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Riflessioni sul Perdono, sulla Dignità e sulla Riconciliazione

Kerim Yildiz

1. I negoziati di pace, generalmente, sono incentrati sulle dimensioni politica ed economica. Quale è la Sua percezione della necessità di toccare aspetti più profondi e genuini della riconciliazione e come si può ottenere questo?

In any peace process there is the possibility that there will be a need for two channels of dialogue – one private [secret] channel and one public channel. However, both channels must feed into one another in order to be successful. Private talks can help to further a peace process by shielding the fledgling process from public pressure or political opposition while public talks are helpful in fully and honestly airing grievances.
Without addressing the historical causes – whether economic, cultural or ethnic – states will find it ever more difficult to resolve the ongoing conflicts. Often states are concerned with security and aim to tackle these issues without looking the deeper issues that contribute to the conflict. Such is the case in Turkey, where since the early years of the republic, Turkey’s overall goal has been to assimilate the Kurds and to generally eradicate Kurdish cultural identity. Generations of Turks have been raised, and indoctrinated, with the belief that recognition of minority identities represents a threat to the unity and security of the state of Turkey. Kurds living in Turkey have suffered forcible relocation, economic and cultural deprivation and other ill treatment at the hands of state authorities. The ongoing use of armed violence by both sides has further complicated the issue. As a result, both Turks and Kurds are divided over what resolution of the Kurdish issue should look like. It is important that the parties push to have the deeper historical causes of conflict included in the agenda for discussions and not concentrate solely on security issues.
In order to build public support for a peace process, all citizens must feel that the events of the past are understood and acknowledged. Civil society – including NGOs, human rights defenders, academics, journalists and others – needs to buy into and be free to participate in the process at all levels as it is vital that a wide range of voices and experiences are heard throughout the process.

2. Quali sono le condizioni nelle quali, al di là dell’assicurare gli interessi della parti in conflitto, può essere stabilito un processo incentrato su un senso di equità e dignità?

Only once there has been recognition – by all parties involved in a conflict – that a peaceful, political solution is the best path out of conflict can there the beginnings of reconciliation process. While either side continues to pursue a military solution it will remain impossible to move forward with a peace process. However, efforts must be made to prepare society for an end to the conflict so that they are more open to and better able to understand the long and complicated process necessary to fully bring an end to hostilities.
Such an end to hostilities allows for the opportunity to begin a thorough and truthful historical account of a conflict. Acknowledging the pain and suffering of those on both sides – whether civilians or combatants – helps in creating a process that does not appear to cast favor or guilt on one side over the other but allows for constructive dialogue and substantive reform.
Further those who had been part of armed or opposition groups will need to be granted a real stake in the outcome of any peace process. It is important the all parties recognize the role that power and/or loss of power plays in motivating individuals and organizations during the peace process. It is essential that any final resolution acknowledge the need to provide the opposition with a position or role – both within the peace process and following – that has dignity so that it does not appear as if the leadership has been belittled or bought off.
International recognition of the conflict and support of the peace process is often very important as it can offer the opportunity to learn from other successful peace processes. International mediation is often required and can help parties to find the areas in which there is agreement and work forward rather than focusing on areas on contention. It also allows some amount of accountability as decisions made during meetings are witnessed by the mediator and so more likely to be honored.

3. Quanto il perdono è essenziale alla dimensione della riconciliazione? Alla radice della Sua cultura politica e/o della Sua fede religiosa quali sono i principi che implicano o escludono il perdono? Quali versi o detti che fanno parte del Suo personale patrimonio spirituale possono, nella sua opinione, avere un significato universale

There will always need to be some element of forgiveness involved in the peaceful resolution of armed conflict as there will have been suffering and loss on all sides. Additionally, forgiveness is an important element to moving the process forward as both sides will be guilty of having committed acts or of having made statements that go against what is acceptable in a peaceful society.
Truth and reconciliation commissions can help in this aspect of conflict resolution in that they may offer an opportunity for truth-telling and the establishment of a historical record of human rights violations. In some conflicts, this may be more important than simply punishing guilt. Further, there needs to be an understanding that more than vengeance or retribution will be necessary for society to reconcile. This is particularly important when, as is often the case, opposing parties live in close proximity, making it difficult to establish combatants from non-combatants.
In a case such as the Kurdish conflict, where mutual mistrust and marginalisation of a people’s historical, ethnic, linguistic and cultural background have a long history, establishing a public record of events during the conflict will be even more important. While formal justice mechanisms, such as prosecution, may confer more legitimacy, the benefit of a truth and reconciliation commission is that a much wider record can be taken, as prosecutions will necessarily only address a small subset of crimes. It is important to note, however, that every conflict is unique. Approaches that have worked in one conflict resolution process may not necessarily work in others. Parties, as well as mediators, must be creative in their approach and remain open to all available mechanisms.

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