Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Cyprus Policy Centre (CPC) held a seminar on May 3, 2017 on the subject of ‘Apolitic Peace’. The seminar’s opening speech was made by Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen and Glasgow University academic staff member Sophia Dingli was the speaker. Sophia Dingli is a lecturer in International Relations at the University of Glasgow. Her work explores the concept and phenomenon silence in International Relational theory and practice and its implications for political order and peace. Her work has appeared in Politics and the European Journal of International Relations, among other publications.
The aim of this seminar was to examine the extent to which contemporary peace theory exhibits the characteristics of depoliticisation, the significance of this and the alternatives available in light of these findings. During the seminar the extent to which the Contemporary Peace Theory shows depoliticization characteristics, its importance and alternatives in the light of findings were discussed. EMU International Relations Department students actively participated in the seminar, relying information about their own countries. Dingli formerly participated in a seminar in EMU on international relation theories and their implementation as well as the notion of “Silence” in 2015 upon the invitation of CPC. Among, Dingli’s academic publications is her work published in “Politics and the European Journal of International Relations”.
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On March 22, 2017 Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Cyprus Policy Center (CPC) organized a conference on “The Emergence of ‘Collective Security’” at the Rauf Raif Denktaş Palace of Culture and Congress. Following the opening speech of Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen, Human Rights Lawyer and Researcher Limor Yehuda gave her seminer. Limor Yehuda is a jurist with a special interest in human rights and social justice. After legal internship as a prosecutor with the district attorney’s office in Jerusalem, Limor spent six years at Israel’s Supreme Court as a legal assistant and member of Chief Justice Aharon Barak’s legal team. Following her work at the court Limor joined the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) where she directed the department for human rights in the Occupied Territories and litigated human rights cases before Israel’s High Court of Justice. Limor is currently a research fellow and PhD candidate at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Her research focuses on the requirement for collective equality in the resolution of ethno-national conflicts. In addition to her academic work, Limor is a founding member of “Two States, One Homeland”, a movement focused on offering a new paradigm to the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on a modified confederacy model.
Yehuda’s seminar focused mainly on collective equality. This phenomenon has been put forward as a result of different conflicts in the world particularly on countries like Northern Ireland, Bosnia and Cyprus. Among the root causes of the emergence of collective equality was self determination and territorial integrity. In line with conflict in these areas, scholars view these conflicts as no solution conflicts that means there is no room for remedies to these problems such as the Israel-Palestine conflict. As a result of this position, Yehuda suggests collective security as alternative to these conflicts. Yehuda also outlined that the human rights concept would not be enough to solve these problems but also collective equality measures should be implemented in both social and political terms.
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On March 7, 2017 Political Science and International Relations Department of Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) has organized a seminar that took place at the BEA4 room (Old Senate Room) in the Eastern Mediterranean University. During the seminar, a professor of Political Science and International Relations at Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU), Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen, gave a speech on “A New Security Architecture for United Cyprus” that emphasized the importance of the security issue for the architecture of United Cyprus.
Sözen received his BA degree in 1991 from Bogazici/Bosphorus University (İstanbul, Turkey), his MA in International Relations in 1993 from Syracuse University (USA) and his PhD in Political Science (International Relations) in 1999 from the University of Missouri (USA). He is the founding Director of Cyprus Policy Center – a think tank within EMU. Besides his university work, Prof. Sözen is the founding Turkish Cypriot Co-Director of the UNDP funded program Cyprus 2015 which operated first under Interpeace and later became the first inter-communal think-tank called SeeD – Center for Sustainable Peace and Democratic Development. He is currently the Research Director of SeeD. His current research interests include: conflict resolution, peace-building processes, governance in multi ethnic societies, the Cyprus conflict and negotiations, Turkish foreign policy and democratization processes. Sözen has published extensively on the Cyprus conflict and Turkish foreign policy; and he is a frequent commentator of world events in local, Turkish and international media, such as BBC and Al Jazeera International.
