Liberty Academy Introductory Seminar, 2-3 March 2013, Ankara

Civil Society and Free Market Economy” Workshop was held on March 2-3 in Ankara

Association for Liberal Thinking held a workshop titled “Civil Society and Free Market Economy” on 2-3 March 2013 in Ankara in cooperation with Friedrich Naumann Foundation. Selected students among the participants of past Liberty Schools were invited to the program so that they can better express themselves in a more interactive seminar and find an opportunity to discuss liberal ideas in depth. The program was conducted under the moderation of ALT’s president Dr. Bican Sahin and ALT’s general coordinator Ms. Ozlem Caglar Yilmaz.

The workshop was mainly based on group works and presentations of participants. In the orientation session where each participant introduced his/her features, strengths, weaknesses, hobbies and goals, everyone was given the idea of diversity and variety of individuals in the society to provide a basis for discussion on pluralism, civil society and free market economy. Later, participants discussed on “What the institutions of civil society,and market economy are and why these institutions are valuable?” After this session participants divided into four groups and they prepared presentations on following questions: “How does trade promote peace? What is the role of private property in civil society?”

First day concluded with the presentation of Assoc. Prof. Dr. Fuat Oguz on “Free Market Economy and Entrepreneurial Discovery Process”, with examples of the unintended consequences of human action and government regulations.

Second day started with an icebreaker activity on free exchange of simple goods distributed by the moderators with each other, evaluating the satisfaction degree before and after, the game was a simulation of free markets. The following session was a general discussion on pluralism and competition in both civil society and free market economy under the moderation of Dr. Bican Sahin. The tasks of group works were to discuss solutions within civil society and free market economy to the following four problems: Poverty; over consumption of alcohol and smoking; environmental pollution; internet, security and privacy. “

Second day’s following presentation was on “Which Liberalism?” of Dr. Bican Sahin. He made a presentation on various understandings of liberalism and compared ethical liberalism and political liberalism. Final session was on “Being an opinion leader and to promote liberal ideas” delivered by Ozlem Caglar Yilmaz. Since the participants were selected students and potential opinion leaders among their circles, it was worthwhile to guide them how they can function to promote freedom and utilize the resources, and network. At the end of this session participants also contributed with their opinions and suggestions as an evaluation.


Program gathered successful students from ten different universities and nine different cities. All participants were very interested in liberal ideas and they found opportunity to exchange their ideas with others. Program was very valuable for keeping the network of Liberty Schools alumni alive. Students were also asked to fill in evaluation forms on the program where they expressed that they could better reconsider their opinions and realized where and how to develop their thinking on freedom.

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