Learning and collaborating on countering hate speech in Turkey and new EU Member States

Europe | Turkey |

Duration: April 2021 – June 2022

Country: Turkey

Communities: CSOs working on human rights and minority rights

What was this programme about?

The overall objective of this programme was to contribute to the respect of human rights and fight discrimination against migrants and persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities, as the most vulnerable groups of Turkey and the EU (with a specific focus on new member states).

Why did we deliver this programme?

In the context of the increasing prominence of far-right groups and growing xenophobic/Islamophobic/antisemitic discourses, recent years have seen a rising wave of hate speech against minorities and migrants in the EU member states. Widespread discrimination against these groups is increasingly translating into very violent cyber hate/online hate speech. Similarly, in Turkey, Hrant Dink Foundation’s work monitoring hate speech since 2009 has revealed a significant increase in hate speech in media/printed press targeting at-risk groups, notably ethnic and religious groups (non-Muslim minorities), including Armenians, Syrians, Greeks, Jews, Cypriote Greeks/Greeks in Turkey and Christians. The programme aimed to strengthen the capacities of CSOs in Turkey and EU member states to counter hate speech against migrants and ethnic/religious minorities in printed and online media through designing and implementing counternarrative campaigns.

What did we do?

We conducted:

  • Training for Turkey CSOs representatives on countering hate speech: The training was structured in the following modules:
    • Monitoring and reporting on hate speech
    • Hate speech in printed media
    • Hate speech in online media
    • Strategies of counter hate speech in media
    • Successful counter-hate speech campaigns in Europe
  • Production of counternarrative campaigns: This activity is a hands-on exercise that provided the CSOs representatives who received training with the chance to put into practice and test the newly learned counter-hate speech strategies and related methodologies and skills
  • Learning exchange visits and roundtable discussions in Budapest and Brussels on best practices in countering hate speech.
  • European conference on sharing best practices to tackle hate speech in print and online media in Turkey. The conference was organised at the Hrant Dink Foundation in Turkey.

What did we contribute to programme participants?

  • In line with MRGE’s standard working practice, the action used a participatory approach through every phase, an approach which has proven most effective in addressing systematic discrimination, and deeply rooted exclusion, and in strengthening the capacities of local actors & communities in ways which respond accurately to their specific needs and are sustainable;
  • Training materials were designed based on MRGE’s similar experience;
  • Campaigns and related videos were produced with the online coordination of MRGE; and
  • MRG provided its expertise on advocacy and provided European counter-campaign examples in Brussels and Budapest.

Who was our partner?

The programme was implemented by Minority Rights Group Europe together with the Hrant Dink Foundation.

Who funded this programme?

This programme was funded by the European Union in cooperation with Civil Society Dialogue.

Photo: Flyer of a project countering hate speech led by the Hrant Dink Foundation. Credit: Hrant Dink Foundation.

European flagThis content represents the views of Minority Rights Group only and is its sole responsibility. The European Union does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.

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