In response to COVID-19, the Turkish Government implemented several policies restricting CSOs from responding to the global pandemic. Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Services launched a national solidarity and donation campaign to consolidate COVID-19 fundraising and ban donation campaigns initiated by certain municipalities during the crisis. This decree disrupted many charitable projects and increased the financial vulnerability of many CSOs now restricted in their fundraising efforts.
TUSEV has been acting as an amplifier to the voice of CSOs in Turkey and will continue to do so, within its own aims and scope. Rana Kotan, Secretary-General of TUSEV, detailed their actions in response to the new restrictions.
“TUSEV has acted as a facilitator, assisting CSOs in the field come together to share and learn from one another’s experiences and better understand the situation. The first step we took was issuing a statement which can be found here. The second step was to organize a meeting with our members to create a platform where they can find out about each other’s experiences during the pandemic. This enabled us to realize we needed deeper understanding and data to shape our advocacy work and determine if what we heard from our members were resonating with other CSOs working in the field. With this aim, we sent out a survey between 10-15 April and published the results on 27th. The answers gathered from 170 CSO representatives were similar to what we heard from our members. Sustainability is one of the key issues in the sector and the survey results regarding changing funders’ priorities was striking. As a result, we organized a meeting with local and international grantmakers in Turkey and presented CSOs’ ideas and reflections from the survey. Our next step will be to organize a meeting with private sector representatives with the same objectives. They represent an important part of the stakeholders of civil society. We will also prepare for the second phase of the survey with focus groups and more detailed questions.”
TUSEV published the report of the Impact of COVID-19 Outbreak on Civil Society Organizations Operating in Turkey Survey. The full survey can be found here.
Third Sector Foundation of Turkey (TUSEV) was established in 1993 with the objective of strengthening the legal, fiscal and operational infrastructure of civil society organizations. For over two decades, TUSEV has been working to create a more enabling environment for civil society and providing solutions to common and emerging problems of CSOs with the support of its members.
With the vision of a stronger, participatory and credible civil society in Turkey, TUSEV works under four main program areas and undertakes activities that aim to;
- Establish an enabling and supportive legal and fiscal framework for CSOs,
- Encourage strategic and effective philanthropy and giving,
- Facilitate dialogue and cooperation between the public sector, private sector, and civil society,
- Promote the credibility of Turkish civil society,
- Encourage collaborations at the international level,
- Create resources and raise awareness through research on civil society.