Raising the voice of young people in Turkey

The 17-year-old girl Irem Abdurrazzakoglu opens our eyes to the urgent need for young people in Turkey to raise their voices and defend their ideas and opinions. The WYRED Project helps them to express their thoughts freely.

My  name  is İrem  Abdurrazzakoğlu. I am a student from Çamlıca Theological High School for  Girls  in Turkey.  I  am 17  years  old  and  I believe  that,  as a  young  person, I need  to express my thoughts.

The WYRED project is an umbrella  platform  for me,  on  which we  can work on creative projects,  express our ideas and take on responsibilities. We will be thrown into the ‘adult world’ sooner or later, so before this  happens  we should  improve  ourselves. I attended  the WYRED social dialogues and joined the community as a teenager to produce new ideas with other students. Today, young people are not given much space to  have a  say.  However, we  want  to change that.  With  projects  such  as  WYRED, which enables  us  to make  ourvoices  heard, we  are taking trainings for a society in which everyone freely shares ideas, respects ideas and is equal.

After the general elections in Turkey, I thought I  should revise  my  topic and  decide  to write about democracy. As  we  all know,  we  live in a  world  where democracy prevails. Every day, many regulations are made in order to make people’s life easier. Although the layout we live in looks nice  from  the outside,  does  it actually give us the  opportunity to express  our   thoughts freely? With the recent elections in our country, young people started to get more attention from the state. We started to follow the demonstrations organised  by the  party  leaders. With  these regulations, we are  told,  young people  will have  more rights  and  advantages. When will we  start  to express  ourselves  better as young people? It is obvious  that  each person  will  have their own  ideas. We all  want to tell  people about these ideas in the best possible way. As  a matter of fact, we are fighting a lot about our ideas. We all strive to defeat each other in the direction of our political ideals and ideologies. Sometimes we break each other’s hearts to justify our ideas. Sometimes adults try to impose their ideas on us and do not allow us to have our own thoughts. It is not well received for a right-wing father to have a left-wing  child. In such situations, we  simply keep our ideas to ourselves and remain silent. Sometimes we are not allowed to talk, they say we are too young to defend our ideas. We often hear that we do not know anything and  that’s why  we  cannot decide.

In  short, we  cannot have any idea, we cannot defend ourselves ideologically and we do not respect  the opinions of others.  But we can change it, we can learn to argue in a respectful way and prove that we have meaningful ideas. In addition to the above, young people cannot explain their own thoughts as much in school. One of  the main reasons for this is that students are not taken seriously by administrators. Students are hesitant to submit their ideas and suggestions in their schools, or they   cannot get  a   feedback. They face a sanction; they are subject to disciplinary threats or cannot receive a response. If  our own  ideas are not respected, our self-esteem as young people is damaged, we are forced to stay in silence and we are exposed to injustice. Some  changes  must be  made  so that  young people  in schools  do not face  such  situations. For   example,  a   school   council  should   be established  and  every  student should  be  able to express  complaints  and suggestions.  In  the elections held in school, every student must be eligible without any age and class restrictions. Students  should not  be  dismissed when  they comment  on a  situation. The administrators should  always  be open to students and  give importance  to their  ideas. Do not  forget  that we are  young  people, representatives  of  the future and our ideas are important.

 

Listen to the young people’s voice, please. We are trying to raise it.

 

Irem Abdurrazzakoglu

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GENDER AND NON-BINARY IDENTITIES

Gender and gender identities are in the middle of the social dialogue like never before. In the digital era, people try to explore themselves in terms of gender, sexual orientation and identity. Social media had definitely played a major role in people’s everyday lives and cultural, social and personal expression and exploration. The debate on if the social media have enhanced the social dialogue on gender or if instead have created more space for hate speech and discrimination is yet from over. However, before proceeding in understanding the relation between gender identities and online media, the definitions and conceptual notions of the terms “gender” and “non-binary gender identity” need to be clarified.

Objectives: 
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON BUILDING AWARENESS AND UNDERSTANDING AROUND GENDER AND GENDER IDENTITIES?
GENDER AND GENDER IDENTITIES ON MEDIA

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GENDER AND NON-BINARY IDENTITIES

Gender and gender identities are in the middle of the social dialogue like never before. In the digital era, people try to explore themselves in terms of gender, sexual orientation and identity. Social media had definitely played a major role in people’s everyday lives and cultural, social and personal expression and exploration. The debate on if the social media have enhanced the social dialogue on gender or if instead have created more space for hate speech and discrimination is yet from over. However, before proceeding in understanding the relation between gender identities and online media, the definitions and conceptual notions of the terms “gender” and “non-binary gender identity” need to be clarified.

