The Turkey and Syria Culture Meeting Took Place

4 November 2017

The Refugee Women Socioeconomic Research Centre which was established under the cooperation of KADEM and AFAD organized a “Turkey and Syria Culture Meeting” for the purpose of accelerating the adaptation process related to immigration, by examining studies carried out in various countries and similar models for Syrian refugees living in Turkey, and for ensuring that women interact with each other and come together through culinary culture, which is considered one of the culture indicators of communities.

The “Successful Adaptation Models” panel organized at the Altunizade Culture and Art Centre was moderated by KADEM Founding President Assoc. Prof. Dr. E. Sare Aydın.

Delivering the inaugural speech for the programme, Founding President Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sare Aydın Yılmaz maintained that Turkey opened its doors to Syrian citizens and that all assistance requires to help them in life was provided, and added that she considered the guests from Syria as the heroes of the war and immigration. Aydın stated, when you leave here to return to your country, you will have brought our wealth with you, while leaving your own cultural wealth with us. Not long ago, not more than a century, we lived here together as Ottomans. Now, in this land you live as guests, you are in fact no foreigners to us or our culture.

Speaking at the programme, AFAD President Dr. Mehmet Güllüoğlu stated that they will continue to work even more to do more than their best for all of those in need. Güllüoğlu stated, “we never saw immigration as a burden, but always considered it a wealth; we prepared, and will continue to prepare, projects in this context. The world media tends to forget this humanitarian crisis, but we always talk about this crisis, and we will insist in continuing to do so. We know that what you have been through, your stories were very difficult. However, we are doing our best to make sure that your life from now on will be better. The name of the panel that is organized today perfectly describes the work carried out. As in the past, the people of Turkey will always stand by the people of Syria.

“We will never forget Turkey’s good deeds”

Prof. Dr. Ayşegül Çıtıpıtıoğlu maintained that they take the issue of qualified labor very seriously within the scope of the Refugee Women Socioeconomic Research Centre Project that is carried out by KADEM in cooperation with AFAD, and added, “language education and including women in professional life constitutes the basis of the adaptation policies.” Çıtıpıtıoğlu stated, the transition of Syrian children from education centres to public schools is very important for integration. We all know that the education of girls is especially important. There is a significant difference between children who have access to education and those who do not.

Syrian Refugee Dana Ziyada shared with the participants the details of her immigration to Turkey due to the civil war in Syria, and what she experienced during this process. Ziyada stated, “the wound is very deep, we came here with our hearts bleeding. Language is very important if we want to stand on our own feet in Turkey, and therefore we learnt Turkish. At the beginning everything was difficult. But we are gradually getting used to it. We will never forget Turkey’s good deeds.

The “Successful Adaptation Models” panel ended after a photograph was taken together, followed by the “Cuisines Meet” event during which flavors from the Syrian and Turkish cuisines were offered.

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