Grants:Simple/Applications/Wikimedia Community User Group Turkey/2021

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Application or grant stage: approved
Applicant or grantee: Wikimedia Community User Group Turkey
Amount requested: US$47,800.00
Amount granted: 47,000 USD
Funding period: 1 July 2021 - 30 June 2022
Midpoint report due: 15 January 2022
Final report due: 30 July 2022



Annual Plan[edit]

Budget Plan[edit]

Staffing Plan[edit]

We would like to have continue have a "Community and Outreach Program Officer" and "Education and Partnerships Program Officer" first responsible for planning and execution of projects and activities under “Stronger Community & Effective Outreach and Content Development” programs (15 hours per week); second responsible for planning and execution of projects and activities under “Students Writing Wikipedia” and “Synergic Partnership” programs(15 hours per week). Full Job descriptions found is abailable here.

Strategic plan[edit]


Wikimedia Community User Group Turkey (WMTR) is a user group of the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), an U.S.-based non-profit organization that operates and manages the Wikimedia projects. WMTR consist of active members of Wikimedia contributors in Turkey, who are interested in organizing and participating in outreach activities on a national level in addition to contributing Wikimedia projects by editing. After getting officially recognized by WMF in 2016, WMTR registered an official legal entity in Turkey in July 2020 under Dijital Bilgi Derneği (Dijital Knowledge Association) name.

The main objective of WMTR is to encourage people to collect, develop and disseminate scientific, educational, cultural and historical content under a free license, in Turkish and other languages.

In 2021, strategic priorities are strengthening the community, increasing the number and diversity of outreach activities; building partnerships with educational institutions and other external partners


Program 1: Stronger Community


The editor community of Wikimedia projects in Turkey consists of dedicated volunteers distributed across the country. For our user group, it's important to ensure that community members work collaborating with each other and not feel overloaded or working isolated. This requires systematic communications to keep people informed and diversify the channels of interaction. Our online communication resource, through a Telegram group, currently brings together 178 community members and communicates actively. There are many more community members with different communication preferences to reach. Some members prefer using only on-wiki channels, whereas some more easily get motivated when they have opportunities to meet in person. In order to get those members who would like to meet in person together with each other as well as welcoming new-comers who first would like to meet the experienced editors and ask their questions we plan to organize regular community meetings.

Members feel more powerful and attached to the group when they see they are developing their competencies by being a part of that group. We would like to provide in-group training on topics that the community is interested in developing their capacities.

Planned Activities
  • Regular community meetings: Regular community meetings are essential for strengthening the ties within the Wikimedia community. Such community meetings were organized during 2020 and there were increasing attendance. We plan to continue regular online meetings and when it’s safe to organize in person events, we’ll make some of the meetings in Istanbul with online participation from other places. All meetings will continue to be open for both active community members and newcomers. We also would like the meetings to serve as an opportunity to bring Movement-wide issues to the attention of the community and encourage members to participate in global discussions.
  • Skill development training sessions : We would like to find out the competencies that the editor community needs to develop and then organize in-group training sessions about those fields. Some possible topics might be using tools like PetScan, Wikidata, Wikidata Query, Structured data for Wikimedia Common.
Program Objectives
  • Increase the communication and exchange of ideas between the community members
  • Facilitate the adaptation of the new comers to the group.
  • Develop the knowledge and skills of community members to allow them to contribute more to the Wikimedia projects.
  • Create greater interest in global Wikimedia events and discussions.
Program metrics
  • Number of regular community meetings: 12-18
  • Total participant of the meetings: Average 12 participant per meeting
  • Number of trainings:3
  • Total participant of the trainings: Average 10 participant per meeting
  • Full report for the community members about each meeting and discussion
  • All the year round: Community meetings
  • All the year round: Skill development trainings

