– Turkish & Kurdis dialogue
– Muslim representation in the media
– Toerkoes in Nieuw-West events
– Recognition Armenian Genocide
– Anti-racist solidarity
The establishment of the Turkish-Kurdish work group at The Hague Peace Projects has created a steady flow of projects and events stimulating interaction and peaceful dialogue between these diaspora groups in The Netherlands. Our resulting collaborations and activities have since broadened our scope to investigate prejudice towards Muslims throughout Europe, and to encourage dialogue about human rights and diversity as part of the Muslim identity.
On July 15, 2016, at least 241 citizens and government law enforcement died from an attempted coup d’ état constructed by elements of the Turkish military which was a sudden political act aiming to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.
As a result, the government declared a state of emergency that consisted of jailing thousands of soldiers and began an abrupt removal of police, teachers, police officials, judges and prosecutors.
Moreover, the Syrian war continues to impact Turkey since it hosts an estimated 2.7 million Syrian refugees which has led individuals allegedly linked to the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) to have regular bomb attacks in Turkey. In the period of January to May 2016, up to 400,000 residents were displaced due to intense security operations in towns where the city militias linked to the PKK had become firmly established. The government of Turkey has since been silencing media criticism and government policy scrutiny by threatening prosecuting journalists, taking over media companies such as the daily Zaman newspaper, and removing critical television stations from the main state-owned satellite distribution platform.
Control over freedom of speech in Turkey has become so significant that it has become the country with the highest number of requests on Twitter to censor individual accounts (Human Rights Watch 2016).
Turkey is Using Pandemic to Tighten Chokehold on Free Expression
Instead of seizing this opportunity to reduce polarization and restore public trust in government, the Turkish authorities have done the exact opposite. (Freedom House)
We engage diaspora and migrant groups in the organisation and participation of events to build trust and understanding, and work together towards conflict resolution.
Our research projects investigate the pervasive mechanisms of discrimination towards Muslims, and their representation in the national and international media.
We raise awareness about institutional discrimination towards Muslims and cultural conflicts through media campaigns and visits to schools.
Tayfun has a Master‘s degree in History from Leiden University. He is Program Coordinator for the Armenian-Kurdish-Turkish workgroup, setting up dialogue and research projects to reduce tensions between these groups and encouraging ways to work together.
As a historian he gives lectures and workshops on issues relating to the modern history of Turkey. Furthermore, he is a member of the ‘New Amsterdam Council’, an advisory collective to give progressive counsel on matters related to migration, discrimination and social cohesion, and writes a column every two weeks for the paper ‘De Kanttekening’.
Tayfun Balçık – PROJECT LEADER
As one of our oldest work groups we have been participating in, and impacting on the national debate on Muslim communities in Europe since 2016.
Muslim Dialogue is an initiative of The Hague Peace Projects.
We would like to express our gratitude to NieuwWij and Republiek Allochtonië for their support and collaboration.