Turkish-Russian Dialogue

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News02.11.2018
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In October 2018, the Friedrich-Naumann Foundation (FNF) Turkey and Russia Offices organized a youth camp, titled as "Turkish-Russian Dialogue" with the support of International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY). The project was born out of a need to establish a dialogue between Russia and Turkey, both victims of restrictions on press freedom and freedom of expression. The aim was to bring together Russian and Turkish members of civil society, academics, and activists from both countries around the table and to tackle the topic of freedom and the rule of law in Russia and Turkey as well as in their surrounding countries. Participants from the countries of the region, such as Greece, Armenia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Romania, and Germany, contributed to the success of this dialogue.

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Mr. Sven Gerst facilitated the whole event from IFLRY. Ms. Ria Schröder, Chairwoman of Young Liberals (JuLis), Mithat Çelikpala, Professor, Kadir Has University, Barış Altıntaş and Lawyer Veysel Ok from Media and Law Studies Association, Medeni Sungur, Executive Director, Freedom Research Association and Engin Önder, Co-founder, 140journos were the speakers of specific sessions.

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On several occasion throughout the three-day seminar, participants were invited to exchange about the state of affairs in their countries. Each time they were divided into mixed groups and reflected on the economic, political and socio-cultural problems in their own country as well as the perception of liberalism. For each theme, participants worked together in groups to establish local projects responding to the identified problems and bring concrete solutions to the table. The five most feasible projects were selected, and participants continued to work more intensely on them. These projects were entitled: Liberal Literacy, Citizen Journalism School, Political Art in Turkey and Russia, Coping with the Past and the Utopian Village. In the end, Russian and Turkish participants worked together with international participants to establish concrete projects, thinking about possible partners for such projects, funding opportunities, and project targets. All of them coincided in their objective to contribute to a Turkish-Russian dialogue on the core values of liberalism namely freedom and the rule of law.

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