The political crisis in Turkey now has also immediate consequences for International youth work. On Thursday afternoon, the International Association for Education and Exchange (IBB e.V.) was informed, that the youth group from Turkey will not come to Dortmund for a German-Turkish youth week, planned for August. Due to de facto travel restrictions and the uncertain situation, another Turkish project partner also pulls out of the International youth workcamp support programme ewoca³.
From the 2nd to the 9th of August, youths from the Turkish cities of Muğla and Eskişehir wanted to meet young people from Dortmund for an exchange about volunteering in their countries. But the youth encounter „BeActive4 MUDO“ will not take place. Because of the uncertain situation, the municipal youth centre Muğla postponed the trip to Germany indefinitely.
„We are very sorry for this youth encounter not to be realised“, says Hildegard Azimi-Boedecker, section manager for Job International and Migration of IBB e.V. „We hope to continue the work in the youth network Dortmund-Muğla, which we started, soon. How and when this will be possible is not clear at the moment.“ For August, IBB e.V. had planned an ambitious programme: Encounters with activists in refugee support, active participation at the Dortmund food bank, information about the Dortmund volunteering agency, and intercultural encounters. The return visit to Turkey was planned for October.
But the crisis in Turkey has effects on other encounter programmes as well. The South-East-Anatolian municipality of Gaziantep just announced their pulling out from the IBB-organised European workcamp support programme ewoca³. From the 8th to the 22nd of August, youths from Cologne, Turkey, and Romania wanted to meet in the Romanian town of Cluj-Napoca, to engage with the history of minorities in this region. The workcamp will thus take place without the Turkish project partner. For the coming year, IBB, together with the remaining partners, is looking for solutions.
„Cooperation with Turkey has great importance for our work“, says Elke Wegener, general manager of IBB e.V. „This is why we are concerned by this setback for International youth collaboration. For 30 years, we stand for international exchange and dialogue and always walked this path, even under demanding conditions. As we can look back to a good cooperation with our partners in Turkey, I am confident we can take this up again soon.“