Intercultural Dialogue Programme

Yunus Emre Institute
European Union
Describe the main features of the policy/measure: 

The Yunus Emre Institute, as Turkey’s lead cultural actor in the international arena, has launched a new Programme with this perspective, which will carry the intercultural dialogue between the EU and Turkey to new dimensions. The EU-Turkey Intercultural Dialogue Programme provides financial support to projects designed to bring different institutions with different cultural backgrounds together to enhance mutual understanding and cooperation.

The Programme is co-financed by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey under the financial cooperation for strengthening civil society. This phase of the Intercultural Dialogue program has a total budget of €3 million, with nearly 70% of this funding being awarded to four grant projects.

The Projects are; Be Mobile – Create Together, Connect 4 Creativity, Diversity in Unity: Intercultural Dialogue Through the Waves of the Danube and Europe’s Neolithic Bridge: Documenting and Disseminating the Neolithic Heritage of Anatolia

1.The ‘Be Mobile – Create Together!’ Four well-established and active cultural institutions in Turkey have joined forces to create a multi-national and multi-disciplinary project. The 'Be Mobile - Create Together!' project is the joint endeavor of the Institute Français de Turquie, the cultural section of the Embassy of the Netherlands, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, and the Goethe Institute, and it will facilitate 16 artist residency programs in France, Netherlands, Germany, and Turkey, Be Mobile – Create Together aims to strengthen the cultural and artistic exchange between Europe and Turkey, encouraging young talent and contributing to a sustainable connection between the Turkish and European art spheres.

In addition, it will bring together a range of artists to work together through residencies and locations throughout Europe. The Be Mobile – Create Together project will enable young, digital visual and performing artists and writers from Turkey and Europe to find opportunities to attend residency programs. Throughout the period of July 2019 to May 2020, 26 artists will be enjoying residencies at art houses and studios in Paris, Cassis, and Issy-les-Moulineaux in France; Dresden, Berlin and Stuttgart in Germany; Amsterdam, Maastricht, and Lahey in the Netherlands; and also İstanbul, Ayvalık, Bursa and Şirince in Turkey.

2. ‘Connect 4 Creativity.’ The world faces a wide range of social, political, and economic challenges. These challenges can impact how we live, communicate and experience the culture and may put social cohesion at risk. Thus, it is more important than ever to learn to live together constructively in a multicultural world and to develop a sense of community and belonging. ‘Connect 4 Creativity’ aims to promote intercultural dialogue by bringing together creative hubs and communities for a networked collaborative future. This creative connectivity aims to establish a more cohesive, open, and interlinked civil society.

Creative hubs have increasingly become a powerful source globally, transforming cities, spaces, and communities. Moreover, they enable diverse creative talent to connect in ways they hadn’t before, strengthening cross-disciplinary and transnational collaborations. The project provides a platform for students, academics, artists, creative professionals, policymakers, and the general public across Europe to form international networks and participate in creative exploration. Key activities will include research to provide baseline information on the role of creative hubs and communities in promoting intercultural dialogue, three networking conferences, art and technology residencies, with an exhibition and study visit.

3.Diversity in Unity: Intercultural Dialogue Through the Waves of Danube Cultural operators and public institutions have celebrated the unique culture of the Danube river basin for several years as ‘the Danube Weeks.’ These ‘Weeks’ have included various artistic activities across the countries of the Danube region. With this new project of the Hungarian Cultural Centre, the scope of content and scale of the types of activities and geography of the ‘Danube Weeks’ will be expanded. Furthermore, with the participation of Turkey, as a country belonging to the historical and cultural sphere of the Danube Region, the ‘Danube’ cultural tradition will grow and strengthen. Artists and professionals from art, literature, and cultural institutions in Turkey and their counterparts in the Danube countries of the EU will find opportunities to meet and work together in collaborative actions. The project kicks off with a series of activities to be organized under International İstanbul Literature Festival, during which the Danube impact on literature and culture will be discussed. Workshops on creative writing and reading will run at the Festival, with contributions from various artists from the Danube countries. In honor of Europe Day on the 9th of May, the project will host various events and cultural performances, gastronomic presentations, and reading sessions in Istanbul.

All these activities will bring a little bit of Danube Culture and the Danube people to the city of İstanbul. Furthermore, capacity-building activities organized in Budapest, Bucharest, and Istanbul will improve the operational and theoretical and informational capacity of the cultural operators. A major activity of the project is to be a ‘Road Show’ that will start in Ankara and continue through the Danube countries of Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Austria, Germany, and arrive in Brussels just before the closing event.

What are the results achieved so far through the implementation of the policy/measure?: 

Europe and a strong dialogue on their way in January 2019 for the establishment of the EU-Turkey Intercultural between Turkey Dialogue (KAD) Programme completed and four major projects and hundreds of activities organized as part of this project with financial support provided under the program were carried out. The program that provides concrete steps on the intercultural dialogue between the EU countries and Turkey was carried out under the leadership of Yunus Emre Institute (YEE), which has been operating in 60 cultural centers in 50 countries for 10 years in order to promote Turkey abroad and strengthen cultural dialogue with different societies.

Despite the pandemic, many events were organized within the scope of the program and more than 7 million Europeans in 8 different languages were reached through television, radio, and social media. It has been observed that the program promotes mobility, mutual learning, and mutual production, the creative industry develops in this way, and all of these serve the economic development of countries. The program has created opportunities for cultural exchange by encouraging the establishment of networks and served the positive aspects of intercultural dialogue in EU cooperation. It has contributed to the development of cultural interaction in the spirit of building bridges between peoples, as well as creating the conditions for the development of cultures and their free interaction in a mutually beneficial way.

Partner(s) engaged in the implementation of the measure: 
Name of partner
Institute Français de Turquie, The cultural section of the Embassy of the Netherlands, Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts, The Goethe Institute, Hungarian Cultural Centre
Objetivo(s) de la Convención 2005 de la UNESCO
Cultural Domain(s)