FIW of PLANFOR Opening Ceremony Speech Text (Draft)

First International Workshop of PLANFOR- 27 April-1 May 2017  

Opening Ceremony

Speech Text (Draft)

April 28, 2017 Friday at 10:00

İsmail BELEN

Founder and President of PLANFOR

PLANFOR-The Platform of the Associations of Nature and Forestry


Distinguished Guests,

Dear Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen’s

Dear Children


It is my pleasure to welcome you to the First İnternational Workshop of PLANFOR.

I salute you with my most heartwarming feelings, and I wish the PLANFOR and this workshop to be instrumental in the good news.

The PLANFOR, the short name of “The Platform of the Associations of Nature and Forestry”, which we have been dreaming for many years, has become official with the agreement signed in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina at the date of 1st June, 2016.

Today, I would like to share with you the happiness I have received from the point where the PLANFOR reached and the excitement we felt. I thank my friends for their trust and support in this process.

I also thank my Allah, my Lord, my eternal gratitude, for giving us the opportunity to do a good job for our world, our countries, our children, our future and ourselves.




Our valuable FRIENDS,

The foundation and working principles and procedures of the PLANFOR detailed in the cooperation agreement signed in 2016. We will have this agreement again in the next three days.

However, our main goal is that we, who share similar historical and cultural values, recognize, know and love each other. We aim to disseminate the cooperation that exists between our nations, our states and our official institutions through civil society organizations we represent, to do business jointly and to dream together.

Like Yunus Emre, a Turkish poet and Sufi mystic, the common value of our geography, we are saying:”Let’s know each other, let’s keep it easy, let’s love and let’s be loved

In our first establishment, we had seven members from Turkey, one from Bosnia and Herzegovina and one from Albania. With the agreements signed on April 21, 2017, 2 more members joined us. Very soon, our new members will officially join us.

As a result, the PLANFOR has become an “international structure” with members from Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and Kyrgyzstan. Through its members, it represents over 100,000 people.

With the permission of my Lord, I believe, we will be able to have members from all eligible countries in very short time.

We have already gotten proposals from Macedonia, Kosovo, Azerbaijan and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Likewise, we are trying to reach friendly non-governmental organizations that we can work with.


Distinguished Guests,

We want PLANFOR to be a long-term, multi-participant, international organization. That is why we take care to ensure that the bases are firmly laid out and that their strategic goals are determined together.

We organized this workshop for this purpose.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your contributions and active participation. I also would like to thank to our partners Öz Orman İş Trade Union, Union of Agriculture and Forestry Workers-TOÇBİRSEN- and the Sivil Düşün EU Programme for their financial support.

Today we will have a press conference after the signing ceremony of our new members.

We will then go to the Friday prayer with our friends available.

We plan to make Friday prayer in the city center. On this occasion, I would like to say a few words about Alanya.

Alanya is a beach resort city and 138 kilometres east of the city of Antalya. As of Turkey’s 2015 Census, the city population is about 300.000

Alanya has been a local stronghold for many Mediterranean-based empires, including the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman Empires. Alanya’s greatest political importance came in the Middle Ages, with the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm under the rule of Alaeddin Kayqubad I, from whom the city derives its name. His building campaign resulted in many of the city’s landmarks, such as the Kızıl Kule (Red Tower), Tersane (Shipyard), and Alanya Castle.

The Mediterranean climate, natural attractions, and historic heritage make Alanya a popular destination for tourism, and responsible for nine percent of Turkey’s tourism sector and thirty percent of foreign purchases of real estate in Turkey.

If we go back to workshop again;

After lunch, we will listen to the presentations of PLANFOR members. We will also have the opportunity to get to know their representatives. We will also see more closely, what we can do together.

We will continue to monitor the cooperation agreement we signed in 2016, and we will make new additions if necessary. We will then prepare our Strategic Plan and Action Plan in accordance with this updated agreement. In the end, we will evaluate our projects to ensure that these are implemented.

We are planning to consider Platforms and initiatives listed below.




Dear Colleagues,

As the Members of PLANFOR we are planning to implement projects under this umbrella. For this aim, we are planning to make cooperation with various national and international organizations. Some of them listed below:


We also want our children and young people to work more actively, both as a CARFU and under this Platform umbrella. We plan to pass on the necessary arrangements for this in a short time.

During this workshop we will discuss how the DOST Platform will work and how it will be represented. We will also discuss the web page, logos and other topics.


Distinguished Guests,

Before I finish my words, I would like to touch on a major shortcoming that I feel in our country and in our geography.

Recently Turkey has been hosting very important and worldwide meetings. G20 in 2016, World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 , United Nations Forum on Forestry and UNCCD COP12 are amongst them.  We can include the International Democracy Congress organized by Oz Orman İş Trade Union,  a member of PLAFOR very recently.


However, these Conferences are not made as part of a specific plan or as a part of integrated approach.  Even worse, these Conferences are not reported in an integrated manner and are not followed up. This creates a great strategic space for our country and our region.


We, as PLANFOR, plan to solve this problem as one of our Strategic Targets and to produce projects for this purpose.

We think that the International Institute for Sustainable Development  can be a good example and a partner. The IISD Reporting Services also could be very good example and partner to follow.


Currently, PLANFOR gives priority to forestry. It will continue to do so. However, in addition to forestry, rural development, rural development, beekeeping, child and youth education, environmental health and preventive medicine, health, science, industry, trade are also in the interest of PLANFOR. When the time comes, work will be done in these areas as well.

Very valuable guests,

Ladies, gentlemen, dear children, valuable representatives of our press, dear friends,

I started my words with Yunus Emre. I want to finish with a call that has a common value again. I want to call the public and private sector, more precisely the ones that my voice has reached, to non-governmental organizations that are active in our heartland with the means of you.

Come! Whatever you are, come

As long as your goal is to serve Allah, goodness, humanity, heartedness and service to our people. As long as we share our common values.

As long as with effort, with the heart, with diligence and prayer, contribute, support, Become the DOST, become a REAL FRIEND, become an ally.


With these feelings I thank you for being here, my friends who support us with their pray even if they cannot be here.

Despite all the difficulties from the very beginning, we thank our friends and believers who believe in us, trust us, and are always with us.

I wish that our workshop would be instrumental in good works.

Letters for Future