The European Union Supports Turkey's Local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)

The European Union Supports Turkey's Local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)

Fri, 05.10.2018 - 17:06



The European Union Supports Turkey's Local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs)


The launch of the new EU funded "TOGETHER" programme, implemented by the Civil Society Development Center with the aim of enhancing CSOs' institutional capacity, will take place in Ankara at the Şinasi Theatre on Monday 8 October 2018.  The Head of  Delegation of the EU to Turkey, Ambassador Christian Berger, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director for EU Project Implementation, Bülent Özcan, and the Head of the Civil Society Development Center Levent Korkut will attend the opening event for the programme, which aims to provide support for CSOs from all across Turkey.


What is the programme's objective?

The TOGETHER Programme, which is funded by the European Union with a view to improve civil society in Turkey, aims primarily at helping CSOs that conduct rights-based activities at the local level. 

How do we support?

The programme, which was open for applications until January 2018, received a total of 419 from 53 provinces.  After a 5-month review, 42 CSOs were chosen as beneficiaries of funding under the TOGETHER programme in line with budgetary considerations.  Using the following link, you may access the list of CSOs, 35 of which were supported as part of the local component and 7 national components:

The Programme's Scope and Implementation

Under the TOGETHER programme, local CSOs will receive €30,000 in institutional grants while national CSOs receive €36,500.  They will also benefit from a 2-year mentorship to help their institutional development. 

The Programme, which draws on STGM's 15-year capacity building experience, has been designed to be flexible enough to meet the various needs of these organisations. This aspect significantly sets it apart from other popular grant programmes.  CSOs will be able to benefit from the grant options regardless of their project activities.  As such, the TOGETHER programme will provide financing to cover fixed costs, which have long been a significant problem, especially for local CSOs.

Additionally, the TOGETHER programme stands out, not just as a grant programme, but also as a support one that provides guidance to CSOs.  As part of this guidance element, two-year development programmes that will be designed in conjunction with the CSOs will be undertaken with direct funding.

Opening Event

In addition to 42 CSOs, the event scheduled to be held at the Şinasi Theatre on Monday, 8 October 2018, will also be attended by distinguished civil society representatives that have long been active in Turkey in many areas.  The list of guests will also include numerous representatives from public organisations, including the Foreign Ministry's Department in charge of European Union Affairs, and members from diplomatic missions in Ankara.  The opening event will include a keynote speech from the Head of the EU Delegation, Ambassador Christian Berger, followed by animated presentations from beneficiary CSOs, a rhythm performance from Erdem Genç, the rhythm and percussion moderator, and a musical recital from the BIRLIKTE Orchestra, which is comprised of representatives from beneficiary organisations.  The programme will presented by theatre actor Cahit Çağıran, who will also provide the voice-over for the animated presentations.

Background Information:

The European Union funds the TOGETHER Programme as part of the "Strategic Capacity Development for Local CSOs" Project.   Providing funding for civil society is one of the key areas of EU's financial assistance on the road to Turkey's accession.  The IPA II Strategic Paper 2014-2020 relates to civil society and combines a national and comprehensive agenda that focuses on active citizenship and fundamental rights.  A pluralist civil society derives its power from financial assistance and requires "respect for fundamental rights and liberties, the rule of law and the possibility of social and political change."

The STGM was founded in 2004 by a group of thought leaders and civil activists who believed in a civil and inclusive democracy. The central goal of the STGM, which pursues its mission of "a strong and democratic civil society", is to develop the capacity of civil society organisations to enable them to play an active role in an inclusive democracy.  The STGM provides support to its target group of civil society organisations in the work they do in such areas as gender equality, children, human rights, the environment, disability rights and cultural rights / culture-arts. Its activities include providing support to strengthening civil networks; enhancing dialogue between CSOs working in different areas and bolstering lobbying and campaign efforts by civil society organisations.


For press inquiries:

Miray Akdağ / Press Officer for the Delegation of the European Union in Turkey


For the inquiries on the opening event:

Meltem Çolak/ STGM Communication Coordinator