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Turkey, Europe cooperate in projects on Roma initiative

Istambul, 15.7.2010 23:16, (Today's Zaman)

Turkey, which recently took the initiative to expand the rights of disadvantaged groups and communities such as the Kurds, the Alevis and the Roma, has been carrying out joint projects with European organizations to this end, receiving wide applause from Europe.

Carlien Huijsmans, a representative from the Netherlands-based Spolu International Foundation, which supports initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe aiming to improve the socioeconomic status of Roma communities, recently paid a visit to ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Bursa deputy Ali Koyuncu to be briefed on the government’s Roma initiative.

Huijsmans previously facilitated a grant worth 12,905 euros for a project by the Turkish-based Roma Youth Association. Stating that he would like to continue to work with Roma associations in Turkey, Huijsmans said he aims to get EU funding for projects related to the Roma community. Many other Europeans, including Walter Wolf of the European Commission and Fernando Villareal, a sociologist who works on issues of minority policy in Spain and across Europe, also paid visits to Koyuncu to find out more about the government’s initiative.

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