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HasNa Inc. Peacebuilders of the Year

HasNa Inc. Peacebuilders of the Year (2017-’18)

In keeping with HasNa Inc.’s mission to promote cross cultural understanding between ethnically divided communities, this year on the occasion of International Peace Day, we have nominated two of our long-time friends and supporters from Turkey and Cyprus respectively as peacebuilders of the year: Mr. Mehmet Betil and Mr. Yiannis Laouris.

Mehmet Betil has a business experience for more then fifty years. He has founded several companies dealing in different areas in computing. He is involved with nongovernment organizations since 2000 in Cyprus and Turkey. His is active as a trustee in Hisar Schools and has served as a board member for the Cyprus Friendship Program and for HasNa Inc. He is also a member of Hrant Dink advisory committee. He has been a supporter of HasNa Inc.’s peacebuilding projects for almost 20 years.

Yiannis Laouris was one of the 32 Turkish and Greek speaking Cypriots who are credited for “planting the seeds” of the Cyprus peace movement in the early 90s, having introduced thousands in conflict resolution and structured dialogue; a group that became known as “Cyprus Conflict Resolution Trainers Group.” In 1996, he pioneered in using technology to “break” the communication wall and support peace builders coordinate and plan their activities, a project that evolved into a portal with UN funding in 2000-2003 and became known as Tech4Peace. HasNa Inc. supported several of Yianni’s visions and projects, including a “Young Journalists” Project (2002), the “Reconciliation Now!” initiative (2003), the “Talk of the Island” (2005) and the “Towards a New Media Landscape” (2007). These projects reached and empowered thousands of Cypriots. His early years’ experiences were documented in his “Masks of Demons” book. In the years following the negative outcome of the 2004 referendum, Yiannis and his team launched the “Civil Society Dialogue project in Cyprus” and provided opportunities for active citizens on both sides to discuss and scientifically analyze the negative outcome. His work has been published in several peered reviewed publications, equipping scientists and analysts with validated data and evidence.

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