Program 2:Effective Outreach & Content Development


This program is designed for potential contributors of Wikimedia projects.Our group aims at increasing the general awareness and understanding of the Turkish public about Wikimedia projects as well as their contributions to the projects. The best way of reaching potential contributors and explaining the projects to the general public is simply doing what we know best (editing) and inviting people to join. We see this as also a way of filling the content gaps and increasing the quality of the content because we consider enlarging the contributor base and developing the content of the projects are processes which always go hand in hand. We acknowledge how the proliferation of contributors ensures the projects cover more diverse subjects in higher quality by providing different viewpoints. With this understanding under the “Effective Outreach & Content Development” program, we plan a set of outreach activities to reach potential new contributors with different backgrounds to Wikimedia projects mainly Turkish Wikipedia, Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons. Our annual plan includes organizing contests and thematic edit-a-thons with partner organisations which could bring contributors with different backgrounds. By effectively communicating those activities in the media we would like to increase media coverage of Wikimedia projects and contribute increasing awareness and understanding of the general public about Wikimedia projects.

Planned activities

Photography contests: We would like to organize the Wiki Loves Earth 2021 contest in Turkey upon the success of the first contest organized in 2020. We have learned that photo contests are a great way of bringing first time contributors to the projects and create media attention. This year, we plan making a bigger award ceremony to attract more media attention. Community came up with suggestions of organizing similar local contests for filling some content gaps. An example is a contest for uploading village photos and adding related articles in Turkish Wikipedia where most of which lack a photo. We would like to take and discuss such suggestions and organize at least one local photography contest during the year.

Article contests: Article contests are proved to be an effective way in closing missing knowledge in wiki projects. We are planning to continue taking part in international contests. CEE Spring, Turkic Language Edit-a-thons are two international article contests we plan to join. When appropriate we’ll hold smaller local thematic writing competitions. With the increase in the diversity of the contributors, content gaps are being discovered and there are volunteers to work on different content areas. We would like to decide on and organize contests with potential partners as new content gaps are detected with the help of those partners.

Thematic Edit-a-thons & Photo Walks: During the year we will be organizing editing and photography events that do not take the contest form. Those activities involve thematic edit-a-thons and Photo Walks. We have organized thematic edit-a-thons with different partners every month in 2020. The success of those edit-a-thons bring new partners, especially civil society institutions, youth clubs are willing to organize edit-a-thons in collaboration with Wikimedians to learn about editing and start covering topics related to their interest area. We would like to reach new partners, get suggestions from the partners and community about the themes to work on and organize edit-a-thons together. We also would like to support Art&Feminism event in İstanbul and continue women edit-a-thons throughout the year as we did previous years.

Wikidata Birthday: Wikidata is a less-well known project of Wikimedia in Turkey. We will be using Wikidata birthday for getting attention and creating awareness on Wikidata project in larger audiences. We are planning to organize an in-person event where presentations and hand-on trainings are carried out. If not possible, we’ll be organizing an online event.

Program Objectives
  • Increase the awareness and understanding of the Turkish public about open knowledge, free licenses and Wikimedia projects.
  • Acquiring new contributors from different backgrounds to contribute Wikimedia projects in Turkish on subjects that are not covered sufficiently
  • Increase the quantity and the quality of free content on Wikimedia projects especially in Turkish language.
Program Metrics
  • Number of participants to photography contests: 200
  • Number of uploads to commons at photography contests: 800
  • Number of participants to article contests: 100
  • Number of articles created at article contests: 300
  • Number of thematic edit-a-thon/photo walk organized: Min. 2
  • Min. participation to Wikidata Birthday Event: 50
  • Media releases about Wikimedia events in Turkish press: 10
  • Photography Contests
  1. June 1, - July 31 2022: Wiki Loves Earth
  • Article contests:
  1. Cultural Exchange edit-a-thon (i.e with Wikmedia China)
  2. All the year round : Thematic local writing competitions
  • Thematic Edit-a-Thons
  1. All the year round : Thematic-edit-a-thons
  2. Wikidata Birthday: October 31, 2021

Program 3: Students Editing Wikimedia Projects


Wikipedia Education Program in the universities was the main axis of our work last year. We carry out this program in universities. The uncertainties regarding the schedule and delivery method of the courses because of the pandemic was the main obstacle we have encountered. In 2021, we want to continue developing this program and contact the same academicians and new others who are interested in using Wikip(m)edia assignments in their classes. We are now much more experienced in offering training modules for students editing Wikipedia for assignments and we would like to use this experience for even better results.

