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Kirkayak Kültür

Kirkayak Kültür is a non-profit non-governmental organization that was established in 2011 in Gaziantep, Turkey,to promote social development, democratic values, and a culturally rich life by working with disadvantaged groups, refugees, and migrants.
Kirkayak Kültür
Leadership team

Kemal Vural Tarlan (General Coordinator / Chair)

Emine Dogan (Matbakh || Mutfak Workshop Coordinator / Deputy Chair)

Hala Khankan (Board Member)

Sinem Inan (Board Member)

Zerrin Alkan (Board Member)

Aysegül Ates (Art Center Coordinator)

Fatma Çoskun Caymaz (Migration Program Coordinator)

Tolga Yelmen (Protection and Outreach Communication Manager)

Zühal Gezicier (Finance Manager)

Kinem Tanyeri (Communication, Culture and Arts Manager)

Merve Tüter (Social Worker)

Kader Sevinç (Social Worker)

Headquarters
Gaziantep, Türkiye
Type
Financial Aid Opportunities
Region served
Gaziantep and other areas of Turkey and the world
Year stablished
2011
Address
Bey Mahallesi. Atatürk Bulvari. Uyum Apt. No:30 Kat:1 Daire:1 Sahinbey, Gaziantep/ Türkiye
Social Media
Summary

Kirkayak Kültür is a non-profit, non-governmental organization based in Gaziantep, Turkey. Established in 2011 by a group of academics, artists, and activists, the organization's mission is to promote social development, democratic values, and a culturally rich life. Kirkayak Kültür achieves its goals by working with disadvantaged groups, refugees, and migrants in Turkey and neighboring countries to contribute to social cohesion and culture of coexistence. The organization aims to improve and extend the cooperation between the artists, culture-arts activists, and non-governmental organizations in Turkey, the Middle East, and Europe.

Kirkayak Kültür's programs are in the fields of Culture & Arts, Zeugma Film Festival, Mutfak || Matbakh Workshop, Migration Studies, and Dom Studies. The organization uses a social development-oriented, participatory, and multi-voice approach to its programs. Kirkayak Kültür hosts its actions in two separate locations in Gaziantep: the "Kirkayak Kültür – Art Center" and the "Kirkayak Kültür – Center for Migration and Cultural Studies." The organization believes that sharing art and cultural space increases mutual understanding and sensitivities and helps to overcome cultural differences and prejudices. Kirkayak Kültür is also a member of CCRM (Cross-Regional Center for Refugees and Migrants Network), European Network on Statelessness, and Solidarity Network for Human Rights Defenders.

K?rkayak Kültür has received immense support from various national and international organizations that are committed to promoting human rights and social justice. Some of the prominent supporters of Kirkayak Kültür include Civil Rights Defenders, Hafiza Merkezi, iKSV, Spaces of Culture, Johanniter, People in Need, and Support Foundation for Civil Society. Additionally, the organization has also received funding and support from the European Commission, DANIDA, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Kosova Educational Center, Culture CIVIC, Turkey Mozaik Foundation, and UN Volunteers. The collective support from these organizations has enabled Kirkayak Kültür to implement various programs and initiatives to empower and advocate for marginalized communities in Turkey.


History

Kirkayak Culture, Art and Nature Association, also known as Kirkayak Kültür, is a non-governmental organization based in Gaziantep, Turkey, founded in 2011 by some academics, artists and activists. The association aims to create and enhance contact among groups and individuals from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, including refugees and migrants, to contribute to social cohesion and a culture of coexistence in Gaziantep. Kirkayak Kültür uses a rights-based approach to support democratic values and create the conditions for pluralistic coexistence.

Initially, Kirkayak Kültür set out with the idea that culture and arts activities facilitate social cohesion and bring all segments of society together. The association organized the Zeugma Film Festival and other culture and arts events. However, since 2012, the association has reorganized its activities to contribute to social cohesion and coexistence by working with disadvantaged groups, refugees, and migrants, including the Syrian refugee community.

