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Wikimedia Community User Group Turkey/Reports/2023

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Annual Report 2023
Türkçe sürüm


2023 was a momentous year for Turkish wikimedians and for the whole country. In February, there was a devastating earthquake. In May, presidential and parliamentary elections were held. In the midst of all this, Turkish wikimedians found themselves trying to build the front line against the false information about the earthquake and the elections. In October, the centenary of the Republic was celebrated. Wikimedians presented the activities of the entire year as a tribute to the Republic.

Since the students from the earthquake-hit area could not come to school, the universities had to continue distant education during the fall term just like the COVID-19 days; nevertheless the user group continued the Education Program in the universities. Edit-a-thons were held, GLAM partnerships and regular meetups continued, two new Wikipedia Student Clubs started, and in October Turkic Wikimedia Conference was held in Istanbul. Please read the story of year 2023 for Wikimedians in Türkiye below.

The Earthquake[edit]

2023 Türkiye–Syria earthquakes page of Turkish WP was edited by more than 200 users in first two days of the disaster.

On 6 February 2023,  southern and central Türkiye and Syria was struck by a  Mw 7.8 earthquake. To our knowledge, no member of  wikipedia community in Türkiye lost his life in this disaster.  

Right after the disaster, one of the main concerns of local wikimedians was fighting against disinformation/misinformation about the earthquake. In the midst of painful news, more than 200 users updated Turkish wikipedia article related to the earthquake. Some wikipedians spent sleepless nights for preventing Wikimedia projects being used for spreading misinformation related to the disaster, and to prevent false claims of so-called "earthquake experts" get into the wikipedia pages.

The user group immediately contacted the Wikimedia Foundation and asked help about learning the experiences of Wikipedia communities in fighting with disinformation/misinformation in times of disaster; and an online meeting was organized where local wikimedians met with Jan Eissfeldt who shared some lessons from previous disasters in other countries around the world. Please find the meeting notes here: Notes (Turkish)

The user group collaborated with Openstreetmap Türkiye volunteers to provide geospatial data that would be immediately available in an open and free format to all organizations involved in debris removal and professional work in disaster areas; many wikipedians joined a mapathon organized for this.

Disaster relief efforts[edit]

After the disaster, life had to go on for the survivors. When the fall term started, the universities in the entire country had implemented either distant or hybrid education as their students in the earthquake-hit area could not come back to the school. The user group communicated with partners of the Education Program, and received some requests about the students in the earthquake area, who were survived but could not follow online courses after losing their books, laptops, mobile devices under the debris. Upon approval from the WMF, the remaining funds of the Wikidata Trainings For Turkic Wikimedians event held in Istanbul 2022 jointly with Wikimedians of Turkic Languages User Group was reallocated for disaster relief efforts and it was possible to support a few students.

The Elections[edit]

14 May elections

2023 was the election year in Türkiye. In May 2023 a presidential and parliamentary election were held. The elections were another issue posing risk of disinformation for the country. Wikimedians in Türkiye were concerned about dissemination of fake news, propaganda and all sorts of misinformation before and after the election; and did their best to fight with all those; and the user group tried to support those efforts. Working closely with the Disinformation Team of Trust and Safety at the Foundation, a small group of volunteers formed a Disinformation Response Taskforce; made regular online meetings; closely observed election related pages. There was not an attack or  important disinformation related issue.

The user group also collaborated with an academician working on disinformation. As part of this collaboration two edit-a-thons were held where  a group of Law School students and graduates of the Bilgi University  worked on the Turkish wikipedia articles related to the electoral legislation in Türkiye.

After the election the  user group started  a  wiki-project to fight with disinformation/misinformation related to the members of the parliament.  During  one month long wiki project   Wikipedia articles of parliament members were created /updated  by experienced editors between June 15th and July 15th

Centenary of the Turkish Republic[edit]

In the midst of the earthquake relief efforts and the elections, Turkish people celebrated the centenary of the Turkish Republic. During the year, many books, researches, documentaries about the 100 years of the country as well as the history of many organizations in the country and the pioneers in those fields, were launched as a tribute for the centenary. Turkish wikipedians have celebrated the centenary with a small wiki project where users presented any article they created, photos uploaded or tool created by themselves as a gift and left a message for celebration. See the gifts and messages here: Gifts, Messages

There were also some off-wiki activities including an edit-a-thon about the history of library education in Türkiye held at Koç University; an event at Kadir Has Information Center with the 2nd grade students taking the course of History of Modern Türkiye.

