Come and join us for a new Mercator Alumni Project on civil society in EU-Turkey relations! The recent scholarly, political and public debates on EU–Turkey relations reflect the current deadlock in the accession process and are largely dominated by functional areas of cooperation such as trade, migration and energy. In this alumni-driven project we want to bring back the civil society dimension into discussions on EU-Turkey relations.

For this purpose, we will organize two workshops to discuss what Turkish civil society organizations expect from the EU and the accession process with respect to democratization and fundamental rights and freedoms. What are the structural problems Turkish civil society currently faces?  How can EU policies and (new) instruments be effective in supporting Turkish civil society and expanding civic space?

  •       Workshop 1: 16 February 2022 | 14.00-16.00 CET | DIGITAL

The first workshop will be online and be open only to alumni participants. In this workshop, we will look at the possibilities of bringing Turkish civil society organizations back into EU-Turkey relations.

  •       Workshop 2 & Alumni Get-Together: 7-8 April 2022 | full day | Istanbul, Turkey

The second workshop will be organized as an in-person event in Istanbul and include alumni and representatives of civil society organizations in Turkey.  The workshop will be followed by a guided museum tour in Istanbul (tbc)

Working language: English


Call for Participants

We invite interested alumni of the Turkey Europe Future Forum and Stiftung Mercator to be part of the debate and contribute their knowledge and experience in our discussion on prospects for civil society in EU-Turkey Relations!

All interested alumni should:

- be motivated to participate in both workshop events and engage in the learning process

- be open and interested in the debate on the development and improvement of EU-Turkey civil society relations

- be able to communicate in English (event language)

- be able to attend the complete event and all its programme elements

What we cover

Travel subsidies and accommodation for non-resident alumni; 2 lunches and dinner 

Conditions of Participation

By applying to this program, you commit to participating in both workshops. Full participation to both workshops is a pre-condition to receive any travel subsidies. Participants are required to abide by the local health and epidemiological guidelines and are advised to have sufficient health and/or travel insurance.

Application and Selection

As we have only limited spots for the program, we ask you to apply via our online form here: The application deadline ends December 17, 2021.

The project team welcomes applications from all (TEFF/Mercator) alumni, who fulfil the specific profile for this project, and will pay due attention to ensure gender balance and balance among different program cohorts in selecting the participants.


Important dates

Application deadline:                   17 December 2021, 17.00 CET

Announcement of the results:      January 2022

Virtual workshop:                         16 February 2022, 14.00-16.00 CET

In-person workshop (Istanbul):    7-8 April 2022, program starts at 11.00 am

Alumni event (Istanbul):               8 April 2022


For any questions, please email Özge Zihnioğlu: ozge.zihnioglu[at]

The Project Team

Alumni of Turkey Europe Future Forum 2019: Arda Akçiçek, Duygu Fendal, Duygu Köksal, Ezgi Yılmaz, Özge Zihnioğlu