Turkey’s EU Ministry set to fund NGOs, media

Turkey’s EU Ministry set to fund NGOs, media

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkey’s EU Ministry set to fund NGOs, media

EU Minister Bağış leads the funding programs for dialogue. DAILY NEWS photo

Turkey’s European Union Ministry has launched a grant program of 9 million euros for media institutions and nongovernmental organizations in order to promote dialogue between civil society in the EU and Turkey.

The ministry announced the program, “Strengthening Civil Society Dialogue between the EU and Turkey – III Grant Programs,” May 24 in a written statement.

The program, which is divided into a “Political Criteria Grant Program” and a “Media Grant Program,” will finance Turkey and EU media institutions’ and NGOs’ common projects in the two domains.

The main aim of the Political Criteria Program is “to give opportunities to NGOs in Turkey to get familiar with the policies of the European Union concerning political issues... and to be prepared for accession through strengthening contacts and mutual exchange of experience between all civil society actors on political issues in the member states and Turkey,” the statement said.

Applying NGOs should be working in the human rights, anti-discrimination or democracy and rule of law field.

The ministry set aside 6 million euros of the total amount to the program, and 3 million euros will be granted through the Media Grant Program. The main goal here is “to increase the professional competencies and qualifications of the media organizations and NGOs in the field of media and to establish a sustainable dialogue between the media organizations in Turkey and the EU member states,” according to the statement.

Media organizations are expected to develop project proposals to inform the public and increase awareness about Turkey-EU relations.

Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış hailed the program and appealed to Turkey’s NGOs to make use of the opportunity. “Our civil society organizations’ contribution is crucial to our country’s process of accession to the European Union. I believe that the Civil Society Dialogue III Program will contribute in two important fields, political criteria and media, to bring our reform process to the grassroots and to remove the unnecessary concerns and stereotypes of EU countries,” Bağış said.

“From Edirne to Ardahan, from Siirt to Rize, I call on all civil society organizations in the 81 provinces of our country to make use of this opportunity.”

Associations, foundations, media organizations and similar institutions or actors working in these domains in a member state of the EU or Turkey can apply to the grant program. The deadline for submission to the Political Criteria Program is July 5, while media grant program submissions can be made until July 12.