Fifth Season: Climate Policies of Turkey

“Are we changing?” platform held its first event online on the World Climate day


With the joint initiative of Habitat Association, INGEV, and TEPAV, “Are We Changing?”, which creates awareness for individual and institutional change in response to climate change and highlights the steps taken in this field. Platform’s first event, the webinar titled “Fifth Season: Turkey Climate Policies,” was held online on May 15, 2021.

The webinar started with the opening speeches of Habitat Association Chairman Sezai Hazır, İNGEV President Vural Çakır, and TEPAV Director Güven Sak.

In his speech, Mr. Hazır pointed out that humanity’s new order after the Industrial Revolution radically changed the global climate compared to previous periods. He also stated that human-induced crises, especially the climate crisis, are deeply felt.

Hazır: “Climate change concerns not only the creatures in nature but also human beings. The process of temporary and permanent relocation due to environmental changes creates the concept of “Environmental Refugees,” The necessity of displacement of people due to the effects of global climate change creates the concept of “Climate Refugees.”

Vural Çakır, President of İNGEV, started his speech by emphasizing that projects against nature are damaging nature beyond measure and negatively affect low-income people.

Çakır: “We need to live a life in harmony with the environment to prevent this and developed countries are primarily responsible for this climate crisis and that this change should not turn into a mechanism that stops and also contains developing countries. The new growth understanding combined with digitalization can be realized with a compulsory and expensive process, especially for countries and companies trying to adapt to the Green Transformation. First and foremost, adapting SMEs to green transformation should be one of the urgent plans ahead.”

TEPAV Director Güven Sak highlighted that climate change is at the center of the world agenda and that we are now at the stage of doing instead of talking.

Sak: “Recovery after COVID-19 will be accompanied by a non-carbon-based growth and related technological renewal process. Yet it is imperative to ensure fair competition, fair transformation, and a fair transition environment between countries, companies, regions, and individuals. Turkey should ratify the Paris Climate Agreement as soon as possible because the Paris agreement is the constitution of this new world. Based on this agreement, a declaration of intent to reduce carbon emissions based on a new economic program should be formed as soon as possible.”

Following the opening speeches, the event continued with a presentation on “World Climate Agenda and Turkey” by Bengisu Özenç, Director of the Sustainable Economy and Finance Research Association (SEFIA).

Özenç stated that the Paris agreement prioritizes limiting the increase in the average temperature up to 1.5 degrees. Underlining that Turkey does not have a long-term low-carbon strategy, Özenç emphasized that such a strategy should form the basis of the development plan.

Following the presentation, a panel titled “Economic Transformation of Climate Policies in Turkey” was held. TURKONFED Economics Advisor Assoc. Dr. Nazlı Karamollaoğlu, UNDP Turkey Climate Change and Environment Portfolio Manager Nuri Özbağdatlı and European Climate Action Network (CAN – E) Turkey Climate and Energy Policies Coordinator Özlem Katısöz were amongst the panelists.

Nazlı Karamollaoğlu, TURKONFED: “A critical transformation process has been initiated within the scope of the European green consensus. The carbon regulation mechanism will seriously affect economic relations, and that this mechanism can be used as a growth strategy, not an obstacle. The metal industry, cement, and electricity sectors are at the forefront, and that SMEs, who are the suppliers of these companies, will have to change their systems.”

She also stated that the Paris agreement should be followed at the macro level in adaptation to the green economy and that employment policies should be regulated.

Nuri Özbağdatlı, UNDP: “The policy development process regarding climate change should be done towards reducing inequalities. Climate change is an issue of inequality, and that deep poverty has emerged with the climate crisis. SMEs are one of the groups that will be most affected economically, and that an approach should be developed for them.”

Özlem Katısöz, CAN-E: ” All energy policies of Turkey are now coal-centered and that its exit from coal is yet possible. When the necessary data were examined, Turkey could get out of coal within ten years and that new form of employment should be created by transforming this sector. Countries such as Turkey, which lack strategy, should first intend.”

Click on the link to watch the event (Only in Turkish)

Fighting Inequalities in the Anthropocene

A follow-up meeting on the 2020 UNDP Human Development Report “The Next Frontier: Human Development and the Anthropocene” was aired via live streaming on the INGEV’s social initiative Vibio TV Youtube Channel on March 17th.

Under the theme “From the INGEV Perspective: Social Inclusion and the Struggle Against Inequality in the Anthropocene,” the event follows the global release of the report on December 15 of last year. The report was launched in Turkey as a cooperative effort by UNDP Turkey, the Habitat Association, INGEV, and the Turkish Economic Policy Research Foundation (TEPAV).

INGEV President Vural Çakır: “Combating inequalities has become a survival issue. The income group of a baby’s family becomes a very influential factor in the inequalities that he or she may have to struggle with throughout his/her life.”

