Turkish society is very diverse in terms of culture and religion. But a lot of prejudices hinder relationships between groups – this is also true for Turkish migrants in Switzerland.

That’s why SAD ran a project between 2006 and 2009 to promote dialogue between cultures and religions in Turkey and among the Turkish diaspora in Switzerland.

Dialogue in Switzerland

In Switzerland, SAD put together a working group of Turkish migrants, including people who identify with Kurdish, Assyrian, Armenian or Circassian culture. The participants met for a professionally moderated discussion. Building on this first contact, the participants planned their own projects and activities, for example, discussion forums and film screenings. To increase the sustainability of the project, engaged participants could follow courses in topics such as moderating discussions, or project management.

Convergence with Turkey

In parallel, SAD’s Turkish partner organisation Anadolu Kültür, from Istanbul, launched a group in the Turkish city of Antakya. At the first meeting in Turkey, 23 people from the Turkish, Kurdish, Alaouite and Arab Orthodox cultures took part. After that, the group organised joint art and cultural activities. Not only did this begin a dialogue between members of the various cultures, but also promoted mutual understanding and acceptance.