Northwestern Turkish province receives award for raising awareness of Roma

Northwestern Turkish province receives award for raising awareness of Roma

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
The northwestern province of Kocaeli has received an award in a contest organized by the Council of Europe to raise awareness about Roma citizens.

The third-place prize in the fourth Dosta!-Congress Prize for Municipalities was awarded to the metropolitan municipality of Kocaeli for its campaign to promote intercultural dialogue between Roma and non-Roma citizens.

The first prize in the contest, which was organized within the framework of the 25th session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, was awarded to Obrnice, a city in the northwestern Czech Republic, while second went to Heraklion, Greece.

Kocaeli’s campaign was designed to bring Roma and non-Roma citizens closer with a comprehensive approach that included concrete and visible outcomes and focused on local solutions, according to a statement released by the congress.

“Kocaeli has implemented education programs including vocational training, informal training and sporting training in order to minimize school drop-outs and promote sports. Cultural projects, such as an international Roma festival, events on International Roma Day, the formation of a Roma theater, the founding of a violin orchestra and musical competitions and expositions, contribute significantly to intercultural dialogue between Roma and non-Roma,” the statement said.

The prize for “Dosta,” a Romani word meaning “enough,” is awarded biannually for innovative municipal projects promoting Roma integration, combating discrimination against Roma and raising awareness about Roma culture and rights.