UNDP Private Sector Programme Manager Hansın Doğan: “There is not a single country that has achieved very high human development without exerting great pressure on the planet. We must support all countries to reach a high level of human development “that does not cost” to the earth. We are the generation that should bring about change.”

LOSC Lille and Turkish National Team Player Yusuf Yazıcı: “Despite the magnitude of the problems in the world, everything is in our hands. Without harming our planet, we can reduce inequalities and develop at the same time. If we want, we can achieve it!”

Published by the UNDP since 1990, the 30th annual issue of the Human Development Report “The Frontier Ahead: Human Development and Anthropocene” issued a call to all of humanity to come together in creating a new way forward for the future development of our world.

In this new geological age that we have labeled the Anthropocene, or the Age of Humanity, humans are consciously shaping the planet. Our actions are directly leading to the destruction of our world, through climate change, the acidification of our oceans, the pollution of our air and water, the degradation of our soil, and the loss of biodiversity. A quarter of the remaining species on our planet are now facing extinction, some of which are predicted to completely disappear within the next few decades.

The UNDP’s 2020 report places the focus on rebalancing the relationship between humans and nature, emphasizing the need to find long-lasting solutions for improving human life. The report brings up important questions, such as how will human development change in this new era and how can we find a new way to expand human freedoms, choices, and action, while at the same time removing the pressures on our planet?

Focusing on these issues, the report provides evidence that the recovery from this unprecedented pandemic can be both environmentally and socially sustainable.

Please click on the link to watch the follow-up event

Social Cooperatives on the Rise in Turkey

At the focus of the Cooperatives, Social Solidarity Economy in Turkey expands in recent years.

A steady increase in the number of social cooperatives has been observed in Turkey in recent years. According to data compiled by TOBB, it can be seen that the number of cooperatives established in 2019 and 2020 has risen in comparison to the number that have been closed.

Solidarity and collaboration models between local governments and cooperatives are evolving, with residential, business, and agricultural development sectors coming to the fore as the most commonly established cooperatives over the last three years. Additionally, the creation of social cooperatives, which have a different model than traditional organizational and business cooperatives, has also seen an upward trend.

It is clear that these cooperatives are making an impact both economically and socially. Enabling consumers to have fair access to natural, nutritious and clean food, cooperative products have become more popular and widespread on e-commerce platforms. As more and more women are coming together in cooperatives, the positive effects on women’s participation can be clearly observed.

Report Launch Event was held on January 14th

ActHuman Social Inclusion Initiative, a joint venture of İNGEV (Human Development Foundation) and Sabancı University Istanbul Policy Center (IPC), prepared a report to define “Resilient Corporativism for Social Solidarity Economy” and to offer social policy recommendations. The initiative, which established an advisory board consisting of cooperatives, public and international organizations representatives, subsequently identified the social solidarity economy’s needs within a particular focus on cooperatives with a workshop. This report’s highlights were shared with the press members at the launch meeting held online on 14 January.

Speaking at the ActHuman III Report Launch event, where both information about the rapid transformation in socio-economic life, as well as current and historical comparative data, in terms of cooperatives were shared, İNGEV President Vural Çakır said:

Cooperative is one of the essential types of organizations that will enable economic activities – which are weak individually – to become healthier and more sustainable. The pandemic showed us the importance of economic activities based on solidarity. We need to shine these cooperatives by paying more attention. We should improve public legislation and structure in line with simplification and focus. Besides, cooperatives should strengthen their collaborations. İNGEV wants to lay the groundwork for these collaborations and expand its activities via Entrepreneurship Support Center.

Sabancı University Vice-Rector and Director of Istanbul Policy Center Prof. Dr. Fuat Keyman also mentioned that “Neoliberalism increasingly destroys the organizations coming from below. In addition to this, a central management understanding and increasing urbanization are the main reasons for doing this study. “The important thing is to make cooperatives more productive actors. Cooperatives today have three-dimensional importance; solidarity, not only in the field of agriculture, but in the field of all societal issues that go all the way up to theater and art, working on a new form of organization different from the past and a new localization,” said Keyman.

The presentation was made by Orkun Doğan, Research Assistant at the Department of Economics of Istanbul Bilgi University, who also prepared the report. Doğan also drew attention to the necessity of supervision as well as trust in establishing cooperatives.


