The Association of Renaissance Institute organised a 7-day workshop in Ankara between 25 and 31 May 2016. The workshop was supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe under the pilot activity “Promoting the NO HATE Spirit in Turkey”.
About the Pilot Activity
The general aim of this pilot activity is to lay the foundations for launching the No Hate Speech Movement (NSHM) campaign in Turkey. In achieving this aim, we have set the following objectives:
- to educate a group of young people, youth workers, NGO representatives and young activists on human rights issues (online and offline);
- to raise their awareness about the issue of hate speech online and its impact on the society;
- to equip them with necessary competences and skills to combat hate speech online (online activism);
- to introduce and promote the No Hate Speech Movement;
- to create a collaborative network against hate speech online that will be also following the steps of the European-level campaign;
- to discuss the relevance of the campaign in our local and national context and determine the aspects to be focused on in later steps;
- to adapt the campaign to our local/national context, and
- to create and use basic outputs for making a national call for partners for creating a national campaign committee.
What we have done
The workshop brought together 24 young activists from different parts of Turkey and engaged them in discussions on human rights and hate speech in general and on hate speech online specifically. The participants firstly got familiar with the topic and with the No Hate Speech Movement. Then we worked all together with great enthusiasm and motivation to collaboratively adapt the campaign to our context and to determine our tools and methods and our way of functioning.
Under the pilot activity, we have created a website (www.nefretehayir.org) and social media pages, on which we currently continue to work to be more efficient and reach more people. Currently our team also works on developing resources and contents, planning offline activities, and reaching other organisations for a wider “No Hate Network” in Turkey.
What are the next steps
First of all, we aim to sustain this team spirit and make concrete plans through constant communication and coordination. Thanks to the richness of the experience and expertise of our team, we have a great potential to reach more people and raise awareness about the issue at national level through the use of online and offline methods.
Having laid the foundations for the initiation of a campaign in Turkey, we have recently made a call for partner organisations which will cooperate with us to give an institutional identity to the campaign (http://renaissanceinstitute.eu/v1/nefrete-hayir-isbirligi-cagrisi/). We will reach the relevant NGOs in Turkey to gather them under a common goal: Combating hate speech in Turkey and giving rise to an atmosphere of tolerance and solidarity.
As a result of these efforts at national level, we aim to get recognition at European level as a national platform. This will provide us the opportunity to cooperate at international level and to contribute to the ongoing efforts under the European campaign. We are very thankful to the Euro Mediterranean Resources Network, the Armenian and Lithuanian campaign committees, the European online activists, and all other friends who have supported us in this process with their experience. We will be always open to benefiting from the experiences and knowledge of all stakeholders from across Europe and providing any support that we can.