5 March 2012 / TODAY’S ZAMAN, İSTANBUL The prestigious Abant Platform, which has tackled pressing issues facing Turkey since its establishment in 1998, will aim in its next meeting to contribute to the shaping of Turkey’s new constitution. The 26th Abant meeting, which will be held from March 9 to 11 in Turkey’s northwestern province […]
Immersion in the complex and often nuanced debates at the Abant Platform made everyone realize that the Arab Spring heralded a new era, not only for the Arab world but for regional and global politics. In fact, many were unsure about the prospects of stability and democratization in the short term, but were optimistic this turbulent process would eventually bring much sought-after normalization to the region.
Recently, visiting Istanbul, I attended a conference on the Arab Spring organized by Abant Platform, a local NGO that gathers Turkish intellectuals of different stripes for policy debates. The conference – this time with attendees from Washington, Tel Aviv, London, St. Petersburg and Arab capitals in addition to Turks – debated Turkey’s leadership role in […]
‘Abant Platform,’ as it became known, declared the compatibility of Islam with a secular state based on liberal democracy. This was a milestone not only because the participants included top Islamic thinkers, but also because the organizers were members of Turkey’s strongest Islamic community, the Fethullah Gülen movement.”
ABDULLAH BOZKURT It was in 2000 that liberal and conservative intellectuals in Turkey came together for the first time to address difficult questions in a highly civilized and respectable manner. To mark the occasion, they planted a pine tree in the backyard of the famous Abant Palace resort hotel near the northwestern city of Bolu. […]
The Abant Platform is a good example of a religiously inspired social capital formation in a society with ideological, ethnic and religious fault lines. This platform departs from a belief that religion, and particularly Islam, can be a positive factor in social, political and economic life. The Gülen movement has been quite successful in utilizing its cultural and human capital in order to empower the civil society and expand the democratic space available for the formally excluded periphery vis-à-vis the centre.