Meetings in Ankara

Stop in Ankara. 0505 345 67 80. Gün hayden ! We are french and we would like to meet you... 7.00 PM. Marefal Cacmak cadde. OK!. After some searches, hazardous coincidences sometimes, we have now some ideas about social life and habits of Turkey. Here is our "carnet de bord" of about fifteen days spent in the arms of the capital.



- See the french original version of this article


Türkiye ve Orta Dogu Forumu Vakfi
> The Forum Turkey and Middle East Foundation (so called Özgür Üniversite - Free University)

- Meeting with his founder Fikret Baskaya


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Created in 1995 by the sociologist - economist Fikret Baskaya, the Forum is a free and independent place for exchange and spreading out of knowledge on alternatives in model of neo-liberal development. It established from the report of the current impasse of the model of development and the political and democratic absolute dictatorship of Turkey.

Forum tries :

- To open an alternative ideological breach to the neoliberalism,

- To promote freedom of expression and to make sensitive academicians, students and public on these subjects and mains questions of society,

- To spread and to exchange knowledge due to seminars, conferences, academics’ interventions, edition of books, a periodical newspaper and a Web site.

The team of intellectuals and academicians mobilized on the initiative tries to develop partnerships abroad in term of co-edition and translation of books.

Fikret is very sensitive to create an opened and multidisciplinary network in Turkey centred on the topics of the Forum.

> Current partnerships with the Third World Forum


And also :
- To see interview of Fikret (in French)
- To see Türkiye ve Orta Dogu Forumu Vakfi web site
- Web site of the Alliance of the independent editors



Mazlumder > Organization of Human rights and Solidarity for Opressed people

- Meeting with Summeye Nur Erken - student and volunteer of association


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Noticing the frequent disregard of human rights and the distress of the persons in situation of minorities in Turkey, the Mazlumder association suggests in a independent way, since 1991, bringing a help to those rights of which were violated and more widely those making the various object of discriminations. It works frequently with the political, immigrant refugees and the persons victims of political or ideological violence (torture, terrorism).

Active in all Turky through 20 branches collecting 2000 members, the association combines animation of program, training courses and media action. Major activity consists in identifying facts of discriminations of the persons, in defining relevant procedures to stop discriminations and make them visible with authorities and with public. It organises notably a program of training imams on human rights (religious personalities) supported by the European Union, and conferences, seminars and public demonstrations. The organization can be brought also to collect and redistribute financial support for the victims of discriminations.

Summeye underlines absence of public policy of fight against the exclusion in Turkey.

Numerous actors work on human rights and discriminations are present in Turkey and work in link with Mazlumder. Let us speak about Association of human rights, the Human Rights foundation of Turkey, Amnesty International (UK), Human rights Watch (DK), International Federation of Human Rights Leagues (FR).

A national platform collecting the organizations of defence and promotion of human rights is in project.


And also :
- Mazlumder web site



Insan Haklari Dernegi
> Human Rights Association

- Meeting with Yusuf Alatas - lawyer and president of the association

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Working on respect for rights in Turkey, built in 1986 and represented with various branches in the main cities of the country, the association for the Promotion of Human rights focuses on the deficit of democratic culture of Turkey and the difficulty of the dialogue with the administration. «From time to time, we meet représentants of State, meeting are always very pleasant but consequences are systematically non-existent.»

«We owe this to our history and our military approach of the politics. An improvement started 5 years ago with the Helsinski’s meeting and the mandate of Prime Minister Ecevit» clarifies Yusuf.

The association deals notably with cases of excessive exercise of justice and dedicates a big part of its activity to seek and make visible discriminations.

Yusuf is very favorable to the construction of a platform associating the actors of human rights defence and also Helsinski Citizen Assembly of Istanbul.


And also :
- Web site of the human rights association

- Web site of the Helsinki citizen’s assembly



Insan Haklari Vakfi
> Human Rights Foundation


- Meeting with the team in charge of the documentation center


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Fast stop in the corridors of the resource center of the foundation. One of the main missions of the foundation is to capitalize and to spread information relative to human rights by publishing a daily electronic bulletin, trimestrial and annual reports.

According to them, it is quite difficult to change organizations of defence of rights for movements of promotion of a culture of peace and respect for human rights.


And also :
- The daily review of discriminations and facts in human rights 2005 (size PDF - 560 Kb - English) - > télécharger

- Web site of the foundation




Kader
> The Association for Supporting and training Women Candidates in Politic


- Meeting with Silma Acuner - member founder of Kader, political member of a party, Academicians at Ankara University (European policies, socioeconomic conditions of the women), member of an European Commission specialized on women conditions.



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Created in 1997 in Ankara, Kader works on supporting the implication of women within authorities, decision field and notably in the political environment in Turkey (the current Turkish Parliament contents only 4 % of women while university environment is feminized in 40 %) through training, lobbying and animation.

The association sensibilize political parties on participation of women and invites them to formalize it in their political diary. In 1999, with the MEDA program of the European Union, Kader contributed to form 300 women in engineering project. Kader is on the original initiative of penal code reform which allowed to modify recently 29 amendments on 31 propositions elaborated with more than fifty organisations mobilized in a platform.

