Article on the Final Conference by Benedikt Althoff

Community Media for Intercultural and Political Dialogue: Citizens Media Conference, Istanbul on 14.11.2015 – New community media centre opened.

Around 100 representatives of youth organizations, educational institutions and NGOs took part in the Turkish-German conference “Citizen media for intercultural and political dialogue” mid-November in Istanbul. Together with the Turkish youth organization YouthArt, the European Youth4Media Network eV with headquarters in the Bennohaus and the International Department of the community center Bennohaus the results of the year-long project cooperation were presented.

12219431_929157490493251_6477636720887948735_nIn his opening speech Dr. Joachim Musholt, CEO of the community center Bennohaus, emphasized the high value of human encounters and civic engagement in a communal Europe: “We learned a lot together and from each other. A year ago, Turkish students have come into the Bennohaus in Münster for media training for the first time and now 20 of them got their certificate as a media trainer. Together we have created a solid basis for sustainable cooperation “.

In connection to Dr. Musholt’s speech Murat Akbıyık, President of the Turkish partner organization YouthArt, presented the new multimedia web platform with various films and blogs for intercultural dialogue. Then Ceyda Ozdemir of the German-Turkish youth bridge in Istanbul held a presentation on funding opportunities from youth meetings, projects for civic engagement as well as scholarships for young people in the two most populous nations of Europe.

After further expert presentations by representatives of major Turkish youth organizations about political youth participation, freedom of the press and citizen journalism the new media trainers received their certificates. Benedikt Althoff from European Youth4Media Network eV was pleased that some Kurdish students and members from ethnic minority organizations in Turkey have successfully completed the training and can now enrich the intercultural dialogue with their engagement.

After all the official opening of the new media center was held in the evening. Youthart. Manager Aykut Subasi got a new job there as a media trainer, he directs the regular production workshops of the YouthArt media team, which now consists of 50 participants, who now produce film contributions with digital media technology in the new rooms for free of charge. Ms Makbule Okat from Turkish Ministry for European Affairs was thrilled by the creative atmosphere of the new center high above the roofs in the district of Şişli. She wished the German and Turkish partners success for the future cooperation in the new German-Turkish follow-up project on the topic “Digital media literacy and lifelong learning”.

The project for civic dialogue is funded by the Turkish Ministry and the European Union.


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Article on the Final Conference by Benedikt Althoff

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About The Author
- Youth Art Research and Training Association, based in Istanbul, is the Turkish partner of the project.