Harun Tokak's Views on the Abant Platform

The Journalists' and Writers' Foundation was established in 1994, at a crucial time when both Turkey and the global society desperately needed dialogue and tolerance.

While the so-called ethnic cleansing in the Balkans was running its uncontrollable course, Turkey was grappling with an unnecessary, and possibly artificially created, rift between the secularists and the believers – causing concerns to both sides about the future.

In 1998, the Foundation, a non-profit making civil society organisation catering for dialogue and peace at home and abroad, embarked upon a project aimed at bringing together the intellectuals of Turkey to discuss matters of common interest. Instead of keeping these valuable minds detached from each other living in their intellectual ghettos, the Abant Platform was established as an umbrella organization for all respectable shades of ideas, philosophies and politics – a 'think tank' in the global sense.

While most think tanks assemble similar minds, the Abant Platform provides the opportunity for unity in diversity. It is the Foundation's view that the freedom to discuss the diversities of our nation in particular and mankind in general is of great value to Turkey . It is with pride that we provide Turkey with such an intellectual gift – a forum for free discussion.

The Abant Platform can therefore be seen as the "pioneer" of the free discussion forums in Turkey.

Harun Tokak
The Journalists' and Writers' Foundation

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