Secondly, we’d like to cooperate with secondary schools this year; because we believe it is important that exposure to Wikimedia projects before university in order to prepare themselves to become enlightened consumers and also producers of digital content.

Planned Activities
  • Wikimedia at the University: This program includes partnership with university professors for giving Wikpedia assignments to their students. However, based on the type of the course the assignments might involve different ways of contributions to other Wikimedia projects as well. In-class training modules for students editing the projects for their assignments are offered. The professors also get support for designing the assignment and evaluation.
  • Wikimedia at the Secondary Schools: This year we will carry out activities in secondary schools to introduce students with digital collaboration. We don’t plan those partnerships to include editing activity. They will be on the presentation and discussion form; editing activity could be added when agreed by the teaching staff.
Program Objectives
  • Training students on using Wikimedia projects appropriately.
  • Increasing contribution of university students from different disciplines to Wikimedia projects.
Program Metrics
  • At least 500 university students edited Wikimedia projects for their assignments
  • Min. 160 new articles edited under Wikimedia at the University program
  • Min. 2 presentations at secondary schools about Wikimedia Projects
  • All the year round : Wikimedia at the University
  • All the year round: Wikimedia at the Secondary schools

Program 4: Synergic Partnerships


As a group operating in a country where access to Wikipedia, the flagship of Wikimedia projects, had been blocked for long years, we believe it's important to build a strong support network around the activities of the group. Therefore we would like to reach out to several institutions including local groups which advocate open culture, city governments and culture institutions, in order to get the purposes of Wikimedia projects better understood by those. We’d like to discuss partnership opportunities and suggest those institutions how they could share their knowledge and digital assets with the public and engage with their audiences through wiki projects such as edit-a-thons, contests organized in partnership with wiki communities; as well as learning how we could support their activities related to free knowledge. We’d like to conclude carrying out a thematic wiki-activity with at least one of the institutions visited.

We believe in the importance of civil-society solidarity ties and in order to develop such ties would like to join meetings of other local groups that advocate for open knowledge to understand them and their activities better, as well as making presentations about Wikimedia projects and purposes for their members. We also would like to make presentations and organize workshops at related academic events in order to establish ties with members of academia who strive for open knowledge and support our mission.

Planned activities
  • Potential partner meetings: We will continue our partnership talks with metropolitan municipalities and with small touristic city governments with the aim of producing a concrete project they could share their knowledge and digital assets with the public through wiki channels. We will continue our talks with civil society organisations which are interested in increasing awareness and disseminate reliable information about their work area with the help of Wikimedia projects.We will be contacting both government and private cultural centers and archives to search for partnership opportunities.
  • Joint free-knowledge meetings: We will contact organizations advocating open culture and organize joint meetings with our community members in order to ensure the members understand the purposes, working methods of each other.
  • Academic events: We plan to join and organize a wiki event during the academic conferences such as the national symposium about "Archiving in Turkey" where our members submmitted a paper and organized an edit-a-thon in 2021. During the year we would like to search oppurtunities to participate academic events and use them as an opportunity to establish ties with members of academia who would support our mission.
Program Objectives
  • Achieve partnerships with city governments, cultural centers and other institutions that can facilitate activities and make existing public domain content held by Turkish institutions more freely and broadly available through the Wikimedia projects.
  • Attend events run by allies to promote community and Wikipedia projects to continue to make new contacts, new collaborators or new partners for more Wikimedia events and projects
  • Establish ties with university professors and independent activists who strive for open knowledge and support our mission.
Program Metrics
  • Number of partnership meetings: 10
  • Number of joint free-knowledge meetings:2
  • Number of academic presentations: 1
  • Full report on talks at community channels.
  • All the year round: Partnership meetings
  • All the year round: Joint free-knowledge meetings

Grant Metrics Reporting[edit]

Required. Metrics, targets and results: grants metrics worksheet here.

