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b_300_200_16777215_00_images_zz22-1.JPGBetween May 25-27th, 2017, Friedrich Naumann Foundation organised a series of events connected to the Turkish Israeli Civil Society Forum (TICSF) which took place in Istanbul. On this occasion, a delegation of selected NGOs from Israel came to Turkey to participate in matchmaking meetings and capacity building activities. 

One of the main purposes of the meeting was to bring together Turkish and Israeli NGOs or Think Tanks who are working in similar fields to establish future cooperation and common projects. The TICSF is an initiative of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation branches in Jerusalem and Istanbul that began in 2011, following the crisis in the relation between the two countries. A group of experts from academia, journalism and the NGO sector, joined forces is trying to find ways to assist in improving relations. The forum noticed that Turkish-Israeli relations lack a mechanism that creates, facilitates and exposes cooperation between the two civil societies. Therefore, the TICSF has taken it upon itself to create such mechanism that will serve as the hub for Israeli-Turkish civil society cooperation. As part of our efforts to promote civil society cooperation, we contact NGO's in both countries from various fields and inquire about their interest to engage with similar organizations from Turkey/Israel - share knowledge and practice, conduct joint events or mutual visits, participate in joint writing and joint projects etc.

Friday 26th, the representatives participated in workshops, icebreaking events and plenary sessions. They presented their work and talked about challenges, motivation and possibilities of civil societies in Turkey and Israel. Afterwards, the matchmaking process started. In each case, representatives of a Turkish NGO came together with their Israeli counterpart. During the session, they dealt with the most crucial elements in NGO to NGO cooperation: finding joint needs – interests and managing the challenges. The partners discussed aims to focus their work, methods and activities and target groups. On Saturday 27th, the counterparts got concrete in designing the joint cooperation. They discussed questions such as how can we profit from each other? How could we cooperate? What are the opportunities we see in a joint cooperation? Finally, the outcomes were presented to the plenum. The plenum evaluated the meeting, discussed possible obstacles (such as financing or language barriers) and developed a strategy for post conference cooperation.

b_300_200_16777215_00_images_zz22-2.JPGThe matchmaking, as well as the whole event, was a great success. Turkish-Israeli matches with the purpose to implement concrete projects have been created in the areas such as democracy, state and religion, fact-checking and youth work.

TICSF expresses its gratitude to all the participants, who contributed motivated by the success of the event and showed their courageous commitment to civil society work. If you are interested in the work of Turkish

Israeli Civil Society Forum or would like to participate actively, keep following us for the further projects!