PODEM visited civil society organizations in the province of Diyarbakır between the 29th June and 1st July 2015 as a part of its project on the participation of the business community in the peace process, carried out in partnership with the Berghof Foundation.

Etyen Mahçupyan, Özge Genç, and Beril Bahadır from PODEM exchanged ideas with Ahmet Sayar and Metin Aslan, the Chair and Vice-Chair of Diyarbakır Chamber of Commerce and Industry; Şahismail Bedirhanoğlu, Chair of DOGÜNSİFED; Burç Baysal, the Chair of DİSİAD; DİSİAD members; Reyhan Aktar, the Chair of DİKAD; DİKAD members; Hüseyin Aksoy, the Governor of Diyarbakır; and Hatip Dicle, the Chair of DTK in the preparatory phase of the project.

Starting from the province of Diyarbakır, the unemployment rate of which doubles the Turkey average in the backdrop of its low economic development ranking despite its great potential in agriculture and livestock sectors, proposals to overcome economic stagnation in the region were evaluated along the lines of peace, security, and stability. The most important result of the meetings are that, given the weight of the political dimension of the Kurdish peace and reconciliation process and the security issue in the region, discussions pertaining to the social and economic development are of secondary importance, and that the regional business community and the CSOs make up the group that most actively endorses the peace process.

DATE 2015-05-29 - 01/06/2015 TIME 8:00 am - 5:00 pm VENUE Sur, Diyarbakır