The following nine social policy recommendations emerged as a result of the resilient cooperative study:

  1. The Impact of COVID-19 and Cooperatives: A sectoral study should be conducted to measure the social and economic impacts of the crises caused by the pandemic on the cooperatives and evaluate the measures to be taken.
  2. New Cooperatives Legislation: Cooperative legislation should be addressed, simplified, and developed in a participatory method in which all stakeholders are represented, within the framework of international principles and current needs, to ensure contemporary governance principles.
  3. Financial Support Tools: A mechanism to increase cooperatives’ access to financial markets should be established where cooperatives are represented within cooperative banks and credit unions. Alternative means to traditional financing channels should be designed according to Turkey’s unique conditions and the cooperatives’ needs.
  4. More Effective Cooperatives in Value Chains: Incentives should be provided to develop the Cooperative Product Certificate, increasing the cooperative products’ visibility at retail sales points. In order to increase cooperatives’ marketing capacity, training programs should be organized for stakeholders, especially on product and brand development, e-commerce, and export-related issues.
  5. Cooperative Statistics and Cooperatives Research and Training Center: Cooperative data should be compiled regularly, and indicators such as total number, number of partnerships, employment, and annual turnover should be prepared in international statistical standards and presented to the public in different formats.
  6. Training and Capacity Building Programs for Cooperatives: Relevant ministries, development agencies, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, universities, and education cooperatives that organize cooperative training should come together and determine a comprehensive “Cooperative Training Strategy” in coordination.
  7. Increasing the Awareness Level of Cooperatives in the Society: An image study should be carried out with all stakeholders to increase the awareness of cooperatives in the eyes of the public and spread the concept of cooperatives.
  8. Partnerships Between Cooperative Supreme Organizations and Social Solidarity Economy Components: For more resilient cooperatives, the top of the cooperative organization should be restructured, and supporting mechanisms should be activated.
  9. Collaboration between Cooperatives and Local Governments: Ethical and principled cooperation between local governments and cooperatives can provide significant opportunities to strengthen the social solidarity economy and support cooperatives, as long as the cooperatives’ autonomy is observed.

To Read the Executive Summary of ActHuman Report

INGEV CHATS Reached More Than 1 Million People

While the Corona Virus Pandemic is still effective worldwide, we continue to jazz up the life in isolation with knowledge-based conversations. While the value of digitalization has further increased in this period, we have begun to introduce various experts, academics and journalists, all specialists in their fields, to our social media followers via “INGEV CHATS”, a chat program published regularly on INGEV’s Facebook page. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Erkan Saka, Rashid Hamwi, Burcin Buke, Tugrul Eryilmaz, Vural Cakir, Prof. Dr. Fuat Keyman, Prof. Dr. Halil Nalcaoglu and Salim Kadibesegil were the guests of April.

INGEV CHATS hosted Prof. Pınar Okyay,  İbrahim Elbaşı, Duygu Eren, Ozan Sönmez, Şehnaz Tuna and Dr. Aylin Dağsalgüler in the month of May.

In the month of June and July, INGEV CHATS’ guests were Emine Erdem, Arda Kutsal, Murat Şahin, Prof. Dr. Fikret Adaman, Ayşe Sabuncu Saraçlar, Ezgi Arslan, Merve Batıkan, Levent Kahraman, Orkun Doğan, Başak Saral and Kerem Avcıergun. Within this two months, INGEV CHATS focused on topics such as The Digital state of Turkey, Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Priorities, Needs and Cooperativism, New Models, Trends.

You can visit the following links to watch the streams that are highly appreciated and each of which rolls out a new perspective. Please be advised that our live streams are in Turkish language.

ActHuman “Digital Governance Opportunities for Municipalities” Workshop was Held at Marmara Municipalities Union

ActHuman’s second term has started with the cooperation of INGEV, IPM and Oxford University. Marmara Municipalities Union hosted the second term’s first consultancy meeting which aims to determine “The Digital Management Opportunities for Municipalities”.

Dr. Eren Korkmaz from Oxford University made a presentation on “The Digital Management Opportunities for Municipalities”. Dr. Korkmaz shared his ideas on the technology, social transformation, the latest technologies, the opportunities presented by the digital management and correct practices on this issue.

Following the presentation, municipalities, public institutions, international organizations, INGOs and private sector representations provided their opinions about the content of opportunities report to be prepared for municipalities.

During the workshop, participants mainly discussed about the issues such as the needs of municipalities for their digital management, technologic applications to improve the municipalities’ management capacities, the better ways of organizing municipalities and cooperation, and good examples applicable for Turkey.

As a result of the three months-research process, the digital management opportunities report will be published.

Women Entrepreneurship Eco-System Meeting was held in TOBB

On April 9th, INGEV, Building Markets and Habitat Foundation organized an eco-system meeting under the auspices of TOBB with the participation of Turkish and Syrian entrepreneurs.

The opening speech of this meeting was given by TOBB Head of Sectors and Entrepreneurship Department, Ozan Acar, Director of Building Markets Turkey, Saral Virgo, The Director of INGEV, Berker Coker and Chairman of the Association of Habitat, Sezai Hazır.

Following the opening speeches, Acar took over the meeting as moderator. He talked with the successful women entrepreneurs of Turkey.

