Civil Society Dialogue is a programme bringing together civil society organisations from Turkey and the EU around common topics, to exchange knowledge and experience, and to build a sustained conversation between the organisations.

The Programme is co-financed by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). The Ministry for European Union Affairs is the responsible institution for the technical implementation of the programme, while the Central Finance and Contracts Unit is the contracting authority.

Since its launch in 2008, the Civil Society Dialogue Programme has supported over 600 dialogue partnerships through 350 projects in many different fields, witnessing hundreds of activities to bring EU and Turkish communities closer together and create a greater mutual understanding amongst them. To date through the first three phase, a total of 42.5 million euros has funded these activities.

FOURTH PHASE (2015-2017)

The fourth phase of the programme supported projects across nine policy areas of the EU with a total budget of 11 million euros. These areas included environment; energy; consumer and health protection; justice, freedom and security; right of establishment and freedom to provide services; regional policy and coordination of structural instruments; enterprise and industrial policy; agriculture and fisheries and education.

Fourth Phase Grant Projects Activities and Achievements Book (PDF, 6MB)

THIRD PHASE (2014-2016 )

The third phase of the Programme hosted  dialogue projects from civil society organisations and institutions from Turkey and Europe that are active in the fields of media and the EU accession political criteria. 2.1 million euros was granted to 16 dialogue projects of media institutions, to help support their role in making the EU, its values and the benefits of membership better known to the public both in Turkey and the EU member states. Grants amounting to 4.9 million euros were awarded to 39 projects on three main priorities: human rights, anti-discrimination and democracy and the rule of law with the goal of enabling civil society to make its contributions to the political reform process and to assist it in conveying the results of this process to the public.

To read more about dialogue projects and their stories visit here.

In parallel to the grants, a series of dialogue seminars were organised to create a strong network between civil society organisations, media members and public officials as the primary actors in the accession process. Dialogue Seminars were held in 6 provinces to strengthen the capacity of these actors to work collectively to support improved understanding of EU-Turkey relations. Please visit http://civilsocietydialogue.org/dialogue-seminars/ for more information.

SECOND PHASE – 2010-2012

In the second phase of the Programme, focusing on Culture & Arts, and Agriculture & Fisheries, 42 dialogue projects were successfully completed, with a budget of over 5 million euros and involving 154 different partnerships from Turkey and the EU. In addition, almost 300 thousand euros supported the award of micro grants that helped small size dialogue ideas of CSOs.

To read more about dialogue projects and their stories visit here.

FIRST PHASE (2008-2009)

The first phase of the Programme was implemented during 2008-2009 period. In this phase, 19,3 million euros of financial support was granted to 119 projects designed and implemented by municipalities, professional organizations, universities, and youth organisations from Turkey and the EU for their dialogue and networking activities. In total, these projects helped to foster 238 civil society partnerships from Turkey, involving organisations from 21 different EU Member States.

To read more about the dialogue projects of the first phase and their stories visit here.


The Ministry for European Union Affairs assumes the role of the overall coordinator of the EU accession process of Turkey. In addition to that, the Ministry supports initiatives to strengthen the dialogue between Turkish and European civil society organisations.

While planning, implementing and monitoring the Civil Society Dialogue Programme, the Ministry for European Union Affairs works closely with the Central Finance and Contracts Unit which is the contracting authority for EU grants in Turkey and with the European Union Delegation to Turkey being the diplomatic representative of the EU.

The Project Management Unit composed of experts of the Project Implementation Directorate and the Civil Society, Communication and Culture Directorate are responsible for the implementation and monitoring of grant projects.

