Intercultural Dialog

When Marmara Group Foundation were laying the foundations for Intercultural Love and Peace Dialogue back in 1998, no one could even think that this could be something that can prove to be a consistent and sustainable effort1

4.12.2012 - Read: 5429
When Marmara Group Foundation were laying the foundatio

 ‘When Marmara Group Foundation were laying the foundations for Intercultural Love and Peace Dialogue back in 1998, no one could even think that this could be something that can prove to be a consistent and sustainable effort.. Yet with the passing of time, we see today that the intercultural dialogue has now become an indispensable and irrevocable theme and ideal. Humanity will commemorate those who are responsible endeavored fort his thought to come to life with respect.’      

In 1998 with Dr. Akkan Suver’s and his friends’ determined and careful yet stubborn and insisted thoughts mosque, church, synagogue triangle has been brought together side by side. The foundation of Intercultural Peace and Love Togetherness has been laid out first in Turkey, then worldwide. Marmara Group Foundation holds intercultural dialogue in high regard.

Turkey stationed in geographical spot that has been formed by dead and alive cultures. First legendary myths, polytheist religions and after different celestial religions have lived with their existence purpose and reasons in the geography we belong to. Today, we addressed the togetherness among Jewish, Catholic and Orthodox Christians and Buddhists who has joined us later in Istanbul, Izmir, Konya, Mardin, Kayseri, Adana, Ankara, Edirne, Trabzon, and Samsun first in a national level. The meaning of this address comes from our knowledge that the problems that are caused by globalization are not due to culture of none of them.    

On the contrary, we also knew that cultures constitute civilization and posses the strong messages that might contribute to solution of these problems. Deriving from this knowledge we accelerated the works for intercultural reconciliation and embraced delivering humanity to peace and tolerance as our guide. For it is needed to shatter the walls that have been put up between cultures and civilizations, prejudices that have been placed to realize living together, in a more broader sense, at some point in order to ensure peace, first of all the environment for mutual dialogue among religion responsible is essential.

Marmara Group Foundation while considering the fact that every religion manifest the necessity of living in peace and defending human rights, morality and rule of law has formed Intercultural Dialogue Platform with the aim of eliminating religion centered conflicts, wars, destruction of temples and sanctuaries and devastation of the environment. With the intention of realization and provision of all of these aspects and with the hope of solidifying and consolidating the culture of living together and ending the inhumane actions of members of the celestial religions such as prejudice forcing and domination and tyranny, we have set forth an apprehension of sincere, serious and responsible dialogue.

We named this dialogue that we have set forth as Love and Peace Dialogue with the principle of showing respect to all the parties’ religions and what they hold holy. We have started our Love and Peace Dialogue under the chairmanship of Mehmet Nuri Yılmaz, Chiarman of Religious Affairs of the era. Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos, Armenian Patriarch Mesrop II, Syrian Orthodox Acting Patriarch Yusuf Çetin, Syrian Catholic Bishop Yusuf Sağ, Monsignor Marovitch for Vatican, Chief Rabbi David Asseo and Monsignor Çolakyan have showed great interest, and esteemed our event. Afterwards these works have continued with the participation of Chairman of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Bardakoğlu and Chief Rabbi İzak Haleva. Our relations successfully continued with Deputy Patriarch Aram Ateşyan who substitute Patriarch Mesrop II due to his health issues.

Our intercultural dialogue works which also caused sensation out of Turkey as well, is a renown project in the countries such as; Russia, Vatican, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Belgium, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Greece, Georgia, Romania, Syria, Iraq, Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Spain, Italy, Australia. At first Vatican’s and the other countries’ approach to the subject was under the name of Dialogue among Religions. Marmara Group Foundation, however, has approach based on the philosophy of intercultural dialogue rather than religions. This approach has caught the interest of Vatican’s Secretariat for Intercultural Dialogue and in 2004 Vatican abolished Dialogue among Religions and instead formed the Secretariat for Intercultural Dialogue.

This establishment has coincided with the Marmara Group Foundation’s Intercultural Dialogue Platform’s thinking and existence philosophy. In October of 2006, Vatican has participated in Bishop level to our event in Istanbul. Our practices have reached to its peak point as a result of works that Cardinal Celata has also joined.

