Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Turkish Youth and European Values

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 27th August, 2008

The European Parliament in Brussels is currently holding an unusual photo exhibition highlighting projects involving Turkish schoolchildren and young people to raise their knowledge not only about what the European Union does, but also about core values such as freedom, equality, security, peace, solidarity and unity. As the up-and-coming generation is the one that in all probability is going to be the first to benefit from being EU citizens (including freedom of movement and the right to work or study anywhere in the EU), it is important that they understand what sort of grouping Turkey aspires to join.

This is more than a European PR exercise; however. In many localities and regions throughout Turkey, all sorts of events have been held within the framework of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, not only building bridges between East and West but also helping people appreciate the rich ethnic, cultural and religious diversity of our continent. One recent initiative was the showing of 10 European films in 10 different villages in Turkey. Another was a short story competition for high school students on the theme of European values.

The exhibition in Brussels, whose launch I attended, showcased 80 large colour photographs of various activities, including some delightful shots of primary school children having great fun painting and drawing. There was also a musical accompaniment by Turkish ‘ney” (reed flute) and percussion, as well as a variety of Turkish  delicacies to taste.

Link: http://www.avrupa.info.tr

One Response to “Turkish Youth and European Values”

  1. Was glad to see you there, Jonathan, even if we didn’t get a chance to talk – I guess you were slipping off to your media interview.

    What struck me was the impressively visible extent of the European Commission’s engagement with Turkish civil society, at a time when (if you believe the media) the Turkish accession process is supposedly at a standstill. I hear much more positive rumblings from the depths of the Berlaymont and Charlemagne buildings, and the exhibition was one of the few public proofs that things are not, in fact, going all that badly.

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