Grants:Project/WMTR/Reintroducing Wikipedia to Turkey

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Reintroducing Wikipedia to Turkey
summaryThis is a project for making a series of events in Turkey in order to overcome the negative effects of Wikipedia ban in the country.
targetTurkish Wikipedia
organization• Dijital Bilgi Derneği (registered non-profit organization for the Wikimedia Community User Group Turkey)
this project needs...
created on03:03, 20 February 2020 (UTC)

Project idea[edit]

This is a project for making a series of events in Turkey in order to overcome the negative effects of Wikipedia ban in the country. It involves presenations/training sessions in Turkish universities at different regions, organising meetups with the old editors in those regions where university events were made; visiting GLAM institutions to introduce partnership opourtunities and organising a GLAM event with one of the GLAM institutions for general awareness.

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

What problem are you trying to solve by doing this project? This problem should be small enough that you expect it to be completely or mostly resolved by the end of this project. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

Turkey was in a unique situation since last 2,5 years because of the block of Wikipedia language edtions in the country. Since VPNs and other ways of circumnavigating the block were employed; it was not possible to measure the number of visits and contributions from Turkey. However, we know that the block has caused the decline of the readership and editing of Wikipedia to important degree. In the media, the name Wikipedia was associated with "smear campaign against country". During the block, a small commmunity of editors continued their contributions; but the small edits of the passersby were lost.

Now, since the block lifted in January, the daily new user registration rised up to 1000 new uesers per day. That's four times higher than the pre-block period. This means a small community of editors and administrators is getting very much higher workload. In order to handle the workload, and get over the negative effects of the ban the community in Turkey is required to get old editors back and also gain new editors who would contribute to the projects - especially to Turkish wikipedia-.

From the positive perspective; there is a new curiosity and interest raised on Wikipedia after the lifting of the ban. The community members are increasingly getting demands on talking and answering questions about Wikipedia from media, educational institutions and student groups. Wikimedia Community User Grup Turkey is willing to use this opportunity for increasing the awareness on the functioning of the site and getting over the negatvie effecst of the last 2,5years passed with the ban.

Recognizing that the high quality content is key to increase the number of readers and therefore increasing the number of contributors, during the project the focus is on a group which we belive would be most effective in rising the quality of the content in Turkish wikipedia: the university students. Because although Turkish Wikipedia has a small loyal community of editors who continue their contributions under all conditions and keep the site active; it suffers a lot from the inadequacy of editors who would increase the quality of the content by writing on niche areas, joining the discussions, adding academic references and making very many important small edits. We belive the new blood needed for the Turkish Wikipedia community does exist abundantly among 7,5million students of Turkish universities.

Meanwhile we'd also like to touch the problem of non-communication of editors in off-wiki environment. We believe the community members need to meet each other to inspire from each other and find courage to make some more on-wiki and off wiki projects to revive Wikipedia in Turkey. The Turkish wiki-community does not have a culture of off-wiki meetings and events. This problem existed before the ban as well, but it was accellerated by the ban. The communication of the editors in Turkey with the global community has also been low. After the establishment of the user group; we see some user group members attending to international events and trying to serve a bridge between the Turkish editor community and the rest of the movement; such representation and communication is still very limited to personal efforts of a few individuals.

Another important negative effected of the ban for the user group was the fact that the planned activities and talks with the GLAM institutions had suspended. That was because those institutions had hesitations to cooperate after Wikipedia name was associated with "smear campaign against country". We see that another problem that could be dealt with the project of fighting against the negative effects of the Wikipedia ban.

Since the foundation of the user group, all the activities of the user group has been realized on the volunteer capacity of the indiviual members acting on their own authority. The group requires being a legal entity in order to more easiliy realize the activites also more easily being recognized and accepted by the potential partners. The intention of registering as an association has been suspended because of the block. The project additionally will allow solving this ongoing situation as a part of negative effects of the ban.

What is your solution to this problem?[edit]

For the problem you identified in the previous section, briefly describe your how you would like to address this problem. We recognize that there are many ways to solve a problem. We’d like to understand why you chose this particular solution, and why you think it is worth pursuing. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

WMTR is a user group established in February 2016 and organized several activities to increase contribution to Wikimedia projects from Turkey. The group continued its acivities despite the ban and tried to keep the editor community active. After the lifting of the ban; WMTR would like to address the problems related to the negative effects of the ban with a series of activites first of all by working with Turkish academicans and university students on raising awareness about and increase contributions to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia projects. During the university events we also would like to meet with the community members in that city. Secondly, we will seek partnership opportunities with the GLAM institutions for organizing events with the aim of raising awareness at larger audience.

