Turkey and EU Representatives pledge to strengthen Civil Society with New Projects

Representatives of both the Turkey and EU have confirmed that their cooperation will continue to strengthen civil society with new projects.

Turkey and EU representatives stressed that they attach utmost importance to strengthening the former’s civil society. They underlined that the efforts to do so will continue with projects, supported by the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).

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The Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director for EU affairs, Faruk Kaymakçı, and the head of the EU delegation to Turkey, Christian Berger, attended the opening ceremony of the Civil Society Support Program yesterday. The program is being organized by the Directorate for EU Affairs.

Speaking at the ceremony, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Director for EU affairs, Faruk Kaymakçı said, “For more than 15 years, projects aiming to strengthen civil society dialogue and improve the capacities of civil society organizations have been supported.”

Representatives of various public institutions and civil society organizations also attended the event held in Ankara.

In his opening speech, Director of the Central Finance and Contracts Unit, Mehmet Selim Uslu said, “In the first round of IPA in 2007-2013, 75 million euros [$85.76 million] were provided to civil society organizations under various programs.”

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For the 2014-2020 period with IPA II, 190 million euros would be spent on the organizations. Uslu added that the Directorate for EU Affairs will coordinate the Civil Society Support Program and will be responsible for the technical implementation of the program and its sustainability.

Turkey became eligible for EU membership in 1997 and accession talks began in 2005. In recent years, Turkey has complained that the EU decision to not open new chapters in its accession negotiations was politically motivated.

With an aim to support Turkey’s accession process, the EU has provided IPA funds to programs that aim at aligning Turkish legislation and standards with the EU’s, building [the] authorities capacity for undertaking this harmonization and implementing the reforms throughout the accession process.

Stressing that Turkey is very rich regarding civil society organizations, Head of the EU delegation to Turkey, Christian Berger said, “There are 100,000 organizations that represent more than 9 million people as active members. With the end of the state of emergency in Turkey and projects like this we can once again broaden the space for the civil society. We work together to remove administrative obstacles for the works of civil society.”

In relation to the aims of the EU and Turkey, Berger said that their objectives are to increase the autonomy, representation and accountability of the organizations. He added that they also want to increase the effectiveness of Turkey’s civil society and strengthen the networking and cooperation capacity between the public sector and the organizations.

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  • Avatar Anita Nana Okuribido says:

    This is very proactive

  • Avatar Sümer Hasimoglu says:

    I am glad to hear tha NGOs especially the rural NGOs are going to be financially supported to increase their effectiveness…
    Assoc. Prof. Sümer Hasimoglu, MS, PhD Schwerin, Germany

  • Avatar Khurshid Ali khan says:

    Application for Grants

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