Turkey hosts over 4 million refugees, more than any other country. As the Syrian Civil War shows little sign of waning and as the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan continues to worsen, more and more vulnerable families and individuals have fled to Turkey with the hopes of eventually reaching Europe or the US. But resettlement to these countries is occurring at a snail's pace, and integration of these groups into Turkish society seems to be the most viable option. Indeed, 10 years into the Syrian Civil War, many refugees have come to call Turkey home and have no intention of returning to Syria. This has presented significant challenges, especially as Turkey struggles with economic uncertainty in the wake of COVID-19.
Despite suffering some of the worst effects of the pandemic and its economic fallout, refugees, asylum seekers, and other forced migrants in Turkey have increasingly become scapegoats, subjected to hate speech and xenophobia in both traditional and social media.
To combat this trend by building the capacities of local migrant and host journalists, HasNa has teamed up with Kırkayak Kültür in Gaziantep, Turkey to pursue Media in Tandem: Social Cohesion through Storytelling. The project consists of four acts:
|Train 20 refugee and host participants over the course of 11 sessions led by expert journalists, activists, and academics.|
|Form small multicultural groups to collaborate on joint media projects.|
|Present groups' media projects before international audiences in Gaziantep and Washington, DC.|
|Publish report and policy recommendations.|
The ultimate objectives of Media in Tandem are trifold:
1. To bring together migrant and host community journalists to collaborate and learn with, not simply about, one another;
2. To enhance professional capacities of journalists through targeted skills trainings;
3. To raise awareness of the issues of xenophobia and hate speech vis-à-vis refugees in Turkey, fostering empathy with the displaced on an international scale.
Act 1 is already underway,
with 20 participants being trained on the foundations of
peace journalism, citizen journalism, and rights-based journalism