Istanbul meet hosts politicians, activists

Istanbul meet hosts politicians, activists

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Istanbul meet hosts politicians, activists

Participants of the forum pose in front of the the camera on the first day. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

The Istanbul World Political Forum kicked off yesterday, bringing together politicians, businesspeople, journalists and activists from all around the world to hold talks on hot global issues with the tagline “building a new world.” The turnout at the summit was lower than expected as no Turkish cabinet member attended the event.

Participating the forum, Israeli journalist Gideon Levy said Israel needs much more Turkey than Turkey needs Israel in the region.

“I can’t find a logic of loosing such a strategic ally like Turkey. Tukey can play enormous role, maybe bigger than the US ın the region right now. It is the only superpower who have relations both with the Arab countries and Israel”, Levy said.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the forum, Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abushhagur said his country would experience a fair election for the first time in history next month, and finally secure its new constitution. Abushhagur also said “Turkey inspired Libya with its democracy.”

Ahmed Harara, an Egyptian activist, who lost his eyes to rubber bullets in the Egyptian revolution, said the Arab Spring was still continuing, despite the restrictions of extreme movements.

Harara, who was chosen as the “Man of 2011” by Time magazine had “freedom” written on his protective eye patch.

“We demanded social justice, freedom and equality. Hundreds of people were under torture, military courts judged revolutionists, thousands of people were lost,” he said.

IWPF’s head, Ahmet Eyüp Özgüç, also draw attention to the mission of the forum by saying it was “open to anyone who considers themselves in the 99 percent of the world.”