Turkey 2020

Empowering CSOs through Issue-Based Dialogue and Advocacy

NGO Strengthening


To strengthen civil society organizations’ (CSOs) capacity for issue-based advocacy and improve their impact on politics and decision-making processes. The grantee will conduct a study to analyze the prevailing disconnect between civil society and politics and provide strategic guidance for CSO engagement with government institutions and political leaders to promote reforms. In addition, the organization will hold meetings between CSO representatives and politicians and publish articles and video interviews about the topic on its website.

Empowering Independent Voices to Push Back Against Closing Democratic Space

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To continue to foster increased transparency and accountability by providing understandable government data to private sector stakeholders and other citizens in Turkey. The center will empower civil society to advocate for increased access to information and transparent governance and support independent media by working with a local partner to publish data collected by the government in a central, online location.

Investing in a Democratic Future

International Republican Institute (IRI)


To promote political dialogue, policy-driven political debate, and youth inclusion in political decision-making, the Institute will conduct public opinion research and present findings to Turkey’s mainline political parties. The Institute will continue to train young leaders in political and policy skills, as well as reconnect with recent alumni of the Institute’s youth programming. Finally, the Institute will continue to promote evidence-based policy discussion among higher-level political party leaders, and to bring together those professionally engaged in Turkey’s relationship with the West.

Private Sector Leadership in Anti-Corruption and Democratic Governance

Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE)


To mobilize private sector stakeholders to foster responsible governance through anti-corruption compliance initiatives and to facilitate the participation of local private sector leaders in regional economic development decision-making through advocacy efforts in Turkey. To combat corruption through private sector approaches and enable democratic learning, the Center will institutionalize standards of anti-bribery compliance controls and enhance governance at the national level in Turkey. The Center will also strengthen the voice of private sector stakeholders by enhancing their advocacy capacity in support of participatory democracy in Turkey.

Promoting Democratic Ideas and Values through Digital Media

Democratic Ideas and Values


To promote democratic ideas and values and advance public policy debate through digital media platforms. The organization will collaborate with members of Turkish academia and civil society to produce a series of informational videos and podcasts on critical socio-political issues in Turkey. In addition, the grantee will organize training workshops on developing and promoting explanatory digital media content and hold town hall meetings on democracy-related topics such as freedom of speech, women’s rights and social and political polarization.

Promoting Freedom of Assembly and Association

Freedom of Association


To promote freedom of assembly and advocate legislative reforms protecting the right to peaceful association. The project will strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations and attorneys to effectively monitor freedom of assembly and build a constructive dialogue between civil society actors and public authorities. The organization will conduct targeted advocacy in collaboration with other civic actors and share its monitoring findings.

Promoting Partnership between Civil Society and Local Government

National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI)


To support local governments in adequately addressing concerns of their communities, the Institute will collaborate with local elected officials and civil servants, civil society groups, and social entrepreneurs to build partnerships that will engender more effective, responsive policies. By adopting more inclusive and cooperative decision-making approaches, these communities will promote the political empowerment of citizens, build democratic habits with application beyond the boundaries of this program, and serve as potential models for other communities.

Promoting Public Accountability

Accountability and Governance


To promote issue-based political discourse and enhance transparency and accountability in public life. The program will support a fact-checking portal that reports on the accuracy and consistency of statements of elected leaders, candidates for public office, and other officials. The grantee will disseminate its findings to Turkish media and on social networks.

Promoting Transparency and Anti-Corruption Mechanisms

Accountability and Governance


To promote the establishment of mechanisms for accountability and transparency at the local level. The project will conduct a study on participatory democracy and local governance in eleven cities across the country, conduct a training on participatory democracy, transparency and good governance for members of urban councils in seven cities, and hold a workshop for civil society groups on municipal governance.

Providing Legal Support to Independent Journalists

Freedom of Information

Supplement $50,000

To advocate for open and independent press and support independent journalists. Project activities will include maintaining a multi-faceted website and engaging journalists to report on press integrity, promoting digital media, supporting investigative journalism, and advocating for freedom of information.  The program will also continue to provide pro bono legal assistance to independent journalists.

Supporting Media Freedom and Academic Rights

Human Rights


To promote freedom of speech and enhance legal protection for independent journalists and academics. The organization will provide legal defense for imprisoned journalists and academics as well as others facing trials; continue its prison visits to monitor and report on violations; run offline and online advocacy campaigns with other like-minded national and international organizations to promote media freedom and academic rights; and support unemployed journalists and academics through commissioned reports and articles.