Strategic Foresight Group had the pleasure of meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on the sidelines of the First Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations in Madrid on the 16th of January. The meeting began with the Prime Minister praising SFG’s research on terrorism. He said that it corresponds well with their own research and that it is important to inform the public on these issues.
Prime Minister Erdogan spoke about the need to have a definition for terrorism, in a country that has lost over 30,000 people to this phenomenon. In many cases the very word “terrorism” is not used- the perpetrators prefer to use the word “violence”, making it difficult to distinguish between the two.
The Prime Minister spoke of the growing fault lines between the Western and Muslim World. There are those who provoke the rift, creating a platform for further animosities to grow- threatening peace and stability in the world. He therefore felt that the Alliance of Civilisations initiative, co-sponsored by Spain and Turkey can serve as a bridge between the two worlds. He expressed hope that political and NGO activists will own the project and help global peace to prevail over global terrorism.
The Prime Minister thanked SFG for its contribution to the Alliance of Civilisations initiative and invited SFG to the next forum, to be held in Turkey in 2009.
Mr Sundeep Waslekar then briefed the Prime Minister on the upcoming workshop on Cost of Conflict in the Middle East to be held in Antalya in March, co hosted by the Foreign Affairs Cell of the AK Parti of Turkey and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland. The Prime Minister showed much interest in this project and asked to be kept updated on the research outcomes of the study.