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Palestine Symposium on Palestine and the Future of Global Relations Was Held

Palestine Symposium on Palestine and the Future of Global Relations Was Held
Academics from different ethnic groups and beliefs from all over the world came together at the Palestine Symposium to be the voice of opposition to the genocide in Palestine.

On 23-24 February 2024, the Palestine Symposium, co-organized by Ibn Haldun University's Alliance of Civilisations Institute and the Departments of Sociology, History, Political Science, and International Relations and the Faculty of Law, witnessed an international academic event where different voices united for Palestine and the Palestinian people.ened in Palestine so far, but on what will happen next, and what can be done as opponents of genocide to publicize and stop this atrocity.

The Palestine Symposium is an Eye to See and an Ear to Hear to Publicize the Genocide

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees of our University Prof. İrfan Gündüz, who made the greeting speeches at the ceremony, mentioned the necessity of standing against those who are trying to exploit Islamic countries by promising justice, democracy and equality today at the Palestine Symposium, which he called the announcement of the cry rising from the Palestinian geography to the world. Prof. Gündüz concluded his speech by expressing the importance of the Palestine Symposium, which was organized to announce this blatant massacre to the academic world, to which the West remains deaf and dumb, and by expressing his heartfelt thanks to everyone who participated in the event and strengthened this resistance and awareness.

Israel's Actions are The Dictionary Definition of Fascism, Nazism and Genocidal Regime

In his welcoming remarks after Prof. Gündüz, Necmeddin Bilal Erdoğan, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of our University, emphasized that the Palestine Symposium's focus on what will happen rather than what has happened so far is quite appropriate for an event organized by a university.

Noting that he was recently in Cape Town, South Africa, Erdoğan stated that he saw the consequences of a racist regime very clearly in Cape Town and underlined the horrible consequences of the possible consequences of Israel's brutal discrimination in Palestine, and noted that those who are curious about what Israel is currently doing in Palestine and its possible consequences can easily find the answers to their questions by searching for concepts such as "apartheid regime, Nazi regime, fascism and genocidal regime" in the dictionary. Erdoğan stated that as it is clearly understood with the recent events, the concepts of human rights and human consciousness have lost their meaning and a great chaos awaits the world. Erdoğan concluded his speech by underlining that standing against this is not only about standing with Palestine, but also about protecting our humanity.

We Aim to Establish a Dynamic Academic Platform for Palestine

In his welcoming remarks, our Rector Prof. Atilla Arkan started his speech by reminding that in the 20th century, the Middle East had two painful issues, oil and Palestine, and that the global order has never refrained from shedding blood for these two issues.  

Prof. Arkan stated that especially the Palestine issue has caused deep wounds in the hearts of all of us, and underlined that Israel's decades-long occupation and massacres, which he described as a knife stabbed into the bosom of the Middle East, have now turned into a genocide, and that the Middle East has never seen peace again after Israel declared its independence in 1948, which could not be established thanks to the strong stance of the Ottoman Empire for centuries. Stating that Jerusalem, the witness of the Miraj, the city of civilizations, the center of science, peace and tolerance, has been dying under Israeli oppression for many years, Arkan counted the names of 11 universities bombed by Israel in Gaza since October 7, one by one, and in his speech, in which he informed that 90,000 university students' higher education was interrupted, 231 teachers and academics and 4,237 students lost their lives, he emphasized that Israel systematically destroyed the education system of Palestinians in Gaza.

Arkan stated that the symposium, organized with the theme of "Palestine and the Future of Global Relations", aims to create a dynamic academic platform for in-depth dialogue, research and exploration of policy implications by focusing on the basic ideas, methodologies, language and theories of understanding Palestine. Arkan concluded his speech by stating that the symposium invites academics, activists, researchers and media professionals to think and produce together on Palestine and to regain global self-confidence with Palestine.

International Diversity at the Symposium Indicative of Growing Interest and Commitment to the Cause

After our Rector Prof. Atilla Arkan, Dr. Faruk Yaslıçimen, Faculty Member of the Department of History of our University, started his speech by stating that he was present in the presence of the participants on behalf of the organizing committee.

Stating that this symposium is more than a gathering of minds, it is a platform for solidarity and understanding the future of an issue that will have a deep global impact such as the situation in Gaza, Dr. Yaslıçimen said that while preparing the symposium, the members of the organizing committee agreed that October 7 was not an accidental moment in the history of the struggle and that it would be a turning point for the future of the struggle and that everyone came together at the Palestine Symposium to understand what would happen as a result of all these events.

The diversity of the Palestine Symposium, which brought together experts, activists, journalists and academics from all corners of the world, reflects the international interest and commitment to the cause, Dr. Yaslıçimen said, adding that with this meeting, they hope to raise the voices of those seeking justice and peace, and to give a voice to those who are heard by the peoples but turned a deaf ear by Western governments who are co-perpetrators of the crimes of genocide in Gaza. Yaslıçimen concluded his speech by expressing his gratitude to everyone who contributed to the organization of the symposium and thanking the speakers and participants in particular.

