In March 2020, the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) in partnership with the Istanbul Bilgi University Center for Migration Research (BILGI-Migration) has launched the Strategies and Tools for Mitigating Polarization in Turkey Project (TurkuazLab) through financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Polarization in Turkey is eroding the platform for a pluralistic democracy and paving the way for populist and majoritarian politics. Today, Turkish citizens increasingly live in echo-chambers where their view is amplified, and the opposite view is non-existent. Citizens become affected by a spiral of silence as they refrain from discussing sensitive issues in environments where there are people with the opposite view. These are the findings of a recent survey titled Dimensions of Polarization in Turkey, conducted by BILGI-Migration through a grant made by GMF’s Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation.
The TurkuazLab Project aims to raise awareness in Turkish society about polarization and the harm it is doing and to equip Turkish civil society, academia, media, and political parties with strategies and tools for mitigating polarization to contribute to a new ecosystem in Turkey with the prevalence of human rights, social harmony, and respect to others.
With this 2-year project, we aim to reach these goals through the following actions: