CYDD From Past to Present

Our history

June3, 2014: The first documentary of our  association was filmed by Nebil Özgentürk. The short version of the film was shown during the award ceremony for Prof. Dr. Türkan Saylan Science and Art Awards (The awards ceremony to take place on May 18th was postponed due to the Soma mining disaster.)


 May 13, 2014: Following the mining disaster in Soma where 301 miners lost their lives, permission to campaign for one year was received from provincial directorate of associations. Soma Cultural and Educational Center was established by summer and rehabilitation and educational support was given to families of miners who were affected by or killed in the disaster.


 February 21, 2014, 25th anniversary of our Association: The 25th anniversary of our Association was celebrated with a dinner in Adahan. All past and present members of the board of directors, our donors, our supporting artists and our long-time volunteers and youth attended the dinner.

September 2013: Trained in seven different fields, our educators started trainings in their own fields in various ÇYDD branches.

September 3,2013: Taksim Hill Hotel press meeting:  Our association’s opinions and reservations on the 4+4+4 education system was announced  with  a press meeting.

June 2013: The expired ÇYDD Publishing Certificate was extended until 2017.

January 2013: ÇYDD Publications published a book by Ankara Branch “I want to study- A cry from Anatolia”

December 17,2011: “Changes in charter”: Some items in our charter was changed  in a special meeting held  at the ÇYDD headquarters.

September 8,2011: “Türkan Saylan Science and Art awards” was registered as a trademark for 10 years starting from 01.07.2010

May 19,2011:  On the anniversary of her passing away, we started to give “Türkan Saylan Science and Art awards” to people who create science and art works that will carry her vision to future generations. The first “Türkan Saylan Art award” was given to  Zeynep Cemali for her novel “Ankaralı”  and the special Jury Award   was given to  Necati Tosuner for his novel “What’s wrong with Arda?”

May 4-5,2011;  Türkan Saylan Children’s Festivities became a tradition. The festivities that were first held  in İstanbul in 2009, were in Akçakoca in 2010 and recently again in İstanbul for its third year.

January 31,2011: Çağdaş Yaşam Dila Kurt Educational center began its activities in the premises in Kısıklı,İstanbul; the usage rights of the premises were given by the owner family in memory of their daughter who passed away very young.

December 26,2010; Prof. Dr. Türkan Saylan Statue which was commissioned by the Beşiktaş Municipality was opened in Neşe Park with substantial participation.

December 15,2010: “A story of modernization”  the book about ÇYDD history was published.

December 14,2010: Türkel Minibaş Educational Center was opened in Kocamustafapaşa by the Fatih ÇYDD branch.

June 2010: ÇYDD  received the “Publisher Certificate” for the first time.

June 1, 2010: The “Golden Compass” 2010 Jury Special Award was given to the project “I have a Daughter in Anatolia, she will be a Teacher”

May 18,2010 Commemoration of Türkan Saylan: Türkan Saylan was commemorated on the first anniversary of her passing away with a program  where her friends, students and colleagues shared their memories; program ended with the piano concert of İdil Biret. “Türkan Saylan Science and Art awards” was also announced.

May 18,2010 Letters for the Public: The letters Türkan Saylan started to write to address all segments of the society but was left half finished, were published as a book.

April 5,2010  Search Conference: to support the institutional development of ÇYDD and to decide about its future , a search conference was realized with about 50 participants  of supporters, society leaders invited from universities and media, ÇYDD members, volunteers and professionals.

2010, Internal trainings: To improve the service quality of ÇYDD personnel and the operations of our association we have started internal trainings. 240 of our members profited from the trainings in seven different subjects given by volunteer trainers from various professional firms.

Feb 6,2010 Commemortaion of  Prof. Dr. Türkel Minibaş: ÇYDD vice president was commemorated on the 1st anniversary of her passing away and a campaign was started for “Türkel Minibaş cultural center”.

Jan 25,2010 Uğur Mumcu Special Law Award: ÇYDD president Prof. Dr. Aysel Çelikel ,being the first and only female Minister of Justice and for her contributions to law received  the award from Antalya Bar Association.

Nov 5, 2009 Visit to Anıtkabir (Atatürk’s  Mauseleum in Ankara):  ÇYDD president Prof. Dr. Aysel Çelikel and about 2500 members and administrators from all ÇYDD branches and headquarter visited Anıtkabir.

Sept 8, 2009 Appeal to European Court of Human Rights: ÇYDD appealed to European Court of Human Rights regarding the unlawful searches.

May 26, 2009 Aysel Çelikel becomes ÇYDD President: Prof. Dr. Aysel Çelikel who  was a founding member  and vice president for five years, become ÇYDD President.


May 2, 2009 Fazıl Say Concert: The concert was held in Lütfü Kırdar Concert Hall and attended by thousands .

April 13,2009 Raids were made to houses of many ÇYDD Administrators including President Prof. Dr. Türkan Saylan’s , to ÇYDD headquarters, to some of our branches (81 places) by the Istanbul Police and many ÇYDD executives were taken into custody. The computers and documentation of headquarters and some branches were taken to İstanbul Police Headquarters.


