Democracy and participation, Communities

Conflict Transformation in South East Turkey


Who is behind this?

Irmgard Ehrenberger

Internationaler Versöhnungsbund – österreichischer Zweig (International Fellowship of Reconciliation - Austria, FOR Austria)


Who is joining forces?

War Resisters´ International

United Kingdom

Connection e.V.


Federation for Social Defence (Bund fuer Soziale Verteidigung e.V.)


We will have at least one partner organization in South East Turkey. The organization will be chosen according to the security situation in the country.

Idea Sketch


Idea pitch

The project aims to empower human rights and other civil activists in South East Turkey by enhancing their capacity to employ nonviolent strategies and instruments, as well as their knowledge of community building and unarmed civilian protection in areas of armed conflict. The project will include a week-long training for key stakeholders (location: Vienna), a solidarity visit to crisis areas in South East Turkey and regular communication with communities and human rights defenders under threat.

Where will your idea take place?

South East Turkey, Vienna: For security reasons the training will be in Vienna

Why does Europe need your idea?

The project will strengthen the solidarity and collaboration of social activists in Europe. It will highlight the importance of protecting democratic structures based on human right and diversity. In South East Turkey the project will foster collaboration within and between communities.

What is your impact?

More people start to see the potential of nonviolence and dialogue to work for a peaceful future of their country. Thereby, the project will contribute to a nonviolent transformation of conflicts. In the participating countries the project will increase awareness for the fragility of democracy.

How do you get there?

In April 2016, a delegation with representatives of the aforementioned organizations and two Turkish human rights defenders, visited Diyarbakir and Cizre in South East Turkey to assess the situation and develop contacts for further cooperation. Since that time, the working group monitors the situation of communities in the region and tries to keep contact as intensive as possible. A visit is planned in April 2018 to ensure the safety of the future training participants when travelling to Vienna.

What is your story?

I have experience in collaborating with peace workers and human rights defenders in crisis/war areas (Iraq, Bosnia, Colombia). I believe in a non-paternalistic way of nonviolent conflict intervention focussing on creating spaces. Thus, civil society should be empowered to resolve conflicts and build

Who are you doing it for?

Human rights, environmental, LGBTQ and other activists from civil society in South East Turkey. These stakeholders will pass their knowledge on to their organizations and communities, and work with them on developing and implementing nonviolent strategies to rebuild democracy and community.

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

I would appreciate advices on how to collaborate with individuals and partners who are under threat to suffer human rights violations. How could we help to improve their security? Ideas for nonviolent, creative methods to highlight injustice without escalating the situation are welcomed.





Connection e.V.

Idea created on Jan. 16, 2018

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