On November 9, 2006 Pope Benedict XVI has accepted Marmara Group Foundation in Vatican. The acceptance of the Marmara Group Foundation Delegation formed by Dr. Akkan Suver, Prof. Dr. Ilter Turan, Leyla Tavşanoğlu and Cafer Okyar by the Pope, in Vatican at some point manifested the determination, accuracy and rightfulness of our intention and the road map we have drawn. The Pope stated that he does not see Marmara Group Foundation as a bridge for dialogue between Christianity and Islam; on the opposite he admired Marmara Group Foundation’s cultural works and efforts for sustaining the lessened cultural richnesses among which Syrian Orthodox and Chaldeans are also involved, and that he is a follower of the efforts we have put through while he accepted our delegation. This sort of attention from the Vatican has put forth the strength and rightfulness of the efforts since 1998 on its own accord.

In 2008, during his visit to Turkey Pope Benedictus XVI has accepted Dr. Akkan Suver and Müjgan Suver in Istanbul. Then again, in 2011 Pope has accepted a delegation from Marmara Group Foundation consisted of Dr. Akkan Suver, Dr. Fatih Saraçoğlu, Necdet Timur and Aykut Eken for the third time.

Şeyhül-Islam of Azerbaijan Allahşükür Paşazade, Secretary General of Islam Conference Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin İhsanoğlu, Reis-ul Ulema of Bosnia Herzegovina Hüseyin Kavazovic, Grand Muftu of Moscow Ravil Gaynuddin are also among those who have accepted Marmara Group Foundation. ‘The Importance of Culture in Ecological Dialogue’ has also added into the Intercultural Dialogue practices in 2013. 

Marmara Group Foundation gives high importance to Intercultural Dialogue and shows this by arranging special Sessions at Eurasian Economic Summits. Especially, the meeting titled “From Local to Global: The Importance of Dialogue in Peace” arranged in 2014; Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos, Shaykh al-Islam of Caucasus Muslims Allahşükür Paşazade, Minister of State of Macedonia Hadi Nezir, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran Manoicher Mottaki, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Dora Bokayannis, Prince Leka of Albania, Genç Seiti from UNESCO, Chief Rabbi of Turkey İzhak Haleva, Leader of Azerbaijan Orthodox Church Aleksandr Issein, Member of Hellenic Parliament Maria Yannakaki, Member of Parliament (Knesset) of Israel Davit Tusur, President of Slavyani Foundation Zhari Zhariyev, Member of Parliament of Romania Ionut Vulpescu, Co-chairman of Alliance of Civilizations Prof. Dr. Bekir Karlıağ, Leader of Azerbaijan Jewish Community Milix Yevdayev, Patriarchal Vicar of the Syriac Orthodox Church Yusuf Çetin, Leader of Catholic Church of Azerbaijan Vladimir Fekete, Mufti of Serbia Muhammed Jusufspahic, Patriarchal Vicar of Syriac Catholic Church Yusuf Sağ, Prof. Dr. Agni Vlavianos Arvantis, Former Minister of Interior of Montenegro Jusuf Kalamperovic, Apostolic Nuncio to Turkey of Vatican Antonio Lucibello, Mufti of Istanbul Prof. Dr. Rahmi Yaran participated. 


Intercultural Dialogue Works is a very important area of work for Marmara Group Foundation, which has made invaluable and great progresses in the field of ethnicity as well internationally. Whatever the race, religion, sect, culture a person belongs to, the most supreme and eminent presence in this world is man itself has been the fact that Marmara Group Foundation has derived from and accepted that the togetherness  among church, mosque and synagogue is a richness in our country where cultures’’ official parade is a reality. The voices of call to prayers, church bells and hazans have mixed to each other for centuries in our country delivered from history, our criteria for living together would consist of traditional sense of justice and environment for cooperation rather than ethnic and religious polarization has been the main ideal guide for Marmara Group Foundation. Marmara Group Foundation, who is rooted and rich inheritor of the criteria, depended on modern and universal values, gives extreme importance to Intercultural Dialogue efforts and practices.

 President of Marmara Group Foundation Dr. Akkan Suver attended the Ceremony for 1700th Anniversary of the Edict of Milan, which is a first in inter-religious dialogue, as a guest of Patriarch Bartholomew. First Ceremony held in Belgrade, second in Nish and third in Podgorica for Restoration of "Church of the Holy Resurrection and Divine Liturgy" Cathedral.

 Mufti of Serbia Muhammed Jusufspahic along with Dr. Akkan Suver

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