What are the “Abant platforms” and what is their purpose?
The Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF) (established in 1994) set up a number of platforms – for example, the Literature, Dialogue Eurasia, Women’s and Abant platforms. In common parlance they are all often called the “Abant Platforms”, though they are more accurately the “JWF Platforms.”
The platforms function as think tanks dealing with contentious social and cultural issues. They bring urgent matters to the fore to be engaged with in a constructive spirit, and start public discussions and negotiations on issues that have caused tensions and clashes for decades. Participants strive to reach a consensus so that diverse views can be peacefully accommodated within society.
These platforms were a pioneering venture in Turkey. At the first meetings of the platforms, those who attended noted that this was the first time in modern Turkish history that scholar-scientists, people of religion, members of the arts, and state officials had come together, sat side by side, and talked and listened to each other with respect.
The platforms have become widely appreciated as an effective forum for airing dilemmas that many people in Turkish society had longed to have openly discussed and resolved. The Movement has thus contributed to the training of a potential for coexistence, for a common sense of citizenship, without the need to clash and with the hope of mutual respect and tolerance.
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