the support of the Hon. Yasar Yakis (Former Foreign Minister of Turkey) and from".the ARI Movement, a Turkish think tank.

The program consisted of lectures, seminars, debates and panel discussions featuring leading figures from international politics, diplomacy, academia, civil society. It provided everyone with an extraordinary opportunity for networking both during the conference and in the group dinners and social activities.

The following report is a summary of the Ankara Conference on Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution.  It provides key themes, information on speakers including lecture topics and keynote interviews.

Conference Speakers

Azu Ozyurt
(Moderator, CNN Turkey)
Arda Batu
(Vice Chairman ARI Movement)
Çagri Erhan
(Researcher, Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies - USAK)
Ceren Mutus Toprakseven
(Researcher, Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies - USAK)
H.E. Amb. Drazen Hrastic
(Ambassador of the Republic of Croatia to Turkey)
H.E. Amb. Dusan Spasojevic
(Ambassador of Serbia to Turkey)
Eirik N. Mathisen
(Deputy Head of Mission, Royal Norwegian Embassy in Ankara)
Gulsun Bilgehan
(Member of the Turkish Parliament)
H.E. Amb. Ian Biggs
(Ambassador of Australia to Turkey)
Isabelle Dumont
(Second Political Counselor at the Embassy of France in Ankara)
H.E Amb. Jaime Garcia Amaral
(Ambassador of Mexico to Turkey)
H. E. Amb. Jean-Daniel Ruch
(Special Representative for the Middle East of the Foreign Ministry of Switzerland.)
H. E. Amb. John Holmes
(Ambassador or Canada to Turkey)
H. E. Amb. Jorge Arancibia Reyes
(Ambassador of Chile to Turkey)
H. E. Amb. Marcin Wilczek
(Polish Ambassador to Turkey)
H. E. Amb. Marilyn J. Alarilla
(Ambassador of the Philippines to Turkey)
H. E. Dr. Milan Jazbec
(Ambassador of Slovenia to Turkey)
H. E. Amb. Mohamed El Fatah Naciri
(Representative of the Mission of the Arab League of Arab States in Turkey)
H.E. Amb. Osman Faruk Logoglu
(Former Turkish Ambassador to the United States of America)
Özlem Piltanoglu
(Turkish Columnist, Member of the Turkish Parliament, the Justice and Development Party)
H. E. Amb. Pol De Witte
(Ambassador of Belgium to Turkey)
Prof. Dr. Serdar Güner
(Professor, Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences, Bilkent University)
Shahid Najam
(United Nations Resident Coordinator in Turkey)
Ural Aküzüm
(Chairman, ARI Movement)
H.E Amb. Vika M. Khumalo
(Ambassador of the Republic of South Africa to Turkey)
The Hon. Yasar Yakis
(Former Foreign Minister of Turkey, President of the ICD Young Leaders Forum)
Yusuf Kanli
(Columnist, Hurriyet Daily News)
Dr. Zerrin Torun
(Lecturer, Department of International Relations, Middle East Technical University, Ankara)

Participant Papers

A number of academic papers were delivered from participants as part of the Ankara Conference. Papers on a variety of subjects related to Peacebuilding and Conflict Resolution were presented by the following people:
  • Ali Oguz Dirioz
    Researcher, Bilkent university International Relations Department
  • Carsten Pauludan-Müller
    General Director, The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage
  • Elijah Bush
    Managing Director, Syncretic Solutions Research & Consulting, California, ISS-PhD Candidate, Jacobs University, Bremen
  • Dr. Hatice Sitki
    Independent Researcher
  • Heyecan Veziroglu
    Journalist, Research, Bogazici University, Istanbul
  • Ignasi Torrent Oliva
    Researcher, Conflict and Security research Cluster the European Center for Minority Issues Flensburg, Germany
  • J. Paul Barker
    Researcher, International Relations, Faith University, Istanbul
  • Rudolf Sulik
    PhD. Candidate, International Relations, Matej Bel University, Slovakia & Coordinator - ICD-Africa and Mediterranean Programs
  • Sibel Atasayi
    Political Psychologist, United Nations Development Programme Lebanon
  • Prof. Temisanren Ebijuwa
    Dean, Postgraduate School, Department of General Studies, Ladoke, Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria
Summaries of these papers are now exhibited on the website of the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, and are available through the following link:"en_participants-papers

Conference Voices

Hon. Yasar Yakis

  • "There are three main components of sustainable peace- political will, which is the most important, economic interdependence strengthening mutual ties and cultural diplomacy with the complementary role to prepare grounds for previous two"
  • "While promotion of race is negative and spread of language is positive for facilitating communication, propagation of belief (religious) abroad is ambiguous"
  • "The role of Turkey in region should not be underestimated, but not overestimated either."

H.E. Amb. El. Fatah Naciri

  • "What is the answer for dichotomy of secularism and religion: the civic regime, which respects religion just as much as it does citizenship"

H.E. Amb. Jaime Garcia Amaral

  • "Cultural attachés, and cultural ambassadors more generally, have a difficult task: that of ensuring real understanding. In fact, contributing to better understanding of the other is a real tool of peacebuilding"

H.E. Amb. Dusan Spasojevic

  • "For Serbia, integrating the EU is a priority, because it belongs to Europe in a political and cultural sense."
  • "The question is not whether there can be lasting peace in Balkans without Serbian EU membership, but whether there can be lasting peace without EU membership." 

H.E. Amb. Marilyn J. Alarilla

  • "ASEAN has a different enlargement policy with European Union. ASEAN has communist, democratic, and socialist countries."
  • "ASEAN has to be united and incorporated, therefore we do not ask the same political system"
  • "ASEAN retain our own concept rather enforce the same political system to countries. In order to advance, ASEAN has to corroborate. This is called the ASEAN"s manner of cooperation."

Ural Aküzüm

  •  "When I visited Armenia, I had fear because of the political situation between Turkey and Armenia. However, I receive a warm welcome from local people. This personal experience of travelling Armenia brought the reason of starting ARI movement to provide chances to people to expose and communicate others."
  • "ARI movement has workshops in remote and undeveloped area because people live there have not exposed to diverse people"
  • "Turkey has been a strategic region because the West needs to have Turkey. Capitalism needs to get the places to sell Play-stations and iPhones, therefore the West will focus on Turkey to spread democracy. At the same time, Turkey has a strong orientation towards the West and this condition contributes Turkey to be a regional leader."

H.E. Amb. John Holmes

  • "Fragile states are the causes of civil wars and conflict. Syria and Iran are lacking the will to take on international obligations, including the protection and respect of human rights."
  • "Fragile states often have poverty, high youth unemployment, and poor governance. These ill-equipped governance leads to outbreaks of violence. In order to manage and prevent conflict, states and regional organizations such as the World Bank, the OECD as well as NGOs and the civil society are key actors."
  •  "Mediation is one of the possibilities of how to deal with conflict. Canada has been involved in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Darfur and Sudan for comprehensive peace agreements."
  • "How to ensure the rule of law in transitional justice processes in conflict development is crucial. It consists of the capacity building of judges, police, and also the enforcement of impartial judiciary."
  • "Transitional justice is key element for national reconciliation, regaining trust in public bodies and for sustained peace and stability."
  • "Transitional justice should target not only perpetrators but also who suffer most."