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Reintroducing Wikipedia to Turkey
Monthly Reports
January 2021

The most important activity of January was celebrating Wikipedia's 20th birthday. Our user group organized the first Wikipedia Birthday Party in Turkey this year on 18th of January. We planned a small virtual party, but enjoyed it very much and now feel more confident about organizing larger virtual parties! There were two other online events which were not less important than the birthday party: Webinars for Health experts and Librarians.

In January, we could finally reach those two groups of professionals that we wanted to work with. We have individual contributors among health experts and librarians but we wanted to reach larger audiences and find professional organizations to help us in this. At the end, we organized a webinar on the 3rd of January with the help of Public Health Experts Association (HASUDER), whereas organizing another webinar for librarians on January 18th with the help of Turkish Librarians Associations (TKD). Both broadcasted live on Youtube.

Editor community meetings

Virtual Birthday Party for Wikipedia 20.

After organizing a third communityu-meeting on the month of December on the 29th, in which Creative Commons Turkey representatives made a talk about open licences, we concentrated on making the only meeting of January in which we would celebrate the 20th anniversary of Wikipedia. We celebrated the birthday of Wikipedia locally on 18th of January, during our online editor community meeting that was in the form of a virtual birthday party where we had 60 attendees.

In the party we had community members, some of the university professors who gave Wikipedia assignments in their courses and other partners with whom we have worked with during 2020 within the scope of Reintroducing Wikipedia to Turkey project. First, we looked at the Wikimedia statistics in detail and then we had a chance to present the activities of our group, with a focus on the last year's activities and could thank all the supporters. Contributors of several Wikimedia projects have made 3-5 minutes talks to express their feelings and summarize their work.

During the month, the volunteers had created new articles on Turkish wikipedia which they would like to submit as a birthday gift for Wikipedia. Therefore we had a gift ceremony! (Please see the gifts and birthday messages here).

The party was planned as an internal meeting for the Turkish community and partners but we are delighted to see that there was a warm interest from the fellow Wikimedians outside of the country. There were video messages received from Turkic speaking communities in Russia and from Wikimedia Sakha User Group. Our party was translated to Russian for those communities (Find the Russian translation here). The contributors blew the candles of the cake they did have at home. This experience encouraged us to organize larger parties in the future.

Partnership talks

In January, we have concentrated on contacting two groups of professionals we'd like to work with: Health experts and Librarians.

Public Health Experts webinar

We wanted to reach the health experts to collaborate on developing health related articles in Turkish wikipedia which people turn more during pandemic criss. We are interested in not only getting help in editing articles but also access to the written documents, images, infographics, produced by Turkish health experts. For this purpose we have contacted with Public Health Experts Association (HASUDER) hich has been regularly publishing documents such as "Korona Postası" (Corona Mail") to inform the public about the pandemic. We discussed how the public health information could be disseminated more effectively through Wikipedia and they were very much excited to hear the partnership opportunities with Wikimedia projects. Upon the request of our contacts, we organized a webinar on January 6th for the members of the association. We presented an introduction about the functioning of Wikipedia, the core principles, the WikiMedicine Project, the Wikipedia courses on the Medicine and Pharmacy Faculties. The webinar broadcasted online on the youtube channel of the association. Please find the video here

Librarians Association webinar

We contacted the Turkish Librarians Association with the hope that we could reach a larger number of librarians who might be interested in working with local wikipedians in Wikimedia projects. We saw that the Librarians community in Turkey did not know much about contributing the Wikimedia projects although some have come across with the news related to Wikimedia-Library partnership projects in international events and they were curious about those. We organzied a webinar about Librarians-Wikimedia partnership on January 18th. Ilkay Holt, a Turkish librarian at British Library and Yaşar Tonta, an academician from Hacettepe University Librarians Education department with whom we worked for wikipedia assignments, were the other speakers in the webinar. We could find a chance to inform the participants about the 1LIB1REF campaign which was organized in Turkey for the first time and we invited them to join. We decided to make a series of webinars for librarians and start with the departments of Library Education in universities and continue with other groups of librarians (public library librarians, school librarians). Please find the video here

Wikipedia Education Program

Since the schools are in spring break, we did'nt have any activity at schools during January. However, we tried to contact with the professors to get feedback about the program. We published an interview with one of those instructors who have re-started giving Wikipedia assignments to his students at Sakarya University Geography department after a break because of the Wikipedia block in Turkey. We were very glad to see him as the featured Wikimedia & Education community member of January 2021. Please read the interview with Mr. Erturaç at January issue of Wikimedia&Education Newsletter: Interview