Civil Society Exchange: German-Turkish Capacity-Building Partnership

Civil Society Exchange:

German-Turkish Capacity-Building and Cooperation

Photo credit: Taras Kovalchuk

Capacity Through Mobility.

Fostering cooperation between European and Turkish initiatives and organizations.

These are the two main goals of Civil Society Exchange and the partnership between Polis180 and Istanbul-based Yereliz – Local Monitoring, Research and Implementation Association. Civil Society Exchange is a programme designed for civil society organizations from Turkey and Europe. It supports the idea of a unified Europe through cross-border cooperation. It encourages civil society organizations to form and foster partnerships and to work together in partnerships on capacity building models. Out of 122 applicants, Polis180 and Yereliz, together with 17 other civil society organizations (CSOs) from Europe and Turkey, were selected to form one of 9 CSO partnerships. The programme is a cooperation between the Center for Civil Society Studies at Istanbul Bilgi University and MitOst e.V., and is funded by Stiftung Mercator.


Polis and Yereliz jointly work on improving the advocacy and lobbying skills of both organizations. Our particular focus is on the method of storytelling in the context of policy and politics. We want to learn more about storytelling from experienced trainers and from other civil society organizations.


  • 1-5 March 2018: Opening Meeting at Paretz Academy, Germany. Read our report here!
  • 5 June 2018: Polis180 Storytelling Workshop with Chris Rogers (Berlin). Click here for our recap!
  • June 2018: Yereliz Storytelling Workshop (Istanbul). Click here for the report!
  • July/August 2018: Polis180 study trip to learn best practices for storytelling. Click here to read our lessons learned.
  • July/August 2018: Yereliz study trip
  • 12 October 2018: Best practice conference (Istanbul). Click here for the report.
  • March 2019: Closing Meeting of Civil Society Exchange in Athens


In Berlin, Paretz, Istanbul, London, Athens and other cities in Europe


As the program aims to assist organisations in capacity building, the target groups are members of Polis180 and members of Yereliz.


Anna Kiknadze

A native of Georgia, Anna has an M.A. in Contemporary European Studies from Humboldt University and University of Bath. Being proficient in Turkish, Anna is excited to embark on a journey of mutual learning with Yereliz.

Benedikt van den Woldenberg

Ben’s professional interest are political developments in the Middle East, which has also been the focus of his B.A. and M.A. studies. He looks forward to deepening cooperation with Turkish partners through Civil Society Exchange.

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