The opening meeting of the "A Common Challenge-Two Different Cultural Perspectives Project”, which is being carried out in collaboration with the Güven Education and Health Foundation and the Kennisland Foundation from the Netherlands and is supported within the scope of the program titled “Civil Society Dialogue Between the EU and Turkey”, was held on 8th November in Sheraton Ankara Hotel.
Opening remarks were given by: Ambassador Faruk Kaymakcı, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and Director for EU Affairs; Assoc. Prof. Tolga Tolunay, Deputy Minister of Health; Nikolaus Meyer-Landrut, Head of EU Delegation to Turkey Ambassador; Prof. Musa Kazım Arıcan, Rector of Social Sciences University of Ankara; Dr. Orhan Koç, General Director of Disability and Elderly Services / Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Services; Nüket Küçükel Ezberci, Executive President of Güven Health Group and President of Güven Education and Health Foundation.
Iselien Nabben, Project Coordinator of Kennisland Foundation, and Dr. Ejder Yelken, Project Specialist of Güven Education and Health Foundation, who provided information about the Project, emphasized the importance of the Project in reviewing approaches to the elderly population in the Netherlands and Turkey and exchanging information between the two countries.
"We have evolved into a powerful non-governmental organization."
Nüket Küçükel Ezberci, President of Güven Education and Health Foundation, states that the Foundation has undertaken a plethora of social issues, particularly educational projects.
"The foundation evolved from a charitable organization to an effective non-governmental organization focused on finding solutions to social problems as a result of global changes. We are quite proud of ourselves for taking such decisive steps forward on this journey. For a long time, the growing elderly population has been regarded as a serious social problem. We are all aware of the official statistics on this point. Studies on this subject emphasize the importance of taking into account a country's economic, social, cultural, and political dimensions while focusing on elderly care."
"I hope it serves as a model for other non-governmental organizations."
According to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜK), Associate Professor Tolga Tolunay, Deputy Minister of Health, elderly people account for 9.5 percent of the total population. Tolunay states that this ratio is expected to increase from 9.5 percent to more than 20 percent by 2020.
"These statistics demonstrate that the aging of the population which has resulted in an increase in the number of chronic diseases and the need for long-term quality care services, has become a serious concern. The project, which was conducted jointly by Güven Education and Health Foundation and the Netherlands' Kennisland Foundation as part of Güven Education and Health Foundation's studies on the aging population, is regarded as a significant step forward in the field of elderly health. I wish that a project based on elderly care services in the Netherlands and Turkey and involving mutual experience sharing would serve as a model for other non-governmental organizations and that the number of such projects would continue to grow."
"The issue of elderly care is a litmus test for the entire continent."
According to Ambassador Faruk Kaymakcı, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey and Director for EU Affairs, the Turkish population has been gradually aging, with people over 65 accounting for 9.5 percent -10 percent of the total population in Turkey, while people over 65 account for 20 percent of the total population in other European countries.
Observing cultural differences and caring for elderly people in accordance with cultural wealth, Kaymakcı asserts that "the issue of caring for elderly people is a test for the entire continent." I believe that it is beneficial for all of us to examine various approaches from various countries and jointly choose and implement the best ones.
Additionally, we see such projects as an opportunity for interaction between Turkish non-governmental organizations and non-governmental organizations from other European countries. I hope we can continue to strengthen our civil society efforts and expand and diversify such projects within the Department of the European Union."
Our Project “A Common Challenge - Two Different Cultural Perspectives” funded pursuant to IPA II is entitled to be supported by CENTRAL FINANCE AND TENDER DEPARTMENT of TURKISH MINISTRY OF TREASURY AND FINANCE.
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