Needs Request[edit]

No requests needed[edit]

Midpoint report[edit]

This is a brief report on the grantee's progress during the midpoint reporting period: 1 July 2021 -15 January 2022.

Program story[edit]

Please link to one program story that showcases your organization's achievements during the reporting period.

Program story


Please add text or a link to a page with details on your program progress. This should including reporting against each of the SMART objectives form your proposal.

Stronger Community

The objectives of this program are bringing the volunteers distributed across the country together for helping them in getting to know each other; welcoming the newcomers who would like to meet the human faces behindthe wiki projects.

Regular community meetings:

15 meetings were organized between 1 July 2021 -15 January 2022. 14 of them were online meetings. The average participation to the meetings were 11 persons. The last meeting on January 4 was a face-to-face meeting at Bilgi University where we also celebrated the 21st birthday of Wikipedia.

Skill development training sessions

We did not have an opportunity to have speakers give training on some predetermined subjects as we planned, but rather we had a session at the end of each meeting where one of the participants shared information about a tool s/he used while contributing, or answered the technical questions of newcomers.

Effective Outreach & Content Development

The objectives of this program are increasing awareness on wiki projects in the general public, inviting more people to join and filling the content gaps in wiki projects.

Photo Contests

Wiki Loves Earth Contest 2021. 2414 photos were uploaded by 549 users. Turkey was the 6th country in terms of the number of images uploaded and 93% of those users were registered after the competition started. We were proud that one of the participants from Turkey became the the fourth prize winner at the international contest.

Article contests

CEE Spring 2021, (37 participants, 681 articles), Turkic Vikimaraton (21 participants, 342 articles)

Thematic Edit-a-thons

Teachers' Day Edit-a-thon (25 participants improved Teacher article), Child and Adolescent psychology wiki workshop (15 participants created 2 articles)

Wikidata Birthday

We organized an online event for Wikidata Birthday at 30 October 2021. A user group member introduced Wikidata with 40 minutes presentation and then we answered the questions of participants.

Students Editing Wikimedia Projects

The objectives of this program are organizing Wikipedia assignments at university courses acrros the country and initiatives to start partneships with high schools.

Wikimedia at the University

Wikimedia at the Secondary School

Synergic Partnerships

The objective of this program is establishing partnerships with local groups which advocate open culture, city governments and culture institutions.

Potential partner meetings

  • More than 30 talks are made with potential partners. Those talks include the following:
    • talks with sport clubs, sport federations and National Olympic Committee to provide digital donations on sport relation material. Antalyaspor started regular contributions and the National Olympic Committee shared training photos of Olympic award winning Turkish sportspeople.
    • talks with libraries like Library Of History, Literature and Art (TESAK), Sinematek/Cinema House Library for proposing joint edit-a-thon events and digital donations.
    • talks with associations like Senex Association for Aging Studies to partner on projects for encouraging aged people to contribute wiki projects.

Joint free-knowledge meetings:

  • Participation to Linked Pasts 7 meeting with British Institute Ankara and Association of Museum Professionals
  • Participation in the Creative Commons 20th birthday event of Creative Commons Turkey.

Academic events:


Please report your organization's total spending during the reporting period, or link to a financial document showing your total spending.

22,109.00 USD, detailed expenses here

Final report[edit]

Program story[edit]

All activities of this program were a continuation of the "Reintroducing Wikipedia to Turkey" project of 2020. After this year's work, we believe we have come some way in building trust for Wikipedia and the editor community.