At the end of the year, Turkish wikipedians started to plan 101st year events in which they will be improving Wikimedia projects using the material published by several organizations in 2023.

Turkic Wikimedia Conference 2023[edit]

This year just 9 day before the 100th Republic Day in October 29, Turkish wikimedians met with fellow Wikimedians from Turkic speaking countries and regions at Turkic Wikimedia Conference held in Istanbul. Bringing 30 speakers from 9 countries and about 100 participants in beautiful Istanbul was a pride and joy for us; and we regarded this as another way of celebrating the centenary of the Republic and sharing our pride.

It was the second subsequent year our user group hosted an international Wikimedia event in Istanbul. This year's conference was a 3-day event held between 20-22 October 2023 bringing active volunteers of the Wikimedia projects from Turkic world together. The presentations and workshops were made in one of three languages simultaneously translated to each other: Turkish, English, Russian. We believe the event helped the participants in growing their magic superpowers.

In the closing ceremony, the organizing team in Türkiye handed the user group flag to Azerbaijani delegates for holding the meeting in Baku in 2025. Please find more information and photos at below links.

Commons Category, Diff post by Kurmanbek, MCDC Workshop at the Conference , Diff post by Başak

Wikipedia Student Clubs[edit]

2023 witnessed the starting of two new Wikipedia Student Clubs in Turkish universities. İstanbul Bilgi University Wikipedia Club and Wikipedia Society METU North Cyprus were opened in September and November respectively.

Together with the Üsküdar University Student Club which started in 2022, now we have 3 university clubs in Türkiye; they communicate and collaborate with each other and encourage students of other universities to start their clubs. They even created a visual identity guide that future clubs could also use.

The Clubs hosted meetings of our user group in their schools. The club presidents made a panel discussion in the Turkic Wikimedia Conference about their experiences. The clubs collaborated in organizing edit-a-thons and trainings in their universities. We believe they present a very good example of wiki collaborations and looking forward to see their future activities.

WLE 2023[edit]

Kıztepesi photo, Landscape category 3rd place

Wiki Loves Earth local photo competition was organized in Türkiye for the fourth time this year. 1525 photos were uploaded by 302 uploaders in Türkiye. 89% of those contributors were registered after the competition started.

Two photographs the local jury sent to the international competition were selected for the list of the top-20 best images of the year. One is the image of a cracked ground due to drought in front of Kıztepesi during sunset, taken in Nallıhan, Ankara, Türkiye. The other is a magnificent winter view of a plateau located at a height of 2000 meters of Kaçkar mountains in Çamlıhemşin, Türkiye.

Learning Clinic

As a group experienced in organizing WLE, Wikimedia User Group Türkiye had a chance to share its experiences at a Learning Clinic. A team member joined the "Learning Clinic: practices to support Wiki Loves Earth" event organized by the CEE Hub and shared the practices of the WLE team in Türkiye and encouraged participants to start an event with a Turkish proverb: "A good beginning is half the battle."

CEE Spring[edit]

The user group organized the local competition for Wikimedia CEE Spring between March 21 - May 31. During the contest 14 participants produced 243 new articles about the history, culture and notable people of participating countries or regions. [1]

Vikipedi 101 videos[edit]

Kurmanbek (Caner), the narrator of the education set

A member of the community, Kurmanbek, prepared a 10 video-set about editing Wikipedia. Wikipedia 101 videos came out in cooperation with the cooperation of Wikimedia Community User Group Türkiye, Notre Dame English Club and the Deoband Community Wikimedia. The video series is found at Wikimedia Commons and Wikimedia Community User Group Türkiye YouTube channel and is ready for remaking in English, Bengali and Urdu by the partners of the project.