Feminine movements rose in power in the 1980’s in Turkey. Selma focuses on the difficulty for organisation to build European projetcs, mainly because of the european rules. She points out big disparities of the feminine condition in term of salaries, access to public goods (education, water, health) in a country where 15 % of the population lives under the poverty line (less than 7 dollars per day).

In front of the difficult autonomy of the actors of Turkish society, Selma insists on the importance of the ethical and financial independance. She clarifies that Kader is very attentive to her autonomy and that she was naturally carried to work with the European Union, the United Nations, the Danish and Swedish cooperations.

Her dream : the creation of a sub-regional platform of the organizations of promotion of the woman and the creation of Gender Institut in Turkey !


And also :
- Web site of Kader



Antikapitalist


- Meeting with Sertug Cicek - founder member of the movement



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Born in 1999, a small group of activists sensitive to movement of world contesting which expresses itself from the summit of Seattle, decides to be more involved in the opposition to the liberal imperialism and establishes an informal movement, whose nickname is Antikapitalist.

Alternative of neoliberalism imagined by Antikapitalist would be to stop current model and to build a collectivism based on a new balance among the individual and the collective.

The movement participated since its creation at the opposite summit of G8 of Geneva and in the various European social forum of Florence, Saint-Denis, and soon Athens in 2006 and at the World Social Forum of 2004 in Mumbaï. Participating in Mumbaï, Sertug tried hard to restore the exchanges of the social forum in Turkey by organising meetings and publishing articles.

Movement mobilizes today more than hundred persons and edits a monthly newspaper.

Movement Global peace and justice coalition is also join among anti-authority movements in Turkey.

And also :
- Site Web of the movement

- Memoria viva: the virtual memory of social forums



Social Forum of Istanbul


- Meeting with Ersin Tek - studying Journalism in University of Ankara, political member of a left party and Global Peace and justice coalition



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In 2002, activist’s team tries in Istanbul to organize a first social forum and launches an appeal to participation inviting individuals and organizations to build a social forum in Turkey. But, the feeling to be prisonner of a new kind of coalition, the resistance of certain nationalists and the differences of opinion will not give a favorable issue to this new project.

Nevertheless in Ankara, from his 20 years old, Ersin believes in it. With the volunteers’ team which wishes to restart social forum idea in Istanbul, he contributes to prepare the organization of a social forum in Ankara. The next European social forum of Athens in 2006 represents a moment very important for the emergence of a forum in Turkey.

Ersin explains to us that the new generation "of activist" in Turky is strongly worried by world questions and sensitive at the idea of a social forum. "For us, there will be no change in Turkey if we don’t try to change the world at the same time" says Ersin. When he was a fifteen years old teenager, Ersin was already written texts of analysis on trotskisme and when you look on all the "grigris" he wears on him in solidarity towards the Palestinian and towards Kurdish community, you can easily believe him !

Ersin is a Web - developer too and puts a lot into an association of promotion of the free data processing (Linux Kullanicilar Dernegi - Linux users association)


And also :
- To see article of Ersin (in French)
- To see The virtual memory of social forums web site



Demokratic Sol Parti
> Democratic Left Parti


- Meeting with Mercan Sigdem - Teacher in a Training centre in data processing in Istanbul, active member of the party, former participant in a delegation of the Council of Europe working on social exclusion



3-4 years ago, before departure of her party of Turkish political scene, Mercan was youngest member of a delegation connected with the Council of Europe in charge of the questions of social exclusion. 49 countries on the whole participated in discussions about this subject (member countries and set of countries observers of the Union of whom Turkey), a chance of a lifetime for her to learn on the phenomenon of exclusion and the different approchs and answers brought by various countries. Observer’s position of Turkey allows her to benefit from exchanges of experiment of the council, to elaborate political recommendations and to obtain according to cases the support of the Council of Europe to succeed these recommendations passed on to the government. It is case for example of the project of minimal income of insertion and a certain number of measure concerning the Social Security.

Mercan explains that the integration of Turkey is wished by majority of Turkish which sees more a beautiful occasion of increasing material comfort than a real opportunity to build a democratic project and a culture of peace.

She evokes increasing gap between the training of the students and the demand of companies. She also speaks about the real necessity of reforming Turkish educational system in favour of a citizen education capable of reconciling the different identities in Turkey (near about fifteen communities) and the national and international unity.


And also :
- To see european council web site




> To learn more about Turkey wıth Wikipedia - The free encyclopedia


Initiatives that we had no time to meet :

- Egitim Sen Kapatilamaz
> teachers’ syndicate revendicant certain number of reforms of the education

- Gagdas Kadin ve Gerclili Vakfi
> the foundation for Contemporany Women and Youth

- Botas Genel Müdürlügü
completion of a building site of a pipeline connecting the Caspian Sea in the Mediterranean Sea and trying to make sensitive the populations on rights and citizenship




Erzurum - Turkey, on July 16, 2005.





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