Here are some developments that gave us hope:

  • Since 2015 we have been training students about Wikipedia editing and we have been organizing all activities by contacting university professors/teachers individually. Since university/school administrations tend to be skeptical of Wikipedia - a site that was banned -, we always have used a bottom-up approach. This year in some institutions we were warmly welcomed by the administration, i.e when we visited their university we found ourselves at the Dean’s office Ankara University Veterinary Faculty, or in a meeting with rector of Koç University; there was an curiosity to learn more about Wikimedia projects and how they could be more useful for their students. More importantly we made a protocol with Kadir Has University to introduce all freshmen students editing Wikipedia and support them in making assignments. This set a good reference for future partnership talks with Education institutions.
  • Government institutions have always been skeptical about collaboration with Wikimedia community, sharing any data or knowledge on Wikimedia projects. However, this year we made a protocol with Troy Museum -a very new and important contemporary Museum- about helping the museum in sharing some knowledge and documents on Wikimedia projects about the museum and the archeological sites around Troy. We could collaborate on such work informally but making a protocol and getting it approved by the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums was very important for our group as a reference for future partnerships with other state organizations.

We see such developments as signs of trust being rebuilt slowly and increased possibility of collaborating with more institutions in Turkey; and looking forward to see their knowledge and wisdom being shared on Wikimedia projects. We believe those small steps taken through our programs will be helpful for other local Wikimedians to work more confidently in the future.

Programs Impact[edit]

Stronger Community

This program allowed the user group members and anyone who would like to meet local Wikipedians come together in 19 online and 2 in-person meetings where participants discussed the activities of the group, shared new activity suggestions, asked their questions about wiki projects and learned from each other.

There were approximately 10 members regularly attending in addition to those dropping by when they have something to share or ask. Regular meetings did not only help building stronger relations and trust between group members who attend the meetings but also provided an opportunity for the newcomers to get to know the group and its activities better. We saw how online meetings are valuable for allowing participation from distant places; as we had regular attendees from such places like Artvin and Kahramanmaraş. However, we also observed how people are becoming exhausted from video conferences and willing to meet in-person. Therefore we plan to continue this program in the coming year, but organize more in-person meetings in Istanbul.

Effective Outreach & Content Development

Award winning photo of macro category
Edit-a-thon at Women's Film Days
During the year a photo contest, 2 article editing contests (1, 2), Wikidata Birthday event and 4 thematic edit-a-thons (themes: "Teacher's Day", "Child and adolescent psychology", "Women Movie Directors", "Creativity") were organized as a part of this program.

The photo contest was effective in bringing new users (~500 new users), whereas article editing contests were effective in encouraging active editors to edit more. We had some challenges in evaluating the contributions at the article contest; we see that evaluating contributions based on number of bytes is not sufficient and may discourage those who would like to focus on the quality. We would like to continue the editing contest next year but we plan to discuss and work more on rules and evaluation methods.

Thematic edit-a-thons were organized with partner organizations and they were useful for bringing some contributions from experts of that topic. In most of the thematic edit-a-thons, with the help of partner organizations, we invite some experts of the topic and instead of trying to produce a high number of articles, we work collaboratively on one or two missing articles that would be hard to produce for non-experts. We also use such events as a way of starting a healthy cooperation with an organization. Those events become very helpful for partnerships because during the edit-a-thon the partners understand the way the wiki project works better and we work more easily together. We would like to continue those types of edit-a-thons with new partners and on diverse topics to find out and fill the content gaps.

First WikiGAP in Turkey

In addition to focusing on one topic-one article, we organize edit-a-thons for writing Wikipedia articles on notable women. This year, we made four ot them: In March During Akhisar Women's Film Days we made first an online edit-a-thon, then an in person edit-a-thon for writing about women in cinema, In April we were invited to make another online edit-a-thons again for editing wikipedia articles on women film makers during International Women Film Makers Festival.

In March, we also organized a WikiGAP event with Swedish Consulate in Istanbul. This was the first WikiGAP in Istanbul and was one of the greatest activity of the year where 50 participants from civil society organizations in Istanbul spent 4-5 hours the lear editing wikipedia and making their first contributions to Wikipedia.

