Sezgin Bilgiç spoke in Beijing

Thursday, June 6, 2024 - Read: 499
Sezgin Bilgiç spoke in Beijing

Sezgin Bilgiç, Secretary General of Marmara Group Foundation, presented a statement on peace and stability at the 3rd Wanshou Dialogue and Global Security Conference in Beijing.

You can find the text of Sezgin Bilgiç's speech below:

(Left to right ) Sezgin Bilgiç, Prof. Dr. Colin Robertson -Senior Advisor at the Canadian Institute for Global Affairs , Aliya Mussabekova -Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic, Chief Expert, Prof. Dr. Douglas Baandow : (R) US Presidential Advisor, Cato Institute Expert, Rafael Hernandez de Santiago : Director of Gulf Center, Senior Research Fellow.



I would like to start my remarks by thanking our host, the CPAPD family, for their great hospitality. Today, I will take you on a tour of the horizon of peace.

I would like to begin by referring to the foresight expressed by President Xi Jinping at the China-Arab Summit a week ago. President Xi Jinping pointed out that the continuation of ongoing wars is a disaster for the world and that people are suffering greatly. He proposed holding a peace conference to eliminate these conflicts.

For I believe that where there is no peace, there can be no development, prosperity, stability, and therefore no right to live humanely. As you know, Israel and Palestine are being tested with fire and death in front of the eyes of the world! Ukraine and Russia are burning in a humanitarian tragedy. Many African countries live in close proximity to military regimes, terrorism, poverty, and death.

Even under the most splendid conditions, if we assume that a person lives to be one hundred years old, we know that a century means nothing in the realm of humanity. Therefore, when it is possible to live a beautiful, safe, and healthy life, we must acknowledge that living with weapons only serves to enrich the owners of arms factories.

Herodotus once said; "In peace, sons bury their fathers, in war, fathers bury their sons." I believe that we must prevent the burial of our children. We must expand the roads leading to peace and build highways to peace. You may ask, how can this be achieved? First and foremost, we have a duty to get to know one another. We must create and multiply environments of dialogue.
The European countries showed us an example of this after World War II with the European Union model. Although it is known as an economic union, the European Union was conceived as a peace project, which is why it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
In Asia, when the historical Silk Road is fully implemented today as the Belt and Road Initiative, I believe this project will be regarded as a peace project. Although the Belt and Road is seen as economic cooperation, a development movement, and a win-win philosophy, it is, in reality, a bridge to peace. People will come to know each other in the geographies connected by this bridge. As languages learn languages, religions learn religions, and cultures learn cultures, the roads to peace will naturally form.

Thus, we can establish:
• A more dynamic and innovation-focused structure,
• A larger investment and financial environment,
• A broader energy cooperation,
• A larger economic and trade area,
• A more balanced and mutually beneficial cooperation,
• Wider cultural and humanitarian relationships.

In the European Union, the Christian faith exists in three different sects: Roman Catholicism in Southern and Central Europe, Protestantism in Northern and Western Europe, and Eastern Orthodoxy in Eastern Europe, all living in peace for 70 years. In Eastern Europe, the Islamic religion is also widely prevalent, especially in the Balkan countries, which are members of the European Union, and in Turkey, a candidate country for the European Union.

Additionally, due to migrations from the Middle East and Maghreb countries, there are about 20 million Muslims within the borders of the European Union. There are also about 1 million Jews living in the European Union countries. The European Union has brought peace and stability to this geography I mentioned.

Now, I would like to share with your esteemed assembly that we must urgently say "Stop" to the conflicts in Ukraine, Palestine, Russia, and Israel. The road to peace is difficult, complex, requires patience and sacrifice. But in the end, children will not be left fatherless, and mothers will not be left husbandless. I take advantage of international meetings to express our need for paths to peace.

Let us get to know each other together. Let us establish dialogue with each other. I see the Belt and Road Initiative as an opportunity. When a Buddhist atheist meets and gets to know a Muslim Christian, I believe that countless conflicts that have lasted for centuries will naturally disappear. Fear will be replaced by trust, suspicion by confidence, and war by the virtue of coexistence. Again, with dialogue, prejudices will be eliminated, and listening and respect will be established.

The recipe for this is dialogue. Here, I object to the word "tolerance." I value the word "respect" and see the Belt and Road Initiative as an opportunity in this regard. When states make their people smile, make them free, fill their stomachs, and allow them to live in security and stability, they will be able to live their tomorrows in a more beautiful, calmer, and more virtuous environment.

Therefore, I believe that we must end the wars between Israel and Palestine, and between Russia and Ukraine. Taking this meeting as an opportunity, I would like to conclude my speech with a saying of the Founder of the Republic of Turkey, Great Atatürk, from a century ago: "Peace at home, peace in the world."

Yes, first we will live in peace in our homelands, and then we will ensure peace in the world. If we consider that we can only have a life of at most one hundred years, why would we want a shorter life, an unstable life, a life without a lover, or a life without a father?

I take this meeting as an opportunity and invite you all to dialogue and even more dialogue.