Yunus Emre Institute (YEI) which delivers Turkey’s cultural diplomacy activities is preparing to supervise a “2 million Euros” grant to fund projects under the “The Grant Scheme for Turkey-EU Intercultural Dialogue (ICD)” that aims to improve the intercultural dialogue, cooperation and communications between Turkey and the European Union (EU).
Information Seminar was held in Ankara on Monday, 5th March, 2018 with the participation of numerous public officials and civil society representatives.
YEI will be in charge of delivering the grant scheme which is jointly by the EU and Turkey and has been set up under the “civil society sector” led by the Ministry for EU Affairs as a part of the “The Turkey – EU Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance for 2014-2020 (IPA II)”.
Ateş: “The main objective of our philosophy is to get to know each other”
The President of YEI Prof. Dr. Şeref Ateş who delivered the opening speech at the program summarised the objective of the project that aims to help enhancing intercultural dialogue as follows: “Our main objective is to increase the number of people who have a contact with Turkey. Our public diplomacy and the recently started science diplomacy are two areas that help us connect to the world. In this project, we aim to introduce Turkish culture to Europe. Knowing or acquaintance is indeed the main essence of intercultural interaction. Both our philosophy and view attach great importance to knowing each other. Culture is in fact an exchange; it is about getting to know yourself and the other.”
Noting that the programme on which the Institute has been working with great patience for three years will be a long-term adventure as is Turkey’s journey with the EU, Ateş also said: “We patiently continue get to know others and to introduce ourselves. Thanks to this scheme, people out there in Europe will have a chance to learn about Turkey and the Turkish culture. The higher the level of participation in this scheme in Turkey is, the better Turkey will be known abroad.”
Rupp: “We have to move together towards a positive direction”
In his speech, the Head of Civil Society, Fundamental Rights, Judiciary and Home Affairs Section of the Delegation of the European Union to Turkey, Mr. Michael Rupp highlighted the importance of the scheme in improving the contact between the EU and Turkey and said: “I would like to say thank you to all institutions that partook in this scheme. It is very important that the contact between the EU and Turkey further increases. In many sectors, the EU and Turkey enjoy strong bonds. Intercultural diversity and protecting the legacy are issues that are on our agenda. There are many areas where we can improve cultural and intercultural dialogue. Currently, we need dialogue more than ever. This scheme also aims to take steps towards integration. Activities under this scheme should be implemented equally and reach bigger masses. Our target is to establish a joint multilateral cultural platform. In general, the scheme improves both the dialogue and mutual understanding. We consider Yunus Emre Institute the most important actor in the implementation of this scheme. We truly believe that we have to move together towards a positive direction. We must highlight the positive aspects of the Turkey – EU rapprochement. We will see to that by creative projects. I commend the Yunus Emre Instite for their leading role in this project.”
Cangir: “People Turn Against Those Whom They Do Not Know”
Deputy Undersecretary of the Ministry for EU Affairs Dr. Mehmet Cangir noted how important it was that the Project was to be led by the Yunus Emre Institute. Also underlining that the grant, though not a very big one, would play an important role in improving the dialogue, Dr. Cangir said: “It is very important for us that these reforms are adopted. It is the civil society organisations who will be conducting this dialogue. Thanks to projects such as this one, we are able to mutually share good practices. We both learn somethings. Not only in Europe but all around the world there is an increase in xenophobia. This leads to cultural introversion. And this introversion further increases xenophobia. People turn against those whom they do not know. We observe that in areas where there are fewer refugees or fewer Muslims, extreme-right parties get higher votes. I believe that our scheme will contribute to transferring our cultural heritage to Europe and, in a small way, eliminating the xenophobia in the world.”
The Director of Central Finance and Contracts Unit, Mr. Selim Uslu also spoke at the event and said the cultural dialogue between the civil societies of Turkey and the EU would further strengthen thanks to those grant schemes.
Contribution to Common Understanding
After the briefing presentation about the “Turkey-EU Intercultural Dialogue Grant Scheme” that the Yunus Emre Institute runs as the final beneficiary, another presentation about the application and evaluation processes was delivered. In addition to the representatives of public and civil society institutions in Ankara, more than 200 guests attended the event which ended with a question and answer session.
With a view to making a contribution to the common understanding, the two million Euros allocated to the grant component of the scheme will support projects that aim to develop and implement long-term, multilateral, multinational joint cultural initiatives between the EU and Turkey. These projects that aim to increase the visibility of the EU-Turkey civil society dialogue in Turkey and EU member states will also benefit from this support.
Cultural Institutes which are a member of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) will be able to use a fund of minimum 300 thousand and maximum 500 thousand Euros by partnering with a civil society organisation or a university in Turkey, EU members states or countries under IPA Regulations.
Many Fields of Culture will be Supported
Under the “Turkey-EU Intercultural Dialogue Grant Scheme” which jointly funded by EU and Turkey, it is planned to support projects in fields such as: music, opera, stage arts, plastics and visual arts, graphic design, public art, traditional art, digital art, literature, urban art, cinema, documentary, animation, architecture, folk culture, cultural diplomacy and history.
Projects that will be implemented under the grant scheme are expected to contribute to many objectives and targets such as: higher circulation of works and products of art and culture; having joint cultural and artistic activities; developing intercultural dialogue and culture policies and supporting their development processes; raising an understanding among the people about intercultural dialogue; circulation of art collections; sharing best practices and experiences in the field; running cultural and artistic projects, and; raising awareness in cultural policies.
The call for proposals for the “Turkey-EU Intercultural Dialogue Grant Scheme” was published by the Central Finance and Contracts Unit on February 20, 2018. You can find more detailed information at "http://www.cfcu.gov.tr", "http://www.yee.org.tr", "http://www.ab.gov.tr"