We wanted to start our work to overcome the negative effects of the Wikipedia ban from the universities. According to 2017-2018 statictics of the Institute of Higher Education, the total number of graduate and undergraduate level university students studying in 202 universities of the country is over 7,5million. We see university students as the section of the society which have the potential to produce high quality content since they have capability to colloborate to cover niche subjects related to their courses and have access to university libraries to create well-referenced high quality content. We see university students as the section of the society which have the potential to produce high quality content since they have capability to colloborate to cover niche subjects related to their courses and have access to university libraries to create well-referenced high quality content. We'd like to visit universities for a series of presentations and training sessions. We expect that the university events will encourage the academicians to integrate the practise of editing the Wikimedia projects (mainly Wikipedia and Wikidata) into their graduate and undergraduate level courses while encouraging the students not only to edit the projects but also to organize several events such as photo-walks, workshops. We are planning to follow up such activites and support them during their activities.

Additionally, given that existing contributors of the Wikimedia projects in Turkey usually do not contact with each other off-wiki, we would like to use the university events in different cities as an opportunity to organize a social meetup with the editors based in that city. We find it worth pursiung because it would open way for further colloboration of the community members on wikimedia projects. We'd like to further strenghten the community and user group in terms of the communication of the communinity with the global community by supporting the participation of the members to the Wikimedia events held during the year. The participation to Wikimania and regional events from Turkey has always been very low. The failure to receive scholarship has been an important factor of low participation and low communiation with the global comuunity. Therefore we'd like to provide scholarships for participation to Wikimania and regional Wikimedia conferences through this project.

We understand that overcoming the negative effects of the ban on perception of Wikipedia in general public would require to take some steps that would get attention of a larger audience as well, in addtiion to education events at universities. Based on our previous successfull event experience back in 2016, we believe that might be possible by organizing events with the help of a GLAM partner. During the ban our group had to suspend the plans of making similar activities because there instutions had hesitations to cooperate. Visiting GLAM instutions and introducing them Wikimedia projects and possible ways of collaborating is required to remove the hesitations about involving in a project with "Wikipedia"; and realising an event with one of the instutions would set a sample for future successful projects.

Lastly, the project will include formation of an assocation by the user group mambers so that they will act as a legally recognized body.

For above purposes we will prepare digital and non dijital training and promotion materials in Turkish; will make min 15 presentations/training sessions in universities at 7 different regions of Turkey, organise social meetups with the editors in those regions and will realise at least one GLAM event in partnership with one major GLAM institution.

Project goals[edit]

What are your goals for this project? Your goals should describe the top two or three benefits that will come out of your project. These should be benefits to the Wikimedia projects or Wikimedia communities. They should not be benefits to you individually. Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

  • Increase the number of contributors and contributions of Turkish wikipedia from Turkey.
  • Create partnership opportunites with GLAM institutions and municipalities in Turkey.
  • Increase communcation between local editors living in the same cities and communication with the global coummunity.

Project impact[edit]

How will you know if you have met your goals?[edit]

For each of your goals, we’d like you to answer the following questions:

  1. During your project, what will you do to achieve this goal? (These are your outputs.)
  2. Once your project is over, how will it continue to positively impact the Wikimedia community or projects? (These are your outcomes.)

For each of your answers, think about how you will capture this information. Will you capture it with a survey? With a story? Will you measure it with a number? Remember, if you plan to measure a number, you will need to set a numeric target in your proposal (i.e. 45 people, 10 articles, 100 scanned documents). Remember to review the tutorial for tips on how to answer this question.

In order to increase the number of contributors and contributions of Turkish wikipedia from Turkey; we will be making 16 university presentations and start Wikpedia Education Program at least at 5 diferent university courses. We expect to reach 400 graduate and under graude students with the events. Although we expect one third of the participants make their their first entry in a month, we don't expect students turn into regular contributors right after those activities. We expect increased awareness on functioning of the Wikimedia projects, and increased self efficacy and intention to contribute after the university presentations.

For creating partnership opportunites with GLAM institutions and municipalities in Turkey. we will be visiting min. 5 institutions and expecting to organise an GLAM event partnering with one instiutions.

For encouraging local editors living in same cities meet each other and colloborate on off-wiki and on-wiki projects we will be organising a social meet up min. in 3 different cities. For encouraging local editors living in same cities meet each other and colloborate on off-wiki and on-wiki projects we will be organising a social meet up min. in 3 different cities. For increasing communication with the global community, we would like to provide 4 schoolarships for participation in international Wikimedia events during the year. We expect there will be follow-up meetups organized by the local editors themselves and an increase in application to Wikimania and other global event in the following year due to incresed awareness on the global community.

Do you have any goals around participation or content?[edit]

Are any of your goals related to increasing participation within the Wikimedia movement, or increasing/improving the content on Wikimedia projects? If so, we ask that you look through these three metrics, and include any that are relevant to your project. Please set a numeric target against the metrics, if applicable.

Project plan[edit]


Tell us how you'll carry out your project. What will you and other organizers spend your time doing? What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project?

