European Representation



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Subject: Conference at the EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, Brussels

5TH May 2010



At the initiative of ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats Europe) MEPs

Diana Wallis and Gesine Meissner

Organised by:


TÜSIAD (TÜRK SANAYİCİLER VE İŞADAMLARI DERNEĞİ -Turkish Industrialists’ & Business Association)

KAGIDER (Türkiye Kadın Girişimciler Derneği - Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey)



Iraqi Turkmen Front EU Representative Dr. Hassan Aydinli and Merry Fitzgerald of Europe-Turkmens of Iraq Friendship Association received an invitation from Milena Dimitrova, Policy Adviser on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality ALDE Group at the European Parliament and TÜSIAD to attend the conference.


Topics discussed and list of participants:


1 - Gender policies and debates in the EU and in Turkey

Chair person: Diana WALLIS, ALDE MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament


Ms. Diana Wallis MEP: Traditions and objectives in the liberal approach to equal opportunities policies


Dr. Ayla Sevand, KAGIDER Vice-President: Women’s voices in the EU and in Turkey


Ms. Nicola Harrington-Buhay, Deputy Director UN/UNDP Office Brussels: Gender from an international perspective, following the Millennium Development Goals


Mr. Renatas Mazeika, Head of Unit Financial Support – Fundamental Rights and Citizenship, European Commission: Lessons learned from the DAPHNE programmes in the EU.


2 - Challenge 2020 for civil society

Chaired by Mr. Bahadir KALEAGASI, TÜSIAD International Coordinator


Ms. Tijen Mergen, KADIGER Executive Committee Member, Chief Marketing Officer of Dogan Gazetecilik AS: Over the gender gap in access to education in Turkey


Ms. Nur Ger, TÜSIAD Gender Equality Working Group Chairwoman: Women in the labour market in Turkey


Ms. Ummuhan Bardak, Labour market expert, European Training Foundation: Female employability as a prerequisite for gender equality: cross-country review of the Union for the EU-Mediterranean Partnership


Ms. Cécile Gréboval, European Women’s Lobby, Programme Director: 2010 and beyond: Putting women’s rights at the core of EU policies


Ms. Capitolina Diaz, Director General of Equality in Employment, Spanish Presidency: Next challenges after the Spanish Presidency


Ms. Viviane Hoffman, Cabinet of the Vice President Viviane Reding, European Commission: Gender equality in the EU 2020 strategy


Ms. Gesine Meissner, ALDE MEP: Providing equal opportunities and gender sensitive policies for the next decade in Turkey and in the EU.



During her introduction speech Diana Wallis ALDE, MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament stated that she was favourable to Turkey joining the European Union.


The conference was very interesting and the attendees were very much impressed by the professionalism, entrepreneurship and dynamism of the Turkish ladies (representatives of KADIGER and TÜSIAD) who were on the panel who gave examples of the projects they initiated in Turkey to improve young girls’ access to education.


They also reported on the progress that was made in the dialogue between the Turkish women from various professions like arts, academia, business and politics with their counterparts in the EU.


KAGIDER is the first women’s NGO in Turkey that opened a representation office in Brussels.

Indeed, in order to support Turkey’s EU accession process and especially for increasing the role of women in this process, KAGIDER established the EU-Brussels Office in March 2008 with the cooperation of TÜSIAD. 

The aim of this office is to make KAGIDER easily accessible and a solution partner of Turkey vis-à-vis the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Women’s Lobby (EWL) and other European NGOs on the women’s movement in Turkey.


Both KAGIDER and TÜSIAD want a stronger voice of women, and more participation, therefore they prepared the “Gender inequality in Turkey” Report, which explored the current situation of women in education, politics, business life and which also presented the EU perspective.


At the end of the presentations, the participants and the attendees to the conference were all invited to a reception in a meeting space at the EU Parliament to continue the discussions on the topics presented at the conference and to establish contacts with the speakers.


Dr. Hassan Aydinli and Merry Fitzgerald took the opportunity to establish contacts and to speak about the situation in Iraq in general and about the  Turkmens’ cause  in particular with several of the participants to the conference, namely:-


- Mr. Renatas Mazeika, Head of Unit of the European Commission for “The Financial  Support – Fundamental Rights and Citizenship”.

- Ms. Marleen Voordeckers, Liaison Officer of the European Training Foundation (ETF)

- Mr. Zafer Ali Yavan, Secretary General of TÜSIAD.

- Mr. Bahadir Kaleagasi, International Coordinator of TÜSIAD in Brussels.

- Ms. Nur Ger, Chairwoman of Gender Equality Group at TÜSIAD  

- Ms. Berna Toksoy, Head of Department ( Social Policy) at TÜSIAD.

- Mr. Vakur Dağdeviren, Member of the “WORLD TURKİSH BUSINESS COUNCIL” 







·         TÜSİAD is “The Turkish Industrialist and Businessmen’s Association” it is a non-governmental representative organisation of the Turkish private sector (industries and services) at the national level.


·         TÜSİAD is a member of BUSINESSEUROPE, BIAC (Business and Industry Advisory Council of the OECD, UBCCE (Union of Black Sea and Caspian Confederation of Enterprise) and EUCCC (European Union Chamber of Commerce in China)


·         It is composed of direct members representing companies and leads a platform founded by sectoral and regional business federations (TURKONFED: Turkish Confederation of Enterprise and Business)


·         TÜSİAD is a window of business through its representation in Brussels, Berlin, Paris, Washington DC and Beijing.


·         TÜSİAD is committed to monitor and promote Turkey’s political, economic and institutional reform process within the framework of the membership process to the EU.






·          KAGIDER is “The Women Entrepreneurs Association of Turkey” and it was chartered in September 2002 by 37 successful women entrepreneurs.


·          Its vision is developing entrepreneurship among women to strengthen their status economically and socially in Turkey and its mission is to create a world in which women produce and establish their existence freely, and in which they play an effective role in decision-making processes.


·         The main activities of KAGIDER are conducting advocacy activities by developing policies, in order to maintain gender equality, organizing activities and developing projects to support and to strengthen women entrepreneurship.


·         Being one of the most influential women NGOs in Turkey, KAGIDER’s advocacy activities are grouped under the following two main topics:


             1- Turkey’s accession to the EU.


             2- Strengthening the women role in Turkey.


ETF: (European Training Foundation)


ETF is an agency of the European Union, which helps countries surrounding the “EU Partner Countries” to reform their education and training systems and so bring out the full potential of their people.







     a) Policymakers, practitioners and donors in the EU.

     b) European and international institutions such as EU Member State bilateral donor     organisations, the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic co-operation and Development (OECD) and United Nations system organisations.


Dr. Hassan Aydınlı.


ITF  European Union Representative.


Brussels – Belgium.