Year in Review: Turkey Mozaik Foundation 2023 Recap

Reflecting on Our Journey

This year has been an unexpected challenge, marked by the devastating earthquakes of February 6th, 2023. The impact was profound, shaking the very essence of our optimism for the future.

Despite the heartache, our community showed an incredible and unprecedented unity. Our Kahramanmaras Earthquake Emergency Relief Fund, initiated within hours of the tragedy, witnessed remarkable support. Serving as a bridge between donors in the UK and the civil society of Türkiye, Turkey Mozaik Foundation facilitated essential aid and solidarity.

Reflecting on our journey, we recognise the critical role of our prior work in facilitating open communication with the right organisations on the ground. Our commitment to transparency, evident through regular updates to our donors and supporters, solidified trust within our community.

Year in Review Highlights

In 2023, thanks to your generous support, we raised nearly GBP 4 million and distributed grants to over 90 civil society organisations. This year, our grants primarily focused on supporting organisations working to mitigate the impact of the February 6th earthquakes and improve the well-being of survivors. Our grantees also received valuable mentorship and expert guidance and participated in workshops to enhance their organisational development.

The immediate response to our Kahramanmaras Earthquake Emergency Relief Campaign enabled us to support more civil society organisations in a single year than in our initial five years combined. This success demonstrated how our work resonated deeply with our friends and donors, reaffirming their belief in our mission.

Events and Activities Recap

This year, most of our events and initiatives centred around fundraising for our earthquake relief fund. Our campaign attracted significant media attention, receiving coverage on BBC News, SkyNews, radio shows, and numerous websites. We engaged in both online and in-person panels and conferences, introducing our fund and showcasing the impactful work of our grantees. Here are some notable examples of our 2023 events:

In March, we collaborated to fundraise around a concert with Mor ve Ötesi in London. As a result of this impactful partnership, we supported the Architecture for All Association and Ali İsmail Korkmaz Foundation (ALIKEV), to construct a new youth centre for ALIKEV, whose main building was destroyed in the earthquakes, as well as a rehearsal studio for local young musicians.

In April, we visited Hatay, Türkiye, where we had the opportunity to meet with some of our grantees. During these meetings, we not only observed the field but also gained invaluable insights from their experiences. We shared our experiences from Hatay extensively on our social media and also shared a dedicated newsletter titled “Field Notes from Hatay, Türkiye: The Impact of the Earthquakes”.

In April, we were at the Royal Albert Hall for an unforgettable fundraiser organised by Communion Music and Sounds of Solidarity to support earthquake survivors in Türkiye and Syria, with all proceeds donated to our campaign and the earthquake response of War Child UK. The event was hosted by Halit Ergenç and Jumoké Fashola and featured amazing live performances from Anna Calvi, Dermot Kennedy, Hozier, James Bay, Marcus Mumford, Nilüfer Yanya, the Solidarity Ensemble, and guest appearances by Olivia Colman, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Omid Djalili, Elif Knight, and Philip ArdittiPlease click here for photos to get a glimpse of this amazing night. You can also watch here the video of Olivia Colman reading the English translation of Nazim Hikmet’s poem “Yaşamaya Dair” (On Living) in solidarity with the survivors.

In May, we co-hosted the UK premiere of My Name Is Happy along with Channel 4, shedding light on the remarkable journey of Mutlu Kaya, a symbol of resilience empowering women. Although Mutlu couldn’t physically attend the event, she participated digitally in the Q&A session alongside co-directors Nick Read and Ayse Toprak.

In June, a fundraiser hosted by Omid Djalili was organised at the Ipswich Regent Theatre to raise funds for our earthquake relief campaign and the campaign of War Child UK. The evening included appearances from Seann Walsh and Paul Chowdhry and musical performances from the Sounds of Solidarity and the Turbans. Also in June, Sibel Tüzün, a renowned Turkish singer who represented Turkey in the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, was at the Exchange in Twickenham for a special concert at the Richmond Arts & Ideas Festival. The event raised funds for our earthquake relief campaign.

In June, we were at the Cradle of Food, an extraordinary international conference and fundraiser organised by Cemre Torun and Mehmet Gürs at the Old Billingsdale venue. The event paid homage to the culinary heritage, food cultures, and resilient individuals of southeastern Türkiye and northern Syria – the regions devastated by the February 6 earthquakes. A true standout was the “Collaboration Lunch”, an extraordinary feast of heritage dishes crafted by esteemed chefs and culinary icons from the region. The fundraiser aimed to protect and sustain the region’s rich culinary culture and help support local producers.

In July, we embarked on our fifth Study Trip to Istanbul, where we delved into captivating discussions with civil society experts and some of our current grantees, exploring pressing issues and impactful stories. For a glimpse of our Study Trip, watch the video here.

In September, we organised a “Back to School” gathering, and with our donors, friends, and supporters, revisited the past year’s journey and unveiled our vision for the future. The gathering was also an opportunity to share the impact of our earthquake relief fund for survivors in Türkiye.

In December, the Turquoise Coast Environment Fund (TCEF) projects meeting brought together our grantees who shared valuable insights into their projects, detailing the progress and outcomes achieved. The event concluded with an engaging panel discussion, moderated by TCEF director Dr Ayşegül Çil, featuring Advisory Board members: Prof. Dr Zafer Tosunoğlu, Dr Meltem Ok, Esra Başak, and Gökmen Argun. Their evaluation covered successes, challenges, and the continued relevance of our key focus areas for enhancing Türkiye’s coastal and marine ecosystems. Please find here more details about the 2022 and the 2023 cycles of the fund.

In addition, throughout the year, many individuals sought ways to contribute to our campaign by organising local events, community fundraisers, auctions, and concerts, demonstrating their support for Türkiye.

What next for Turkey Mozaik Foundation in 2024?

Looking ahead to 2024 and beyond, we are confident in expanding our impact and touching more lives. We launched the Regional Recovery Support Program II to further support civil society efforts addressing long-term needs in the earthquake-affected regions in thematic areas such as children’s rights, gender equality, and culture & arts. Our support to organisations working in the areas central to Turkey Mozaik Foundation’s mission will also continue.

In our 7th year, we are certain that, with your continued support, we will foster positive change in our homeland. To everyone who has supported us and joined Turkey Mozaik Foundation’s journey, we extend our heartfelt gratitude. We wish you and your loved ones a Happy New Year.