As part of its extensive social research project the “Shared Values Movement” Doğan Holding has published details of the answers given by various Turkish public figures to the initiative’s main question: “What do we all share?”
Revealing the latest outcomes of the project, Doğan Holding Chairwoman Begümhan Doğan Faralyalı said undertaking such a duty requires “optimism” despite all problems experienced in Turkey in recent months.
Launched in early September, the project by Doğan Holding, which owns Doğan News Agency along with a number of other media outlets, aims to create an environment of dialogue to explore the common values that glue the country together.
Doğan Faralyalı said the project initiated a field survey probing what members of the Turkish society want to see, according to which justice, trust, respect and morals topped the list. She added that “most importantly the distinctions based on the divide between women and men, rich and poor, left-wing and right-wing, Turk and Kurd, educated and non-educated, do not play any role in the above mentioned preferences, meaning that these priorities are applicable for people on all sides.”
Doğan Faralyalı said they will next carry the project to the youth in November, asking young citizens what they think are the common values shared in society. The most creative and the most liked ideas will be rewarded, she added.
For the most recent leg of the project, the ideas of some of Turkey most notable and influential figures, including football manager Mustafa Denizli, former Istanbul Mufti Professor Mustafa Çağrıcı, actress Serra Yılmaz, businessman Şah İsmail Bedirhanoğlu, and philosopher İoanna Kuçuradi, were canvassed.
Moving from “the most basic need of sheltering,” Denizli said that what tied the country together is the feeling we have for our “shared land.”
“This [the feeling for the land] is an above-politics feeling. It is solid in all periods, in all generations. It is the same color in every phase,” he said.
“You cannot leave it or be resentful to it because you know you have no other home. If you leave, you know that wherever you go, you are not the host but a guest. All your anger goes away and only your longing for home remains,” Denizli added.
Çağrıcı shared his belief that everybody should believe in “meeting in our commonalties” and support it “from the heart.”
“Now is the time for releasing the anger we have inside us” he said.
Yılmaz said that shared values must be protected consciously by everyone, as their existence is at risk in the current climate.
She particularly noted that “crying and laughing together” must be also regarded as the country’s key shared values.
Eastern and Southeastern Industrial and Business Associations head Bedirhanoğlu noted that “our belief in democracy is our biggest commonality.”
Kuçuradi, meanwhile, said she could not answer the question on common values shared in society, but could argue what the country’s “common dream” is, which she believes is “peace.”
She stressed that peace was more than just the absence of war.
“Peace is a state in which there are no dualities created in shared interests, and where there are no confrontations caused in shared interests” said Kuçuradi.