We Will Do Whatever It Takes for "Free Palestine From The River to the Sea"

After the welcoming speeches, the opening speeches of the Palestine Symposium on Palestine and the Future of Global Relations began with the presentation of Prof. Mads Gilbert, Doctor of the University of Northern Norway Hospital, moderated by Dr. Ahmet Yusuf Özdemir, Lecturer at the Department of Political Science and International Relations of our University.

At the beginning of the session, moderator Dr. Ahmet Yusuf Özdemir stated that Palestin e is a litmus test of the international public opinion today, and stated that we are faced with a striking reality that leaves us no choice but to reveal our side clearly. Referring to the 75 years of occupation in Palestine, Dr. Özdemir said that all kinds of struggles for a humane life were staged in Palestine, from children who tried to fight back by throwing stones at tanks to old women who were killed while waving white flags, and at the point we have reached today, we see that the most systematic genocide is being carried out in spite of the world public opinion and underlined that we are witnessing the collapse of the Israeli paradigm that has descended on the world public opinion like a smokescreen for decades. Dr. Özdemir concluded his opening speech of the session, in which he stated that a new world order has to be established, by underlining that everyone should try to do their best for "Free Palestine from the River to the Sea".

After Prof. Dr. Ahmet Yusuf Özdemir, the speaker of the first session of the Palestine Symposium, Prof. Mads Gilbert, Doctor at the University of Northern Norway Hospital, started his speech by showing a photograph of an Arabic calligraphy work that means "We are all Gaza". Prof. Gilbert stated that the reason for standing against the atrocities currently taking place in Palestine is not only because Palestinians are not only Palestinians, nor only Muslims, nor only Muslims, nor other factors, but because it is an atrocity that affects all of humanity, and that the barbarism, supported by the United States, has destroyed 184 mosques and 3 churches since October 7. Noting that more than 800 places of worship have been destroyed since 1948, Prof. Gilbert, himself a medical doctor, concluded his speech by expressing his sincere thanks and appreciation to the medical personnel who have been on duty in Palestine from the very beginning, and who have endeavored to save the beneficiaries at the risk of their own lives.

Following Prof. Mads Gilbert's speeches, on the first day of the symposium, Prof. Irfan Ahmad from Ibn Khaldun University moderated by Prof. David Miller from Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University, Prof. Berdal Aral from Istanbul Medeniyet University, Dr. Kamalain Shaath from the Islamic University of Gaza and Dr. Rabab Abdulhadi from San Francisco State University made a presentation under the title of "Protecting Academic Freedom and the Role of Public Intellectuals on the Palestinian Issue". In the second session, moderated by Tarek Cherkoui from TRT World Research Center, Gülden Sönmez, Lawyer and Human Rights Activist, Prof. Helga Baumgarten from Birzeit University, Miko Peled, Writer and Human Rights Activist, and Jeff Halper, Director of the Israeli Council Against Housing Demolitions, presented "Critical Approaches to Apartheid and Zionist Occupation".

On February 24, Prof. Alev Erkilet from Ibn Haldun University moderated the sessions and Mustafa Barghouti, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative, Karim Qurt from Birzeit University, Siham Fayyad from Bethlehem University and Dr. Khalid al-Awaisi from Ankara Social Sciences University made presentations on "Everyday Resistance in Palestine against Settler-Colonial Violence". In the second session of the day, Prof. Hasan Basri Bülbül from Boğaziçi University moderated by Prof. Yücel Acer from Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Prof. Saul Takahashi from Osaka Jogakuin University, Ihsan Adel from the University of Geneva, Sabah Carrim from Texas State University, and Prof. John B. Quigley from Ohio State University made a presentation titled "From Denial to Recognition: Social-Legal Perspectives on the Gaza Genocide". In the third session, moderated by Translator Ayçin Kantoğlu, Shamim Hargovan, Human Rights and Social Justice Activist from South Africa, Dr. Selim Sezer from Istanbul Gedik University, Native American Activist Tara Houska Zhaabowekwe and Na'eem Jeenah from the Africa-Middle East Center made presentations under the title of "Global Solidarity and Expanding Struggle with Palestine". In the last session of the symposium, moderated by Dr. Heba Raouf Ezzat from Ibn Haldun University, journalist Turan Kışlakçı, Wadah Khanfar from Ah Sharq Forum, Prof. Seyed Mohammad Marandi from Tehran University, and Somaya Abu Eita from TRT Arabic presented "Shaping the Narrative: The Role of Media in the Portrayal of Palestine".

The Palestine Symposium on Palestine and the Future of Global Relations ended with the closing speeches of Prof. Talal Asad from the City University of New York and Mahmood Mamdani from Columbia University, moderated by Prof. Ramazan Aras from the Department of Sociology.