Kirkayak Kültür is currently operating two centers, the Art Centre and the Centre for Migration and Cultural Studies, under six programs: Migration, Urban Studies, Kitchen || Matbakh Workshop (Gender Equality), Media for Social Cohesion, and Dom Studies. The Centre for Migration and Cultural Studies considers newcomers and their cultural accumulation as a contribution to the city's cultural and artistic life. The center carries out migration studies focusing on social cohesion, emphasising the importance of culture and arts activities in the process of two communities learning to live together.

Kirkayak Kültür carries out cultural, artistic, and social activities with women, youth, children, migrants, refugees, and other disadvantaged groups. The association aims to develop and disseminate cooperation between artists, culture & arts activists, and civil society organizations from Turkey, the Middle East, and Europe in the field of culture and arts in Gaziantep. The association started to translate all its printed materials into Arabic and carry out cultural exchange projects between Turkey, the Middle East, and European cities.

Kirkayak Kültür also supports young refugee artists by providing them with a space to produce and present their artwork. In 2014, Kirkayak Kültür supported young refugee artists in holding their first exhibition, Waiting, which was the first time refugee artists came together with Turkish people. This event led to the emergence of new ideas for Kirkayak Kültür, and many artists, such as photographers, musicians, actors, and artisans, asked for the association's support and used its venues to exhibit their artwork.


Goals and Purpose

Kirkayak Kültür runs right-based programs and projects in Turkey and neighboring countries, focusing on disadvantaged groups, refugees, and migrants to contribute to social cohesion and culture of coexistence. Kirkayak Kültür's actions are designed to increase social development, promote democratic values, and extend cooperation between artists, culture-arts activists, and non-governmental organizations in Turkey, the Middle East, and Europe.

Kirkayak Kültür hosts its activities in two separate locations in Gaziantep: the "Kirkayak Kültür - Art Center" and the "Kirkayak Kültür - Center for Migration and Cultural Studies." The organization's programs are in the fields of Culture & Arts, Zeugma Film Festival, Mutfak || Matbakh Workshop, Migration Studies, and Dom Studies with a social development-oriented, participatory, and multi-voice approach.

Kirkayak Kültür believes that sharing art and cultural space increases mutual understanding, sensitivities, and helps overcome cultural differences and prejudices. The organization takes part in international platforms, aware that migration has both local and international effects. K?rkayak Kültür is also a member of CCRM (Cross-Regional Center for Refugees and Migrants Network), European Network on Statelessness, and Solidarity Network for Human Rights Defenders.

The conception of “living-together” is the main reference point behind all the works that Kirkayak Kültür carries out. As the number of refugees from different parts of the globe is increasing day by day, societies are becoming more multicultural, multi-religious, and multilingual. Gaziantep, as a migration-receiving city with 2 million inhabitants, is no exception. Encounters between different cultural, ethnic, or religious groups are inevitable, and the daily practices which come in various forms, most importantly as facing 'the Other,' is a part of public space.

The case of Syrian refugees who settled down in the region after the Syrian civil war made this situation more visible in the last decade. Thus, Kirkayak Kültür emphasizes the idea that the space does not belong to any particular group of people, but to all, and old and new share the city altogether. Rather than grounding this idea of living together on morality, individual conscience, or local values, Kirkayak Kültür prioritizes a right-based approach, democratic values, and the universal idea of human rights.

Kirkayak Kültür aims to reinforce the contact points among different groups of society, such as art, cultural activities, and cuisine, to decrease the effect of unequal power positions over social relations originating from being in the position of a 'host' or 'guest.' The organization supports socially and culturally disadvantageous groups at risk, empowering them through social, cultural, and art activities to integrate society in a dialogue and solidarity to end prejudices and discrimination against these groups. In addition to existing issues such as immigration, being a refugee, disadvantaged groups, and cultures, Kirkayak Kültür also carries out social, cultural, and art activities and studies on humanitarian issues caused by political and social circumstances in the Middle East, presenting findings to people nationwide and worldwide.


