September 28 Individual Disarmament Award "Individual Disarmament: Entitle Life!" Photograpy Contest

September 28th Individual Disarmament Day
15th Individual Disarmament Day Award Ceremony

Nazire Dedeman
Founding President of Umut Foundation 

Dedeman Istanbul Hotel
28.09.2009

 


 

Dear Governor and Esteemed Guests,

Welcome.

We depicted our protest with the march of silent shoes for the 9th time at Taksim Square today at September 28th Individual Disarmament Day.

Tonight, I am very happy for coming together here with you, my esteemed friends, at the 15th Individual Disarmament Award Ceremony.

Our longing for individual disarmament increases each passing day, because this problem threatens all citizens’ “right to live”.

I would like to stress out that September 28th Individual Disarmament Day is important in terms of raising social awareness on this matter and providing the development of various approaches.

There is a total of about 8 million firearms in our country as of today, about 2.5 million of which are licensed. If we include the families of arms owners, about 40 million people can access weapons at any moment. An average of 3,000 of our citizens lose their lives because of firearms. If we think of those left behind, at least 15,000 people are the victims of individual armament every year. Victimhood is great; therefore, fight against firearms is every citizen’s responsibility and Umut Foundation will keep fighting…

As you might appreciate, this problem can only be solved by means cooperation between the community and the government. Laws must be deterrent and make individual armament difficult. Our efforts are to ensure that laws regarding individual disarmament in our country are enacted based on an understanding of individual disarmament, which assures people’s “right to live”, as well as to warn authorities regarding the matter and to add Umut Foundation’s 16-year knowledge to any efforts which will make progress in this matter.

Today, we have declared at Taksim Square the Final Declaration of the study performed by Umut Foundation Committee on the Firearms Draft Law. It is extremely important that the Firearms Law should be reenacted in a way that it is applicable under present conditions, assures our “right to live”, makes individual armament difficult and provides control at maximum level.

We will summit this declaration to related authorities, mainly including the Turkish Grand National Assembly’s Internal Affairs Commission. I would like to stress out once more: People’s right to live is sacred. The updated law must assure the right to live, not substantial interests…

We, as Umut Foundation, take duty and feel proud to add our 16-year knowledge to all these efforts.

 

I would like to mention that during the performance of our mission support of every citizen is required more than ever, as much as the support of law-makers and law enforcement bodies, statesmen and local administrations and other civil society organizations, in order to become further stronger.

I believe that your role as a mediator and your support will further strengthen the individual disarmament move. Popularization of our fight with the participation of citizens will be a precise message to those circles who value substantial interests more than human life.

Esteemed guests,

We have organized 15th of the September 28th Individual Disarmament Day Traditional Prize Contest, which we, as Umut Foundation, hold every year, in the “Photography” branch this year, because photos are one of the communication means, which describe people’s situations in daily life the most effective way.

Thus, with this contest, we aimed to draw attention to the social dimension of individual disarmament by benefiting from the sociological indicators of “Photography” in social life, as well as its strength and opportunities in social communication,

We desire to share with the community by means of peaceful images and photos on individual disarmament the message that thought-provoking, declaratory and highlighting images can be non-violent and peace can only be spread to the community by first being created between two people.

I sincerely thank the esteemed members of the Contest Jury for their contributions: Mr. Nail Güreli, Mrs. Nurçay Türkoğlu, Mr. İzzet Keribar, Mr. Nadir Ede, Mr. Merih Akoğul and Mr. Ayhan Aydın.

Moreover, I wish to thank all participants who supported our individual disarmament fight with their works, while warmly celebrating award-winners

Before beginning the Award Ceremony, I thank and invite to your presence Dear Governor Muammer Güler who showed his support in this matter by participating September 28th Individual Disarmament Day.

For a better tomorrow with full of hope…