  • Preperation of presentation and basic training materials.
  • University presentations /trainings - Min. 8 presentations/training will be organized for the fall term and min. 8 presentation/trainings will be organized for the spring term. Each in different universities in 7 different geograpical regions.
  • Social meetups - Organized in paralel with the university presentations/trainings in the same city with the participation of the editors living in the same area.
  • Visits to GLAM instutions - Talks mainly with the instutions in Istanbul and Ankara; introducing Wiki platforms a to museum officials.
  • Organisation of GLAM event - An outreach event such as edit-a-thon or backstage pass organized in partnership with one GLAM institution to set example for future events in other instutions.
  • Formation of the user group association.
  • Selection of global Wikimedia events scholarship recipents and participation to the events (2 scholarship for Wikimania, 2 for regional and global conferences)

COVID 19 Changes in Activities[edit]

COVID 19 pandemic has required some changes in the lifes our society, still the need to overcome the negative effects of Wikipedia block in the country is still a primary concern for our community; therefore we would like to continue the project with some changes in the activities.

No change in the plan for working on preperation of presentation and basic training materials.

Despite the pandemic, we believe we could successfully continue working with Turkish academics and university students on raising awareness about and increase contributions to Wikipedia and other Wikimedia project. With COVID 19 pandemic, all universities are required to continue their education activites by distant education until the end of the spring semestr (end of May). Although there is no decision to continue this in the fall term; we'd like to be prepeared to probability that the students will continue stay at home and the courses will be online. After the pandemic, we had the chance of having some experiences to do online Wikipedia Education Program actvities in some graduate and undergradutes courses at some Turkish universities (Çankırı Karatekin University Political Science Department, Sakarya University Geography Department, Baskent UniversityPsychology Department). We saw that the academicinas are in search of new online activities for their students and giving Wikipedia assignments to their students become even more attractive under new conditions. We would like to use this oppurtunity and do university events as online events.

Turkey is enforcing curfews in 31 cities at the weekends since April 2020. Our plan to organise social meetups in those cities where we make university activities would not be realized if the curfew continues. Therefore, we have decided to exclude regional meetups from the project. We would like to continue working with museums and cultural instutions although the visits to museums will not realised if curfew continues. During the pandemic days we succesfully organised an offline edit-a-thonin partnership with Istanbul Culture Foundation at the end of April. Based on that experience we believe we could work on finding new partners and organising similar events under new conditions.

Establishment of the official user group association is a part of the project that would continue without any restriction related to pandemic and is important to realize for the user group becoming a legal entity and being recognized by the official instutions and potential partners more easily. It requires registration with the Department of Associations under the Republic of Turkey's Ministry of the Interior and it's mandatory to have an independent office place.

We remove this item from the activity list: Selection of global Wikimedia events scholarship recipents and participation to the events since it's not clear the conditions of those events.


How you will use the funds you are requesting? List bullet points for each expense. (You can create a table later if needed.) Don’t forget to include a total amount, and update this amount in the Probox at the top of your page too!

Expense Detail USD
University events Contractor Number Hour Rate($) $2560
16 8 20
GLAM Event promotion/Execution
Establishment of Assocation
Office place
Internet connection
Community+ Project Management Week Hour Rate($)
Contractor1 25 12 20 $6000
Contractor2 25 12 20 $6000
Misc. expenses
Total $25,460

Community engagement[edit]

How will you let others in your community know about your project? Why are you targeting a specific audience? How will you engage the community you’re aiming to serve at various points during your project? Community input and participation helps make projects successful.

Get involved[edit]


Please use this section to tell us more about who is working on this project. For each member of the team, please describe any project-related skills, experience, or other background you have that might help contribute to making this idea a success.

  • User:Sakhalinio-Editor in TRwiki since 2007. Administrator in TRwiki. A founder member of WMTR group. Experienced in organising edit-a-thons, wikipedia trainings; establishing communication with other organizations and editors.
  • User:Basak- Editor in TRwiki since 2005. A founder member of WMTR. Started first Wikipedia Education Program in Turkey. Experienced in making presentations and trainings at universities.
  • User:HakanIST- Editor in TRwiki since 2015. Active in Wikidata. A founder of WMTR group. Steward. Experienced in organising off-wiki events and social meetings.
  • User:elmacenderesi -Bureaucrat, check user, oversight, administrator at TRwiki. Active wikipedian since 2007. Experienced in organising GLAM event.

Community notification[edit]

You are responsible for notifying relevant communities of your proposal, so that they can help you! Depending on your project, notification may be most appropriate on a Village Pump, talk page, mailing list, etc.--> Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?

  • Village pumps on the Turkish Wikipedia
  • Announcement on WMTR pages.


Do you think this project should be selected for a Project Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project below! (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the discussion page).

  • This project seems to be a good way for Turkish users to understand how to interact more with Wikipedia.--Yagizhan49 (talk) 19:28, 29 February 2020 (UTC)
  • Effeietsanders (talk) 01:16, 13 March 2020 (UTC) I support the efforts of getting a serious organization off the ground in Turkey. That is long overdue. It's a significant sum of money, and a significant set of events they seem to try to organize - and I hope that they talk through the plans with a peer organization to ensure that they are realistic.