Program held in Ankara on EU assistance to Turkish NGOs

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In a program held in Ankara on EU assistance to non-governmental organizations, speakers laid out the policies of Turkey and the EU on civil society support.

Emphasizing the wide range of activities carried out by the more than 100,000 NGOs operating in Turkey, EU Ambassador to Turkey Christian Berger said at the Civil Society Support Programme that Ankara and Brussels agreed to earmark Euros 190 million ($217 million) in 2014-2020 for pre-accession assistance (IPA) to Turkish NGOs.

Turkey's Director for EU Affairs Faruk Kaymakci and Mehmet Salim Uslu, head of the Turkish Finance Ministry's central finance and contracts unit, also spoke at the event.

We want a more democratic, decentralized IPA management system that listens to NGOs and takes their opinions more often and includes local elements in decision-making mechanisms, Kaymakci said.

More than 200 listeners including non-governmental organizations participated in the event, 91 percent of who voted in support of Turkey's accession process to the bloc in a poll held at the end of the program.

Turkey applied for EU membership in 1987, while accession talks began in 2005.

Talks between Turkey and the EU stalled in 2007 due to objections by the Greek Cypriot administration over the divided island of Cyprus as well as opposition from Germany and France.

Source: Anadolu Agency

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