"Individual Disarmament in Turkey and Violence News" Local Media Mugla Seminar

Umut Foundation
Local Media Seminar on
“Individual Armament and News on Violence in Turkey”

 27-28 November 2010, Tuna Hotel

Nazire Dedeman
Founding President of Umut Foundation

Dear my guests, Welcome.
 I am pleased to be with you in Muğla, in the eighth of our Local Media Seminars on "Individual Disarmament and Violence News" 
Umut Foundation has been working in fields of individual disarmament, violence, peace culture and superiority of legal system for the past 17 years and has been sharing the information and research results gathered with the public at every chance. Media’s support has always been with us throughout this process. We, as Umut Foundation, have been and will continue to share our researches, problems we observe, our criticisms and assessments with the media and with the public through the media.
 When we decided to start our journey for local media seminars, we decided the "right to live " which is the most essential right of the human rights, to be the main object.  The right-to-live violations interrupt the democratization efforts. The media which is determined as the fourth force is very important in the right functioning of democracy, in realizing supervision on behalf of the public and creating the public opinion. For this reason there won’t be a more natural reason than examining the right to live through media. 
The edge point of the right to live violations is ending the life of someone by applying violence. The edge point of the violence is individual armament. Through media we can more easily see the violence road map of Turkey. Every day approximately 8 people lost their lives because of individual armament and 2 of them are wounded. 
The examination of violence is one of the essential objects of the social sciences. The thesis that human beings sustain the violence inside them as their nature is accepted. But the social life might provide the human control their violence, decrease it to a minimum. the way that we are raised, our form of social existence and our traditions can increase and also decrease the violence. For this reason dear media members, a very important duty awaits you. To oppose against the violation of “right-to-live” and to share it with public opinion.
 IANSA (International Action Network on Small Arms) data show that 75% of the guns on the world are possessed by civilians. Every day in the world 1000 people loose their lives because of the guns and important part of these people are from countries where the peace prevails. So we are in a silent war, indeed. The individual armament war. We should firstly realize this and than we should draw the attention of the public opinion to this matter. 
The toy gun and computer games constituted of guns and violence which do not seem to be a problem take the “right to live “ in a secure and peaceful right of our children from their hand. 
As from today, there are approximately 8 millions individual firearms, including 2.5 millions licensed arms, in Turkey. If we count the families of the gun holders, approximately 40 million people are available to access to the guns anytime. Positive changes made in the New Draft Law For Guns which is currently discussed at the assembly, according to the propositions of Umut Foundation. Even if the results are still not efficient, even if the victimhood caused by the firearms which are the latest point of the violence and which sole function is to kill, is not decreased we have to make efforts to improve the new draft law to be closer to the European Union standards. We can not ignore the support of the media in our fight. Because of the media the individual armament became more visible.
The purpose of the “Individual Disarmament and Violence news” Local Media Seminars series, is to form the critical approach presenting the objective and in accordance with the occupation necessities about the events and the reflection of the events especially for the local media’s violence and individual disarmament object of the media which is the fourth force. 
You the journalists, have the biggest responsibility and duty on this object.  
Maybe the mostly read, taken attention violence news, tell the media auditor all kind of vital experiences, human stories as the part of the daily life. And the witness of these news and events our journalist friends, are aware that they give a shape to the social understanding and behaviors as a story teller? Are the journalists aware the responsibility that they carry while they cited the events that witness?
 These questions constitute the base of our training program for this week-end. Today, generally, the journalism profession principles, media literacy and the violence news related to human rights object will be taken under consideration. Tomorrow we will get informed; in the first session, the Social gender roles in the violence news, peace journalism and media literacy, in the second session the hate crimes and media’s attitude, human rights in violence news and the editorial evaluation of the violence news.
 After that we will be together with our spokesperson, our Session Moderator and our journalist friends in the discussion session about "The Violence Reporting Consideration of Local Media". This session, is really important which will put our mutual consideration forward on this matter. For this reason, we request you to join to the last session and to share your ideas, experiences, questions and evaluations with us. 
We will be happy to present you your certificates following this session.
 On this occasion, I thank everyone who contributed efforts on this organization, also our dear spokesmen Nail Güreli’ye, Asst. Dr. Abdülrezak Altun’a, Prof. Dr. Timur Demirbaş’a Adv. Fikret İlkiz, Dr. Ayhan Akcan, Adv. Filiz Kerestecioğlu, Dr. Recep Yaşar, Tolga Korkut, Ahmet Abakay and Ertuğrul Mavioğlu; and also, Our Session Moderator Dear Ünal Türkeş and Dear Hüseyin Anıl. 
I thank to Freidrich Ebert Stiftung Association which made the realization of this seminar possible by its material support.
 I wish it to be an efficient, fun and highly participated seminar.
To hopeful tomorrows…