Tekirdağ is a coastal city; it is the capital of Thrace with about 150,000 inhabitants. Its co-ordination group is the Citizens' Assembly, created in 2009 in accordance with the Turkish law. It started its participation in the Responding Together project in March 2013.
Tekirdağ is a coastal city; it is the capital of Thrace with about 150,000 inhabitants.
Coordination group (Citizen’s Assembly)
The creation process of the Citizens’ Assembly of Tekirdağ began in 2006 and it became operational in 2009. It has grown from 30 members in 2009 to 300 members in 2013. The Steering Committee is composed of 7 members, elected by the general assembly: 1. Levent Gündoğdu – Chairperson 2. Emel Dombaz – Chair of Human Rights Association 3. Zeki Varan – Chair of Chamber of Commerce and a writer 4. Dr. Cemal Polat – Agricultural Chamber 5. Muzafer Dogan – teacher and Trade Union chair 6. Feyzula Sühür – Stock Exchange chair 7. Dirsat Aydin – lawyer Furthermore there is a facilitator/general secretary, Selen Yazginel, who is remunerated for her work. She also attends the steering committee. There are 4 committees that meet once a month: the women’s committee, led by Gülcin Eral; the Youth Committee, led by Mohamed with Ilker Kayra as the General Secretary; the Children’s committee; and the Disables Committee, led by Murat Yildiz as chairperson. There are 10 working groups with 4 members each. They meet once every 3 months: Culture, Tourism, History, Environment, International Relations, Trade…
There have been 40 projects since 2009, all presented to the Municipal Assembly. 2 have been completed with 1 receiving an award: the Housewive’s handicraft project for Antalyan pottery – 5 stands in the market with 3 women per stand. Every day at the Tekirdag Market on Muratli Caddesi. Award-winning project was a Traffic Safety training and awareness raising for Tekirdag youth. Other projects that are on-going include a Women’s day 8 March Macedonian music group and choir, playing Balkan and Macedonian folk songs; a theatre group with actions for relevant weeks; an organisation held by the ministry include courses that teach embroidery to housewives, with certification to enable them to open businesses later. There is very little evaluation so far of these projects and the CoE has recommended the SPIRAL evaluation to highlight the social well-being impact of activities carried out.
Participation in Responding Together project (1st cycle)
A general meeting to present the project was held in October 2012 with 50 people and the first meeting took place in March 2013. 20 people from the coordination group participated and they have since held 4 meetings. They propose 3 activities: 1. Cherry, Grape and Watermelon jams. Jams that are not produced anywhere else and that could be freshly made by Tekirdag unemployed women – a disadvantaged groups’ income development. Women are identified through the outreach work of the Women’s Committee. They have members from all parts of Tekirdag who can identify the appropriate participants by their direct contact with the street residents. 2. Tekirdag carpet products – particular technique and culture in carpet weaving that can be taught to produce innovative new products. Waste materials are used along with traditionally taught handicraft skills. Any items to be thrown out can be collected and gathered, such as stocking materials. Awareness raising on recyling, sharing skills and knowledge in the community are to name but a few added-value aspects of this project. 3. Newspaper recycling project. A process has been identified to clean discarded newspapers and then to recycle them as bags, e.g. vacuum cleaner bags or fruit bags for use in stalls and supermarkets. It is a simple project that brings people together and raises awareness about the environment.
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