A member of the community, Doğu, released Adiutor, a tool developed to perform maintenance tasks on Wikipedia in a more efficient and user-friendly way. Please find guide to adopt it to a local wiki here: How to adopt.

Education Program[edit]

Darüşşafaka students edit Wikipedia

Wikipedia Education Program activities were held in 20 different schools at 6 cities (Ankara, Bursa, Çanakkale, Erzurum, Istanbul, Samsun) between January 2022- January 2023. We had in-person activities in 10 schools and online activities in 10 schools.

Editing EU Law articles with students

4 of the activities were in places which have been organizing the Wikipedia Education program regularly, 16 of them were introduced to the program this year. Some of the activities was in the form of a presentation or talk about the Wikipedia and Wikimedia Movement as a first step to start editing wiki projects; others involved wiki assignments and therefore after the presentation, ongoing support was provided for the students until the end of the school term. At Darüşşakafa, a high school in Istanbul - in addition to supporting regular Wikipedia workshops of students, we made separate activities for the teachers teaching different age groups at the school to discuss how they could integrate wiki-editing in their courses.

İTÜ Students edit art history articles

List of activities[edit]

Digital Literacy and Wikipedia training in Bursa


Art&Feminism Istanbul[edit]

In 2023, Kadir Has University Information Center hosted the Art&Feminism event in Istanbul. The participants of the event were the members of the Feminist Studies Club of the university.

Electoral Acquis Edit-a-thon[edit]

Electoral Acquis Edit-a-thon

In May 2023, a presidential and parliamentary election were held in Türkiye. As a preparation for the possible disinformation spread during the election,  beginning in April, a series of edit-a-thons (I, II) were hosted by Bilgi University Department of Communication where wikipedians met with a group of Law School students and graduates of the university. Participants  reviewed the Turkish wikipedia articles related to the electoral legislation in Türkiye, discussed how they could be improved and how law faculty students could contribute.

Librarianship education edit-a-thon

Librarianship education in Türkiye[edit]

In 2023 Türkiye celebrated the centennial of the Republic. As a part of the celebrations, an edit-a-thon was organized at Koç University Library. Participants were the students of Library Education departments from several universities. They had been after the question of "Who trained the first generation of librarians of the Republic?".  As a response to this question, some information was already curated from several academic works and ready to be shared at Wikipedia. The event helped participants learn how to edit Wikipedia to share their knowledge.

Refugee Day edit-a-thon

International Refugee Day Edit-a-thon 2023[edit]

In July, wikimedians organized an online edit-a-thon in collaboration with Association for Migration Research. 17 participants worked to improve Turkish Wikipedia articles about migration terminology. This event was part of an international edit-a-thon series organized by Wikimedia Serbia on the occasion of World Refugee Day.

Perseid Meteor Shower and Wikipedia[edit]

A wikipedian made a presentation for the the Perseid Meteor Shower Observation Festival in Karacabey, Bursa and invited participants to share their knowledge.

Japan-Türkiye Friendship Edit-a-thon[edit]

Japan -Türkiye friendship edit-a-thon

The year 2023 marks the 99th commemorative year of Japan-Türkiye diplomatic relations. To celebrate this, Istanbul Bilgi University Wikipedia Student Club and Student Wikipedian Community in Waseda University Tokyo became sister clubs and started Wikimedia Japan-Türkiye Friendship Project. As a part of this project, Istanbul Bilgi University Wikipedia Student Club organized a Japan-themed edit-a-thon in November.

On the event day, the members of the Wikipedia Student Clubs at Bilgi University and Üsküdar University came together in a physical setting and they worked on a total of 9 articles.  Please find a Diff post about the even here: Japan-themed edit-a-thon

100th Anniversary of the Republic Edit-a-thon

History of Turkish Republic Edit-a-thon[edit]

On November 2, the wikipedians met with the 2nd grade students of Kadir Has University taking the course of History of Modern Türkiye. During the event, The students were introduced with wiki-editing and invited to contribute to Wikipedia articles as a tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Republic. Students learned how they could contribute to Wikipedia starting from the article about the Cibali Tobacco Station -the historical building the university located at-, founders of the republican period, educational institutions, sports teams they were fans of.

