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Published: Jun 13 , 2013
Author: Mike Freedman

Taking a position in a conflict makes its resolution more difficult. And the more witnesses there are to that position-taking the less the likelihood of a negotiated settlement. In Istanbul positions have been taken in the most public sense possible in front of a global audience and I am not alone in fearing that a settlement is unlikely in the short-term. One thing we learn from watching thousands of hours of negotiation is that people either act or dig in NOT because of a complicated array of issues but usually for a SINGLE issue. Conversely, where many issues are raised these are generally some form of rationalisation of a single need or argument, or even a smoke screen. In Istanbul, the protestors’ single issue is that they feel that the government interferes with their personal choices and freedoms. The government, beneath the watchful eyes of the passive majority, feels a need not to be seen to have given in....

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