Bülent Özcan – Director of Project Implementation (Senior Programme Officer)

Murat Başer – Civil Society Dialogue Programme Coordinator


Ceyhan Çiçek – EU Affairs Expert (Environmental Footprinting for Business, Gokceada Underwater Park, Solar Energy & Energy Efficiency Project, Geothermal Energy in Alaşehir, Adding Value to the Future, South Marmara Food Cluster, Entrepreneurial Development with European Dimension, Easy Access to Organic Products, Implementation of EU Common Fisheries Policy in Gökova)

Makbule Okat – EU Affairs Expert (Turkey Composts, Green Climate Green Economy, Physical Activity for Older Adults, Syr-Round the Children, Children Outside Prison, Education for Inclusion, Dialogue for Early Child Education, Experiential Learning)

Oktay Ercan – EU Affairs Expert (Rain Harvesting, Low Carbon, Refugee Service Delivery, Professional Standards and Qualifications for Publishing, Active Participation in Regional Development Agencies, Effective Partnership for Regional Policies, Eastern and South-Eastern Anatolia Development Agencies,  Social Responsibility Among Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Entrepreneurial Skills By EU Network, Entrepreneurship Education, Safe Food & Safe Future, Learn to Learn)

Öncü Tekeş – EU Affairs Expert (Black Sea Watch, Integration of Refugees, Mediterranean Dialogue Bridge, Social Entrepreneurship for Development)

Özlem Kalmaz – EU Affairs Expert (Women and Environment, EU-TR Dialogue for Energy in Black Sea Region, Learning  Media)

Selman Çetin – EU Affairs Expert (Power of Civil Society Against Human Trafficking, Measurable Development, Europe to Turkey on Foot, Youth @ Work,  Rural Development with Local Products,  My School is My Hope)

Sonay Kanber – EU Affairs Expert (Artists for Nature, Civil Energy Cluster, Consumer Empowerment, EU-TR Network for Sustainable Agriculture, Forever Free)

Şeyda Çimeli – EU Affairs Expert (Clean Energy in Kars Tourism, Empowering Consumer Rights, Migration Network in Europe and Turkey, Innovative Social Studies and History Lessons)

Ünsal Genç – EU Affairs Expert (Conservation of Egyptian Vultures and Eastern Imperial Eagles, Civil Dialogue for Climate Change, Let’s Conserve Our Cranes Together, Greece-Turkey Orchids Platform, Target 25, Establishing Recognition Network Project, Promoting Rural Ankara with Innovation, Recoopgreen, Make Room for Us We are Here, Organic Agriculture in Kelkit River Basin,  Organic Meat and Milk Production in Erzurum,  Black Truffles and Medicinal & Aromatic Plants Network)

Yıldırım Gündüç – EU Affairs Expert (Community Power, Licence Exempted Electricy Generation, Redefining the Roles of Actors for Solar Energy Systems, Your Health is Your Wealth, Be On Court Be Healthy, Change in Consumer Movement, Organization of Migrants’ Accommodation, Women on the Move, Black Sea Sustainable Rural Tourism, Made It Eco-Friendly, Empower EU-TR Dialogue on Fishery, Food Safety, Transforming Lives Through Learning)

Zelal Şen – EU Affairs Expert (EU Nature Conservation in Turkey Forests, Brown Bear Conservation, End Sexual Exploitation of Children, Saving Lifes Changing Lives)


Aysel Tolunay – EU Affairs Expert (Citizens Media for Intercultural and Political Dialogue, More Transparent Turkey,Best Practices from Turkey and Europe for Enhancement of Democratic Participation, Watch Your Shadow, Fight Against Discrimination to People with Disabilities, Child Rights Are Rising!, Together Enhancing Youth and CSOs Political Culture and Democratic Participation, I am Free, Active Civil Society Participation in EU Accession Talk, Revealing and Advocating the Multi-Cultural Heritage of Anatolia, Social Media Freedom and Non-Muslim Minorities, Cancer Will Not Be Our Fate, Transparency and Accountability in Political Life, Creating Educational Programs with EU Standards for Anti-Discrimination)

Necip Afşarata – EU Affairs Expert (Adaptation of Turkish Local Media to the European Union, Turkey-Greece Media Bridging, Strengthening Cooperation in Media)

Şeyda Çimeli – EU Affairs Expert (High Standards: Manisa towards EU, Cooperation with the European Media, New Term for Local Media with EU, Media Bridges)

