İstanbul hosted the "Second* International Experience Sharing Conference of Coexistence,"
GYV President Mustafa Yeşil delivered the opening speech at the meeting, highlighting the importance of dialogue, saying the word is frequently used in Turkey but that its meaning is not fully comprehended. "In fact, we are currently experiencing a time in which we urgently need actual dialogue, not just talking about the word itself. We [referring to all representatives of the Hizmet movement, which includes followers of Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen's principles] have never used the concept of dialogue for intentions such as bringing anybody into the fold or persuading anybody to adopt our religion and we have never used it within any strategy at all," Yeşil said. "Dialogue is a concept and a lifestyle. We have never given up our values while establishing dialogue with any person and we have also not wanted people to abandon their own values. We just tried to understand opposing values and ideas, we got the chance to introduce ourselves and then we met, we reached a compromise, we banded together and waled together."
Yeşil said the public has been acquainted with the Hizmet movement for 40 years. "Hizmet is an education and human-based movement that emerged between 1991 and 1992 in the country and was institutionalized abroad in 2000. It runs nongovernmental organizations in around 140 countries. The movement is based on intercultural dialogue and cohabitation in peace," Yeşil noted.
The UN's resident coordinator in Turkey, Shahid Najam, who also delivered a speech during the meeting, praised the GYV and congratulated the association for its new NGO status as an affiliate of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), adding: "The wide spectrum of issues of global, regional and national significance, which the association engages in and promotes dialogue on is indeed commendable and will definitely enrich the global knowledge, exchange good practices and strive at consensus building -- a goal which the contemporary world needs to achieve on an urgent basis given the enormity of challenges, chaos, disorder and dissensions afflicting the world."
Stating that the aim for establishing a global dialogue constitutes an important part of UN policies, Najam said: "The United Nations mandate derives from three main pillars -- international peace and security, development with equity, and respect for human rights and dignity. All three are inextricably interrelated and constitute the core of the topic we are discussing today. It is engraved in the UN Charter and in several UN resolutions and declarations."
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