Impact

Kirkayak Kültür is a center for migration and cultural studies located in Gaziantep, Turkey, established with the aim of helping people from Syria and Turkey live together in harmony. The center prioritizes the rights of refugees and migrants and organizes activities under the theme of Works with Migrants and Refugees. Through this program, Kirkayak Kültür aims to support the learning process of people from Syria and Turkey and to conduct “social cohesion” oriented activities. Additionally, the center conducts research-based actions to increase knowledge sharing among scholars, researchers, and activists on issues related to refugee and migrant studies.

One of the most important activities of Kirkayak Kültür is its Work with Refugees program, which organizes art activities, exhibitions, panels, festivals, meetings, and projects about the Middle East. The center also conducts research on human rights, education, gender, and disadvantaged societies, such as immigrants, asylum seekers, women, and children. Kirkayak Kültür provides education in these spheres and performs right-based advocacy studies.

The center also collaborates with other institutions to organize programs that address the challenges facing refugees and migrants. For instance, Kirkayak Kültür collaborated with Trent University and Wilfrid Laurier University to organize the Contemporary Migration and Solidarity Training Program, which involved 12 sessions with presentations by competent academics from around the world.

Kirkayak Kültür's social cohesion through storytelling program aims to bring together members of the Turkish host and Syrian refugee communities to collaborate and introduce their experiences to Turkish and international audiences. This project's purpose is to increase social cohesion efforts in Turkey and boost empathy and solidarity with these communities among humanitarian workers, activists, scholars, policymakers, and the general public. The program provides funds, training, and international recognition to selected fellows to boost their self-worth, conflict-resolution skills, and avenues for creative expression.

By fostering cooperation and interdependence between Turkish and Syrian fellows throughout the workshop and filming periods, Kirkayak Kültür hopes to promote friendship and understanding between the two communities. Recent polls show that the “social distance” between Turks and Syrians is growing, despite their years of close contact and shared communities. The program intends to foster inter-communal dialogue and raise awareness by screening fellows' short videos in Gaziantep and via other civil society organizations across Turkey, promoting a journalism of peace and peaceful coexistence.

The organisation is also putting up the International Zeugma Film Festival. The festival is organized under the themes of "citizenship, neighbor, and coexistence" and aims to promote cinema, art, and cultural dialogue in Gaziantep by bringing together the most powerful movies from Turkey and the world's cinema. The festival is also an opportunity to work on social cohesion and coexistence under "the migration studies" and to create a social space for different segments of society to share a common experience. Additionally, Kirkayak Kültür aims to include the new Syrian citizens of Gaziantep in the festival this year.


References
Kirkayak Kültür
Leadership team

Kemal Vural Tarlan (General Coordinator / Chair)

Emine Dogan (Matbakh || Mutfak Workshop Coordinator / Deputy Chair)

Hala Khankan (Board Member)

Sinem Inan (Board Member)

Zerrin Alkan (Board Member)

Aysegül Ates (Art Center Coordinator)

Fatma Çoskun Caymaz (Migration Program Coordinator)

Tolga Yelmen (Protection and Outreach Communication Manager)

Zühal Gezicier (Finance Manager)

Kinem Tanyeri (Communication, Culture and Arts Manager)

Merve Tüter (Social Worker)

Kader Sevinç (Social Worker)

Headquarters
Gaziantep, Türkiye
Type
Financial Aid Opportunities
Region served
Gaziantep and other areas of Turkey and the world
Year stablished
2011
Address
Bey Mahallesi. Atatürk Bulvari. Uyum Apt. No:30 Kat:1 Daire:1 Sahinbey, Gaziantep/ Türkiye
Social Media