Yıldırım Gündüç – EU Affairs Expert (Rights of Elderly People and Elderly Care Services at EU Standards, Triangle Net Tools for Fair Non-Discriminated Healthcare for Elderly People, Enhancing Civic Participation and Confidence Building in the Judicial Reform Process, All for Rights, Rights for All, Human Rights at Work, We Have A Message, European Dialogue to Strengthen the Culture of Democracy and the Rule of Law, Contemplations,Women’s Rights, Independent Living Network: Promoting the Right to Independent Living of People with Disabilities in Turkey, Equal Opportunities and Women’s Access to Managerial Positions, I Can Work)

Yunus Yılmaz – EU Affairs Expert (Promoting Dialogue and Solution: What European Legislators Think of Turkey Empowering Vulnerable Children Through Human Rights & Film, Sharing Knowledge on Juvenile Justice Systems, Innovative Methods Against Human Rights Violations, Collaboration for Participation of Youth, Each Child Has the Right to Grow in a Loving and Caring Family, EU-TR Civil Network for Women in Politics, Swedish Model in Turkey: Getting Strong Through Partnership, WAVE: Women Against Violence Engagement, Erasmus for All, FLOWER-Fostering Local Opportunities for Women’s Effective Participation, Open Platform for Media Ethics, Freedom to Publish on the way to EU Accession, Unlock the Treasures)

Zelal Şen – EU Affairs Expert (Copyright Distribution for Turkish Film Industry and Online Broadcasting, European Union Information)

Volkan Tuncay – EU Affairs Expert (Rebirth of Turkish Local Media with EU, Increasing the Capacity of Media in EU Issues, Media for Environment: Network of Media News Reporters, News Coverage on Turkish Media Landscape)


During the implementation of the Civil Society Dialogue Programme , the Ministry for EU Affairs works closely with a Technical Assistance Team (TAT) that has specific expertise for the Implementation of the programme. The Technical Assistance Team works to promote the programme and the projects also provide continuous support to each grant project.

Simon Forrester, Team Leader, Third Phase

Simon has been working with civil society organisations in Turkey and candidate and member countries of the EU for a long period. He is responsible for the general coordination of the TA team and the capacity building activities of the programme.

Yeşim Gözde Ersoy, Team Leader, New Phase / Communication Expert, Third Phase

Yeşim has been working in the field of communication, marketing and public relations for over 20 years. She is responsible for the strategic management of Programme communications and promotion of the overall programme and achievements underneath the third phase. She is the team leader of the new phase.

Vedat Öner, Grant Expert

Vedat has been working in the field of grant management for over 20 years and he is providing technical support for grant management.

Işın Gürel, Communication Expert, New Phase / Dialogue Seminars Coordinator, Third Phase 

Working in the field of media for over 20 years, Işın was responsible for the dialogue seminars of the Programme in the third phase. She is responsible for the communications and promotion of the overall programme and achievements of the new phase.

Eda Çullu Zaloğlu, Public Relations Coordinator

Eda has been working with civil society organisations for more than 15 years. She is responsible for public relations of the dialogue seminars, management of events organised within the programme and social media.

Safiye Kavas, Fşnance Coordinator

Safiye is responsible for the financial management.

Elkin Konuk, Communication/Content Expert

Elkin has been working with civil society organizations for years in the field of knowledge management. She is responsible for archiving project outcomes and updating the website.

Çağrı Öner, Visual Expert

Çağrı, as an experienced designer and Professional photographer, is responsible for the visual communication of the Civil Society Dialogue Programme.

Zeynep Atay, Project Assistant, Third Phase / Grant Assistant, New Phase

Zeynep has been working with civil society organizations for several years. She provides technical support to grant beneficiaries for the effective management of grants.

Gizem Beştaş, Project Assistant

Gizem provides support to grant projects for effective implementation.

Onurhan Esmer, Finance Assistant

Onur provides support to grant projects for financial management.