The “wise men” delegation, a consultative committee on Turkey’s ongoing Kurdish peace process, visited Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) in Philippines to discuss the ongoing peace initiative between the Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The Wise Men Group was initiated by Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in April 2013 to bring a final solution to the social problems in Turkey. The group includes respected intellectuals, civil society leaders, businessmen, and politicians, selected by the government, scanning the whole spectrum of Turkish society.
The MILF is a Moro and Lumad group formed in the 1960s, seeking an autonomy of the Moro people from the central government of Philippines. They signed a peace deal with the Philippines government on May 27, 2014 which seeks to create a new autonomous region in the Mindanao with greater powers and resources.
The Turkish delegation, including actor Kadir Inanir, journalists Fadime Ozkan and Ali Bayramoglu, activist Yilmaz Ensaroglu, and the vice president of the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, Huseyin Oruc attended the discussion meetings between June 20 and 28 on “the architecture of a peace process.”
In early 2013, the Turkish government launched the Kurdish-Turkish Peace Process as part of a country’s Resolution Process which was was initiated in 2012 to end the decade-old conflict with the PKK, which was founded in the late 1970s by its now-jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan.
PKK is recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey as well as NATO and the EU.
Activist Oruc said on Wednesday that the group is interested in discussing the role of media and civil society in mobilizing a peace process and the role of third parties.
“It’s not an official delegation. It is a trip organized by the Democratic Progress Institute (DPI),” he added.
DPI previously organised several meetings participated by prominent Turkish and Kurdish politicians and intellectuals focusing on the conflict resolution and peace process in Turkey and Britain so far.
From June 21 to 26, the delegates conducted a comparative study visit to the Philippines to explore lessons learned from the southern Philippines’ peace process.