Turkish organisations come together in unprecedented numbers for #FootballPeople weeks

Turkey has come together in unprecedented numbers for this year's #FootballPeople weeks, with the number of events taking place this year on a far bigger scale than in previous years. More than 4,500 people are expected to attend 25 separate activities held by 15 different organisations in Turkey, with some of the major professional football clubs also pledging their support together with the Turkish national federation. Turkish giants Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Beşiktaş are just some of the professional clubs taking part in Fare's #FootballPeople weeks, delivering a message of social inclusion for all in stadiums and via social media during the period 11-25 October. Grassroots organisations, NGOs and educational bodies are also getting involved. An unprecedented amount of local organisations will hold activities to spread a message of anti-discrimination, and events are planned to support anti-racism initiatives, women's rights, refugee inclusion and LGBT rights in Turkey. From Ankara to Istanbul to Gaziantep numerous events are taking place. On October 16th, Cinsel Şiddetle Mücadele Derneği, the Association for Struggle against Sexual Violence, will hold a panel discussion in Istanbul on how to tackle abusive, discriminatory and violent behaviour in football.

In Izmir The Sustainable Development and Entrepreneurship Association are running a multi-cultural workshop and football tournament during the #FootballPeople weeks that will bring together refugees and young people from the Kurdish and Roma communities. LGBTI rights group Atletik Dildoa will be promoting LGBTI persons and women’s participation in sport with a panel discussion on important topics concerning power relations in sport. After the panel discussion, an exhibition displaying photographs from the ‘Goal-Lovers’ tournament that took place during the 2017 Istanbul Pride. The packed event schedule will conclude with a football tournament and after-party. The group will bring together influential LGBT groups and female football teams such as Sportif Lezbon, who will also organise an LGBT rights event on October 20th in Ankara. https://twitter.com/cs_mucadele/status/1050731351345901568 In Tunceli The Tunceli Barrier-Free Life Association are launching the city of Tunceli’s first women’s football team to promote women’s empowerment in the region. Elsewhere, in the eastern city of Kayseri, The Hikmet Youth and Sport Club Association are organising a ‘Friendship Match Against Racism’ where refugee players from Syria and Iraq as well as international students from the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East will play a football match that aims to lift barriers of social exclusion that refugees often face in the city. https://twitter.com/hikmet_spor/status/1050739555312300033 These are just a selection of activities but there are plenty more. If you would like to view all the events planned in Turkey this year see our map of activities for the full list. The #FootballPeople weeks are Europe's largest social change campaign through sport with over 100,000 people expected to take part in over 60 countries to tackle discrimination through sport. Follow Fare on Twitter @farenet to keep track of all the latest from the #FootballPeople weeks.

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