The senior women managers of Turkish NGO’s shared their ideas about what are the needs of more integrated entrepreneur ecosystem.

Syrian women entrepreneurs shared their expectations, lives in Turkey and struggles of establishing business.

INGEV Participated in “Higher Education and Syria Crisis: What is Next?” Conference

in Amman, Jordan on 9-10 April 2019 where over 100 professionals, experts and students from a variety of institutions and initiatives brought together.

Within the conferences, the latest achievements in the higher education sector in the context of the Syria crisis was presented and their impact on students and higher education institutions was analyses, while discussing the various innovative solutions and projects implemented by key stakeholders in the region.

Within the conference, İNGEV Education is a Must Call Center Project was presented as an innovative approach to support access of Syrian student into higher education in the host countries

INGEV Participated in “Higher Education and Syria Crisis: What is Next?” Conference

INGEV Participated in “Higher Education and Syria Crisis: What is Next?” Conference

INGEV Participated in Brand Week’s Session, “Refugees, Integration to Consumer Markets”

INGEV participated in Brand Week’s session, “Refugees, Integration to Consumer Markets” on the 8th of November. Unilever Turkey board member / Turkey chairman of Global Compact Mustafa Seçkin, BİM Markets’ chief operating officer and executive committee member Galip Aykaç, and co-founder of More Design, Sima Al Kanawati, participated in the session on the latest situation of refugees, and their income sources and consuming markets. The session, moderated by INGEV chairman Vural Çakır, took place at the Turkish Airlines Inspiration Hall, the biggest hall of Brand Week festival. Some of the points from the session are summarized below:

Vural Çakır: “80 billion dollars left Syria because of the Syrian civil war as capital transferred to other countries. Although Turkey hosts the majority of expatriate Syrians in comparison to other hosting countries, the transferred capital to Turkey totals only 5 billion dollars. And in spite of the high level of migration, we should never allow xenophobia; social cohesion requires this approach.”

Mustafa Seçkin: “If we support inclusive life, we cannot ignore Syrians in Turkey who comprise 5 percent of the population. In the context of Unilever’s Embark project, mentors and mentees have changed their places and experts from out of the company have trained 13 CEOs of Unilever. As business world we should recognize the importance of the refugee issue.”

Galip Aykaç: “We face one of the world’s most important migrations. It is impossible for the state to overcome the problem alone. As private sector we should also take on responsibility. It is the reason why we work to meet the needs of Syrians. This shedding of blood and tears should end.”

“Strengthening Refugee Entrepreneurship in Turkey” Mersin Workshop was Held

“Strengthening Refugee Entrepreneurship in Turkey” Mersin Workshop was organized on 12 April at Mersin Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MTSO) with the attendance of public institutions, refugee entrepreneurs, Turkish business people and representatives of non-governmental organizations. The opening speeches were delivered by INGEV Director Berk Çoker, UNHCR Livelihood Manager Damla Taşkın, and MTSO Assistant Secretary-General Ezgi Biçer Uçar at the workshop which was organized by “ActHuman Social Inclusion Initiative”, an INGEV initiative in cooperation with IPC (İstanbul Policy Center), with the cooperation of UNHCR, and found granted by European Union and the Republic of Turkey.

After the opening speeches, Small and Medium Industry Development Organization (KOSGEB) Mersin Manager Danyal Peker gave information about “Government Supports for Building Capacities of Small and Medium Scaled Enterprises”. Foreign Tade Specialist Ali Can Kahya from T.R. Ministry of Economics General Directorate of Incentive Implementation And Foreign Investment spoke about governmental incentives current in Mersin which is on 3rd Area in Turkey’s investment map under his presentation titled “Governmental Incentives for Building Local Entrepreneurship”. INGEV Board of Trustees Member Attorney Arkın Eyvazoğlu gave information which will be useful in guiding refugee entrepreneurs in the fields of trade and law in his presentation titled “Legal Obligations of Establishing Incorporations and After their Establishments”.

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SEV Kindergarten and INGEV Got Together for Syrian Children

Within the framework of the project, kindergartners gathered and packaged school supplies such as stationery equipment, water bottles, notebooks, books and raised awareness by affecting others’ life.

INGEV, in coordination with İstanbul-Üsküdar District Directorate Of National Education, made contact with Yavuztürk Primary School which educates the most Syrian refugee students. On 17 May 2018, the packages were handed to 48 Syrian students at Yavuztürk Primary School by INGEV and SEV Schools authorities. While SEV Kindergarten realized a social responsibility project that raised awareness about solidarity among kindergartners, INGEV was proud to be a bridge for realizing such a project that supported children of refugee families suffering socially and economically.

We, as INGEV, wish Yavuztürk Primary School’s and all of the SEV Schools’ students success.
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