Kiwanis Background in Turkey
A group of friends in Ankara received a Kiwanis brochure early in 1992. Motto “Young Children Priority One” quite impressed the group. Interest in the group grown quickly to know more about Kiwanis and see the possibility of planting a seed of Kiwanis in Turkey. Our investigation led us to meet Mr. Gerald Robert, DFO/Europe, in Strasburg.
His friendship and initiatives made us to decide to be a part of Kiwanis family. Mr. Robert visited us in Ankara on 12 November 1992 and official steps taken to form the first Kiwanis Club in Turkey in Ankara. Under the sponsorship of “Zurich Romandie Kiwanis Club” on 18 June 1993 “Ankara Kiwanis Club” is registered. Then, Charter received on 22 September 1995.
Second Club “Istanbul Kiwanis Club” formed on 27 September 1994, followed by “Koru Kiwanis Club” on 26 September 1995, “Bilkent Kiwanis Club” on 27 May 1997 and “İzmir Kiwanis Club” on 28 May 1997.
However regret that Istanbul and Bilkent clubs in time, could not carry their activities and are closed.
To serve the children, as implied by our common mutto “Young Children Priory One” Kiwanis clubs in Turkey initiated many projects from the first days of formation until today and planning many more for the future. Among many projects realized the followings could be named :
- Support of “Iodine Deficiency Disorders” project in cooperation with Unicef – Turkey.
- Realization of first “Hospital School” in Turkey in cooperation with Min. of Education and “Hacettepe University Hospital”.
- National “Painting Contest” among Primary Schools in Turkey in cooperation with Min. of Education to encourage painting and to discover young artists.
- Supply of school furniture and laboratory materials to “Cavundur Primary School” near Ankara in conjunction with “earthquake” project.
- Concert and theater activities for children to expend and develop their cultural views.
- “Sprinter Competition” in Istanbul to encourage sportive activities among children.
- Various medical check-ups for eye, tooth and heart along with necessary medications and operations.
Fund Raising Projects
- Postcard project. Several paintings from above project are used to print postcards, similar to those of Unicef cards. More than 40 thousands are sold.
- Bazaar type festivals open to public to sell hand made products supplied by club members and friends. Food and beverage sales donated by various known brands.
- Concert and theatre ticket sales
- Donations in kind and cash from community for various projects.
Fellow members of Kiwanis Clubs in Turkey heartly feel sorry for the young children victims of Iraq war. We believe an immediate “help project” is to be activated and realized to provide any help, whatever necessary to lessen the pains they are facing.
A committe is formed to establish the main frame of the project, to make necessary attempts at Kiwanis International, Kiwanis-European Federation, Turkish, American and International authorities.
This project, at this time, is limited to get donations for the supply of baby food, milk, biscuits etc. and toys.