Objectives: 
WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA ON BUILDING AWARENESS AND UNDERSTANDING AROUND GENDER AND GENDER IDENTITIES?
GENDER AND GENDER IDENTITIES ON MEDIA

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Social Media and Causes of Stress

Young people who use social media believe that they are an important part of their life. Mainly to facts that are linked to social interaction, catching up with local and international news, employment and entertainment.

Social Media could cover negative feelings, especially with some aggressive or judgmental comments and messages or even being bullied online, the young people interviewed believe that they know how to avoid hostile behavior online.

On the other hand, based on research and responses, the excessive use creates a great amount of stress to them. Social media makes it easy to gradually lose your initial purpose and go through all kinds of websites.

Objectives: 
Does Digital Identity lead to stressful behavior in real life?
What is the impact of SM on users life?

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Social Media and Causes of Stress

Young people who use social media believe that they are an important part of their life. Mainly to facts that are linked to social interaction, catching up with local and international news, employment and entertainment.

Social Media could cover negative feelings, especially with some aggressive or judgmental comments and messages or even being bullied online, the young people interviewed believe that they know how to avoid hostile behavior online.

On the other hand, based on research and responses, the excessive use creates a great amount of stress to them. Social media makes it easy to gradually lose your initial purpose and go through all kinds of websites.

Objectives: 
Does Digital Identity lead to stressful behavior in real life?
What is the impact of SM on users life?

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How differences are perceived, the level of tolerance, inclusion and exclusion referring to the personal experience of children. Could digital tools empower them?

The objective of the group was to investigate how differences are perceived, the level of tolerance, inclusion and exclusion referring to the personal experience of children. Could digital tools empower them? 

Methodology: active research trough an interview video in which it describes all the different perspective that interviewed children have on the topics mentioned above. 

Target group: children aged from 6 to 10 years old attending a Children’s home.

 

Recommendations: 

Taking into account the incapacity for children to understand some terms or behaviours, a small tool like videos helped them comprehend better what was the context. Understanding the ages, it is important to use a relevant and friendly context. Discussion sometimes is not enough. Visual and digital tools are necessary. Specially as we and they grow in a digital era. This frame of bullying and extreme behaviours will be part of their lives offline and online. Therefore it is important to: 

Stress the need to promote more activities in order to engage children into a discussion about tolerance, inclusion, exclusion and perception of diversity. That needs a balance between online and offline aspects with the use of various tools. That includes digital tools, that visualise examples and test the “understanding of concepts”. 

To correctly explain the meaning of these words and teach them the importance of tolerance among different cultures and opinions, so with more probability they will avoid discriminatory and bullying actions when they grown up. Children don’t really know the meaning of discrimination and bullying and they see all their classmates equal. As this process connects to them entering the digital world very soon, it should also link this concepts on the online part. Today digital connects to both offline and online with no gap between them. Children are really open minded and fast learner, so we should put all our efforts to build up a new inclusive generation, using any possible means.

 

Objectives: 
How differences are perceived, the level of tolerance, inclusion and exclusion referring to the personal experience of children.

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Our environmental future

Wouldn´t it be great when our world looked like the symbolic picture for the environment project? In fact, we are far away from there. Big countries dissolve international agreements on climate change, other countries do not fulfil, what promised with regard to the reduction of CO2 emissions, there are even persons arguing that the climate change aas nothing but a lie. How can they? It is our planet and our future!

The following (digital) collage brings together some information on environmental issues and links the project to the YouTube-Video “Dear Future Generations: Sorry”. Should be seen by every decision maker in the field. 

Objectives: 
Raise awareness for environmental issues affecting young peoples future

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Animal Protection

In a short text Romca – a dog – explains that it is a living being, having the right to be treated properly by humans. A list of organisations still using animals for different exeriments is shown. 
Objectives: 
Raise attention on animals' rights.

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Waste of Food – Appeal to the EU

This project aims at reduction food waste in formulating an appeal to the EU. It is suggested 

1) Explain to consumersthat the expiration date does not mean, that the product is no longer consumable, but still – even for a long time after the best before date – can be eaten: The expiration date is no reason to throw away food!

2) Food waste is massively given, when especially vegetables and friuts are sorted out, just because they do not for to European norms. These products could be offered for cheaper prices to persons of lower economic status.

 

 

Objectives: 
Reduction of food waste

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Radio interview on stress

Young people are taking over the roles of experts in the topic of stress and are asked in a radion intervies (mp3) how stress can be dealt wirh in eyeryday life. 
Objectives: 
Give information how to deal with stress in daily life.

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