Sözen mentioned to five main purpose and rationale of the security dialogue initiative as: firstly, the move away from win-lose security perceptions; secondly, to broaden and deepen the debate around security such; thirdly, to better understand and deliberate on the security; fourthly, to collect and develop alternative security arrangements; and, lastly but not leastly, to collect and develop alternative security arrangements. Sözen also pointed out to the propositions, including alternative security arrangements and dialogue with policy stakeholders, that were suggested for the solution of the security needs of people of Cyprus.
In ‘Voice of America’ interview on current Geneva talks, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen said that: “The current negotiators, two leaders of the island have reached a lot of convergences, a lot of agreements – on their own, more than any other negotiators in the past. They are very closed to finalize all the internal issues of Cyprus problem and then only one sticking issue lefts which is the external guarantees and external security of Cyprus – which involves the three guarantor states. That is Turkey, Greece and United Kingdom. So currently we are at that critical moment, if two leaders are able to finalize the internal issues of the Cyprus problem, then the responsibility and the willingness will be on the shoulders of three guarantor powers to make the necessary concessions on the external security and guarantees in order to end long lasting Cyprus problem.
Seems like, we have now two leaders of the island who have been pro-solution. They are aware that they are the last of the generation in fact who has the experience of the past where the communities used to live together. After this generation dies, because of the division, the new generations do not have the experience of living with the other in a mixed manner. Because the last fifty something years have been the division of the island. So we have two pro-solution leaders who are aware of this historical fact that if they cannot make it then it will be almost impossible for the new generations to solve the Cyprus problem in a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation where the two communities will live together.”
Amerika’nın Sesi’nin yaptığı bir mülakatta Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen şunları söyledi: “Şu anki görüşmeciler, adanın iki lideri birçok noktada yakınlaşma sağlamış, birçok anlaşma sağlamıştır – kendi başlarına, geçmişteki diğer görüşmecilerin herhangi birinden daha fazla. Kıbrıs sorunsalının iç meselelerini sonuçlandırmaya çok yakındırlar ve sürüncemede kalan konu sadece bir tane olup Kıbrıs’ın dış garantileri ve güvenliğidir – üç garantör devleti içerir. Bunlar Türkiye, Yunanistan ve Birleşik Krallıktır. Ve biz şu an kritik bir andayız. Eğer iki lider Kıbrıs sorunsalının iç meselelerini sonuçlandırmayı başarırlarsa, uzun süren Kıbrıs sorunsalını sonlandırmak için dış güvenlik ve garantiler konusunda gerekli imtiyazları vermek sorumluluğu ve isteği üç garantör devletin omuzlarında olacaktır.
Adada çözüm yanlısı olan iki lider var gibi görünmektedir. Geçmişte iki toplumun birlikte yaşadıkları tecrübeleri bulunan bir neslin son temsilcileri olduklarını farkındadırlar. Bu nesilden sonra, bölünmüşlük durumundan dolayı, yeni nesillerin diğer toplum ile karışık manada yaşama tecrübesi bulunmamaktadır. Son elli yılı aşkın süredir ada bölünmüş durumdadır. Eğer başaramazlarsa sonraki nesillerin Kıbrıs sorunsalını iki toplumun birlikte yaşadığı iki bölgeli, iki toplumlu bir federasyon temelinde çözmesinin neredeyse imkânsız olacağının bilincinde olan iki çözüm yanlısı lider vardır.”
On November 10, 2016 Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Cyprus Policy Center (CPC) in collaboration with International Relations Department has organized a round table panel titled “American Presidential Elections and its Consequences”. CPC Chairman Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen chaired the panel. Director of the Politics and Economy Department of the United States Embassy Patrick Connell and EMU Political Sciences and International Relations Department Chair Assoc. Dr. Erol Kaymak appeared as speakers at the panel.