A Movement for Independent Living for People with Disabilities is Building in Turkey

A Movement for Independent Living for People with Disabilities is Building in Turkey

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Independent living is crucial to exercising the right to act. Article 19 on the right to independent living in the community is closely related to Article 12. It is often through our many connections to others in our own communities that we make decisions and express our autonomy. In Turkey, a movement for independent living is growing, and the EU-PERSON network is right there with it.

In October 2014, European Network of Independent Living (ENIL), in cooperation with the Centre for Independent Living Sofia (CIL-Sofia) and RUSİHAK started a 15-month long project aimed at promoting the right to independent living in Turkey. The Independent Living Network Project (ILNET) is co-funded by the European Union and the Republic of Turkey, under the Civil Society Dialogue scheme. The Project targets persons with disabilities, policy makers at the national and regional level, other human rights organisations and the media.

The ILNET Project includes a summer school in which 45 young disabled persons are invited to to İstanbul between 29th June and 2nd July. Courses will take place at Bilgi University Faculty of Communication which is located in Santral İstanbul Campus of the university. Activists who want to learn more on independent living and to share their experiences will come together at this beautiful place. The registration for summer school is now closed.


The beautiful grounds of Santralistanbul.

Experts and activists from Europe will not only discuss the meaning of independent living in detail but they will also learn and question examples of mechanisms which enable persons to enjoy their right to independent living. International law on legal capacity is one of the topics which will be discussed. Lawyer Güler Polat (Turkey), lawyer Nalan Erkem (Turkey, expert of PERSON Project), activist and expert Kristijan Grđan (Croatia, expert of PERSON Project) and Didem Tekeli (Turkey, RUSİHAK’s Coordinator of PERSON Project) will contribute the discussions on CRPD and its Article 12 to set a light to the concept of legal capacity as well as independent living as enshrined in CRPD’s Article 19. These sessions will also give the participants in depth knowledge on the law and practices in Turkey as well as the features of disability activism in the country.

ILNET Project’s web site can be read both in English and Turkish. You can find more on the forthcoming summer school here.


This document has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this document are the sole responsibility of PERSON (Partnership to Ensure Reforms of Supports in Other Nations) and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.