Wikipedian in the village[edit]

Wikipedian In The Village

This year for the first time a wiki event was organized for disadvantaged children at countryside of Türkiye by an active Wikipedian. Adem organized the event with the help of a primary and a high school teacher in a villlage of Suşehri, Sivas.

20 participants aged between 9-18 years were selected among those children who spend their summer working in in the agriculture labour force.They learned how to use Wikipedia more effectively and how they could contribute by editing articles or by photographing the plants and the natural beauties around them and sharing at Wikimedia Commons. The event was supported by the European Union and Bilkent University International Children’s Center. For more information pleas see the Diff post here: Wikipedian in the village.

GLAM related activities[edit]

Wiki Loves Museums

Wikimedia Community User Group Türkiye collaborated with BIAA (The British Institute  at Ankara)  in two different projects. The Turkish Museums Project continues since April 2021. The project aims at creating a list of Turkish museums, creating their wikidata items, and the Wikipedia pages of the notable ones; increasing awareness on wiki projects at museum professionals. MÜZEDER (Association of Museologs) is the third partner of this work.

The second project is “Connecting Archives, Connecting People". The project includes using Wikidata to connect documents and information hosted in British Institutes at different locations. BILNAS (British Institute for Libyan & Northern African Studies) is another partner of the work. In September 2023, an online Wikidata training followed by a hands on workshop activities were given to the members of the project.

Wiki Loves Troya

The user group also partnered with Troy Museum with the aim of making the knowledge about the museum and the ancient sites in the region more visible at internet. This project is called Wiki Loves Troya. In April, an in-person presentation on Wikimedia projects were made at the museum to museum staff and excavation teams from the ancient cities of Troy, Assos, Parion, Alexandria Troas. Photos of the museum were uploaded on Commons.

Global and regional conferences[edit]

2023 Wikimania memory

In 2023, attendance of the user group members to the global and regional Wikimedia conferences was higher than the previous years. This year for the first time the user group provided scholarship for two members to attend Wikimania.

In addition to Wikimedia CEE Meeting and the Wikimania, There were attendance to Wikimedia Hack-a-thon in Athens, Edu Wiki Conference in Belgrad and Wikimedia CEE Hub Youth Group Meeting in Prague. The participants of those events made presentations about the Education Program partnerships of the User Group, the proposed Turkic Hub, the Adiutor tool.

Year Event Place Date Participant/Delegate
2023 Wikimedia Hack-a-thon Athens 19-21 May HakanIST
2023 EduWiki Conference 2023 Belgrad 26-28 May HakanIST, Zafer, Doğu
2023 Wikimania 2023 Singapur 16- 19 August Adem, Basak, HakanIST, Kurmanbek, ToprakM
2023 Wikimedia CEE Meeting Tbilisi 15- 17 September Adem, Basak, Kurmanbek, Sadrettin (delegate), Doğu (delegate), Zafer
2023 Wikimedia CEE Hub Youth Group 2023 Prague 24- 25 November Kurmanbek

Community meetups[edit]

Online meetup

During the year, the group had 20 meet-ups. The meetings held bimonthly at Tuesdays nights were called "VikiSalı" (WikiTuesday). 16 VikiSalı meetings were online and 4 of them were in-person meetings. Üsküdar University and Bilgi University Student Clubs hosted the in-person meetings held in Istanbul; the Ankara VikiSalı meetup was held at a coffee-house. Links to meeting notes of each meeting is available in below table (in Turkish).

List of activities[edit]

Ankara meetup
An Istanbul meetup
January 03 - 17 - 31
February - 14 - 28 -
Mart - 14 - 28 -
April - 11 - 25 -
May - 09 - 23 -
June 06 - 26 - -
July - - - - -
August - 15 - 29 -
September - 12 - 26 -
October - 10 - 24 -
November - 7 - 21 -
December - 05 - - -