Students Editing Wikimedia Projects

A student presentation on her contributions to Wikipedia
Law students edit EU law articles
This year Students Editing Wikimedia Projects program was held at 17 courses at 12 universities in 6 cities (See the list). Two of them were particularly important for the future of the program. One was our collaboration with Kadir Has University in Istanbul for supporting 200 students from different departments for doing Wikimedia related projects in their compulsory Civic Responsibility Project course in their first year in the university. In this course, the students were supposed to develop ideas to contribute to any Wikimedia project as a civic responsibility project and we were excited to see their ideas were not restricted to editing Wikipedia but included contributing to WikiQuote, Wikimedia Commons as well (Please see more information here). We believe this experience made students well prepared to contribute Wikimedia projects on topics related to their departmental courses in the future. This partnership was important for our group because rather than informally supporting an instructor for integrating Wikipedia in her course, for the first time we had a formal protocol with a university department and it proved a good sample for our future partnerships with other universities.

The second important university collaboration was made with the Library of Koç University, Istanbul. We were glad to find opportunity to meet with the university rector and explain the Wikipedia Education Program directly to university administration. As a result, we found the opportunity to work with a law faculty for the first time. After a training session in the library of their university, the students of Koc University Law Faculty started to improve Turkish wikipedia articles on EU Law.

In addition to activities at the universities, this year we had the opportunity to experience how to work with students at different ages. Our first experience was at Çan Science High School, other experience was with the secondary schools students of Çevre Koleji.

Another age group we reached with the program was the elderly people! We have partnered wit Senex Association for Aging Studies and added a “Reading/Editing Wikipedia” session for their program of enhancing digital skills of elderly women in Antalya.

Synergic Partnerships

Example of photos shared by partners
This program included all the activities for presenting Wikimedia projects and demonstrating collaboration opportunities to potential partners. Among talks with several different types of organizations, the communication with sport clubs produced most successful results. We are very glad that Kocaelispor, Antalyaspor, Bahçeşehirspor, Turkish Olympic Committee agreed to regularly share some of their photos from current sport events with open licenses to be used at Wikimedia projects. One difficulty in this type of partnership is that our partners find it very difficult to upload photos at Commons. Therefore we ask them uploading the photos to Flickr with appropriate licenses, so that Wikipedians could move them to Commons and start using them.
Presentation on partnerships with museums
Talking on a panel about making women visible at Wikipedia

Our talks with museums produced two important results: execution of a protocol with Troy Museum and begining of a country-wide trainings series on wiki-editing in partnership with Museum Professionals Association. Troy Museum is one of the most important contemporary state museums in Turkey. We agreed on training the museum staff, interns and the archeologist working at the archeological sites around Troy about Wikimedia projects, helping them in sharing documents and images related to the museum and archeological sites about Troy on Wikimedia. Having this protocol approved by the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums was very important for our group as a reference for future partnerships with other state organizations. This project did not produce any tangible result yet but already some positive news appeared on the press. (i.e 1, 2)

The first training for museum professionals country-wide was made on March 3rd. After this training, we decided to continue training for museum professionals in different cities. We also collaborate with Association of Museum Professionals and Digital Cultural Heritage Network in entering the List of Museums in Turkey on Wikidata. Digital Cultural Heritage Network have initiated a wiki-project on Turkish Wikipedia for increasing contributions of experts on art history, archeology, museology to wikimedia projects.

During the year the group was invited to several panels and symposums on topics like "Archiving in Turkey", "Gender inequality in media", "applying linked data to study of the ancient world"). At those events, made presentations to demonstrate how it would be beneficial for all when knowledge shared at Wikimedia projects about the topics relevant to that event. Such activities helped networking and create opportunities to discuss new partnerships.

Spending update Final[edit]

Please link to a detailed financial report for your spending during the grant period. This should be in the same format as your detailed budget from your Simple APG application.

Please include the total amount of Simple APG funds you spent during the grant period:

  • 45,706.00USD

Grant Metrics Reporting Final[edit]

Metrics, targets and results: [1].