Understanding peace perceptions of Islamic actors concerning the peace process in Turkey and their normative proposal for achieving peace


The literature on religious norms and actors’ positive contribution to peace has been growing in the field of conflict resolution. While some discussions concerning ‘religion’ have been regarded its role as a sparking factor for the emergence and the escalation of conflicts, it has been accepted by another branch of scholars as a facilitating instrument for creating a peaceful environment. Those, who side with the positive contribution of religious norms and actors to peace, highlight the multiplicity of religious values in the pursuit of peace. To examine the potential role of religious norms and actors for peace in Turkey’s Kurdish issue, this study investigates peace understanding of religious actors in Turkey and their normative recommendations for peace in a conflictual environment. By considering that religious actors are not homogenous in terms of their ideological stance, this thesis also examines the effect of religious actors’ ideological stance in their understanding of peace and religious norms. Turkey’s peace process (2013-20115) was utilized as a case study in exploring their perception of peace. The findings show that despite ideological differences of the religious actors, certain Islamic norms were commonly emphasized by them to promote ‘peace.’ Although women religious actors as contributors to peace may not be adequately recognized, the inclusive understanding of women participants implies the need for both further examination of their role in conflict resolution. Besides, what the characteristics of religious actors, who might contribute to peace, should be constitutes another discussion presented in this thesis

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