Minority Rights Group International (MRG) Deputy Director, Claire Thomas, writes this opinion piece for the Thomson Reuters News Foundation.+ LEARN MORE
Combating Discrimination and Promoting Minority Rights in Turkey
This evaluation concerned MRG’s work in Turkey from 2006-2009. The work evaluated included research, publications, national advocacy as well as advocacy targeting the EC. The programme also included legal work, some legal cases, a draft anti-discrimination law and guidance for displaced people on return or compensation. The evaluator is broadly positive about the project:
“Without exception, every person the evaluator interviewed expressed high satisfaction with their participation of the events in the scope of the implementation of the project. The participants found workshops and roundtable discussions extremely satisfactory. And people who attended study and advocacy trips to foreign countries found them quite useful. It is obvious that MRGs experience in organizing these kind of events and the special skills of the coordinator turned these events into quite useful and knowledgeable experiences for the participants.
It is quite clear that the knowledge and information that MRG has accumulated about the minority situation in Turkey through this project has and will be reflected in the international fora. The shadow report, briefings, and reports that were prepared within the scope of this project, and world report prepared by MRG, and oral presentations will benefit international bodies and help them gain insight into the situation of minorities in Turkey. MRGs work created tangible impact on the reports and findings of international bodies regarding minorities’ problems in Turkey. This kind of impact could not have been created if this project was executed by Turkish NGO’s only.
Given the complex and widespread nature of the problems of minorities, MRG’s knowledge and expertise on the subject is invaluable in Turkey. The evaluator believes that MRG should definitely continue to work on and in Turkey and allow everyone concerned to benefit from its experience, knowledge and perspective. In this sense self evaluation of this project may provide serious insight to MRG through which it can give new directions and dimensions to its possible further works in Turkey.”
However, he also identified some problems including the way that MRG motivated partners to carry out their work on the project, the degree to which MRG sought media coverage and the degree of follow through in terms of national level advocacy and contacts with senior officials.
Download evaluation: Combating Discrimination and Promoting Minority Rights in Turkey
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