Dear Members and Friends of CIF International,
We would like to invite you to a conference in Turkey; a country where continents meet,
where you discover civilizations built on one another if you dig in the
earth, where cultures dating back centuries encounters.
Encounters influence our lives significantly from birth to the end of
life. At the moment we are born, we have our first encounter with our
mother and continue to have other encounters with our family members,
friends and teachers. Then, we encounter new colleagues in professional
lives, new people and new cultures as the circle enlarges in the course
of our social lives.
We, as social workers and related professions encounter applicants,
colleagues and colleagues from other countries through CIF International.
The basic reason for social work professions to exist is to deal with
all the tension and problems created by these encounters and help people
out to overcome these challenges.
Each encounter opens
new windows into our lives. We sail to new worlds which we do not know
they exist by that time and steer ourselves into new directions. However,
encounters are not limited only to our personal worlds. In a more
globalized world, encounters are varied and differs significantly as we
meet people from all over the world through internet in virtual
platforms, with people in free movement zones. Borders are lost, walls
collapse, we learn the difference between war and peace, disaster and
Encounters result in agreeable and positive outcomes as well as
conflicts. In today’s world, we see more stress and conflict taking
place among individuals, groups or nations. There are negative
situations arising from differences (like men and women, children and
parents, different communities, different religions etc.) that coexist
in the same place. Meeting others who are different often brings out
disagreement, rejection, exclusion and alienation instead of recognition,
acceptance, integration and reconciliation. While articulation results
in knowing and accepting “the other” and reconciliation creates balance
and civil environment, “state of conflicts” otherwise lead to perpetuate
identity crises between individuals, groups and nations.
We live in a global era where migrations as new encounters have been
increasingly going on and most visible with its national or
international dimensions. However, their effects on sub-national
processes are usually invisible to observe clearly and yet experienced
by families, immigrants and disadvantaged people deeply.
Migration is a
horizontal dimension of movements and encounters. Turkey is also a country
where intensive domestic and external migration are being observed.
Whether it is intensive or not, migration is a reality for every part
of the world.
When the rate of horizontal movement increases, in other words, when migration increase
encounters, a rise in conflicts and social problems come into sight. The
fundemantal problems created by global encounters are xenophobia, racism,
exclusion, ostracism, discrimination, alienation and increased violence.
Hence, the need for social services’ mediating role by individuals,
immigrant families, inhabitants and also by governments increses. This
demand for social services is a rising in all countries,
because domestic and external migration become widespread social facts.
Globalization and new encounters coexist in the same society, in the
“Conflicting dualities” (we and the others) continue to coexist. Therefore, it is still
crucial to learn to live with differences, to coexist, to meet with the
different one, accept the others, develop social solidarity and conflict
Social work and
related professions are at the center of this new world of conflicts.
They continously confront problems of immigrants,
children living and working on the
street, the poor, street and school gangs, drug addicts, victims of internet abuse and hate crimes. Today, it is more important
and critical than ever that social work professionals cooperate with
their peers in global level, share their experiences and use their
knowledge and skills in response to these new challenges and to create
new solutions to these problems.
It is known that encounters can sometimes be considered as threats and
opportunity for growth at other times. From this point of view, we
invite you as social professionals who are confronting with these
problems in different parts of the world, to Turkey to discuss
encounters and think about how we can turn these challenges into
opportunities for a better World. We hope to provide a platform for you
to participate in discussion groups, share your experiences and form new
solutions to combat these situations.
We hope you will contribute to the issues raised in this conference.
We invite you to submit a presentation or lead a workshop during the
You can fill in
the form for conference presentations and workshops at
http://conference.cifturkey.org/asform.doc and send it to our academic committee by March
We will be happy
to accept contributions of CIF members and friends around the world.
We are looking
forward to hearing from you…