May 13, 2007 izmir Republic  Meeting: More than two million people from all over Turkey attended the meeting. President Prof. Dr. Türkan Saylan was banned to give her speech which would have said “Neither sharia nor military coup”.

April 29, 2007 Çağlayan Republic Meeting: The most attended democracy meeting  (about 2,5 million people) was held in İstanbul/Çağlayan . President Prof. Dr. Türkan Saylan gave her speech which said “Neither sharia nor military coup”.

April 10, 2007 Republic Award: The 1st ÇYDD  Republic Award was given to Muazzez İlmiye Çığ.

Nov 4, 2006 Ankara Republic Meeting: Meeting organized by NGO’s was attended by all ÇYDD branches and President Prof. Dr. Türkan Saylan gave a speech.

April 23, 2005 “Daddy send me to School” project:  A big campaign was launched partnering  with the Milliyet Newspaper.

April 4, 2005 Providing high school graduates with an vocational occupation: Zeytinburnu Branch started a project to provide  vocational occupation to 100 girls who are high school graduates. The project partners are İstanbul Technical University- lifelong education center and ÇYDD and project is funded by a EU fund taken from İş-Kur (Turkish employment Agency)

2004: Number of ÇYDD branches is now 96.

2004 Scholarships for Vocational High schools: Mercedes is sponsoring the first vocational education scholarships.

2004, Children’s Club: Children’s Club is founded and started its activities.


June 24-29, 2004 Training YİBO Teachers:  an “Education Seminar” was given to 152 YIBO (boarding secondary schools) teachers from  Hakkari center and various Hakkari districts.

March 22, 2004 “Democracy and Human Rights Initiative” project:  People attending  coffeehouses  are educated on democratic  and  human rights  with trained volunteers visiting the coffeehouses. Project is funded with a 50,000 euro EU donation and will last one year.

Jan 17, 2004, Sabancı University Educational Reform Initiative: We participated the “Good Examples Conference”  with sample materials such as “Creative reading”, “We are preparing a book” and “Creative Turkish education”.

April 10, 2003 Participation to “No to War” Meetings: ÇYDD headquarters and branches attended the “No to War” meeting organized by the Peace Initiative in Tünel Square, İstanbul.

Jan 31,2003 Press Meeting: “No to War” press meeting was held in headquarters and   a press release was read and sent to press.

2003 Law of  Associations draft: The draft prepared in 2002 was sent to the Head of Republic, Government, Turkish Grand National Assembly administrative agencies and press.

2002 Law of  Associations draft: The Bar Association undertook the task of presenting the draft which was prepared in one year, to the Grand National Assembly.

2002 Support for YIBO’s: A development and support to education project was carried out for Kars, Kağızman Boarding School with the participation of ÇYDD Kars branch and İstanbul Bilgi University.

Oct 5-6, 2002 Branches divided into 13 sections: Groups were formed for better communication with the headquarters and a member of the Headquarter’s  Board was assigned to each group.

2001, Education in Prison: An education project wasstarted for the Bakırköy Women and Child

2001, Lodgings for teachers:Teachers’ lodgings were built in Ergani,Diyarbakır and in Muradiye district and Balaklı, Göndermeköprü, Güllüçimen, Gümüştepe villages of Van.

2001, E-communication:  E-mail communications for 30 branches were made possible by the “Informatics committee”

2000-2001 school year “Modern Girls of Modern Turkey”  Project:Turkcell signed the protocol  to give scholarships worth 100 million TL to 500 girls in 32 towns.

2000, “I have a daughter in Anatolia, she will be a teacher” Project: the name of the Project “I have a daughter in Tunceli, she will be a teacher” was changed and it now covered East and southeastern Anatolia

2000 EARTHQUAKE PROJECTS: In total 61 projects were realized. In Yalova, a living space for 102 families of 4 people including 102 prefabricated houses, laundries, etc;  10 rehabilitation centers; 169 classrooms where 10,000 students could continue their education  and  7 dormitories to accommodate 462 students were built in the region.  In addition 5 production projects (shawls, rugs, jams, flowers and fair organizations) were realized.

2000, Preschool classrooms: In total 11 preschool classrooms were furnished; four in Digor district of Kars,  two in Van center, five in  Hakkâri center, one in Ardahan Çıldır  and one in Siirt Community Center.

Aug-Sept 2000 Scholarship students from rural towns come to İstanbul: Eightyfive successful  girls and three boys from Ardahan, Van, Hakkâri, Batman, Siirt, Şırnak,Mardin and Denizli were placed in Kandilli, Çamlıca, Üsküdar, Sarıyer Behçet Kemal Çağlar Public Boarding Highschools free of charge

July-Aug 2000 Training for Child Development graduates from Girls Vocational School: 1oo graduates who are to give preschool education to 25000 children from Van, Muş, Batman, Bitlis, Bingöl, Hakkâri, Şanlıurfa and Hilvan during summer vacation had a two-week training in İstanbul.


1999, The Blue Book: CYDD prepared this educational book, which was printed in 3,000 copies and distributed by the General Directorate of Women’s Status and Problems to women attending the education program.


15 June-30 August 1999, “Rural-Urban Youth Hand in Hand” project: Together with university students, cultural and educational programs were developed in Hilvan and Posof.

12 April 1999, support for refugees: CYDD visited Kırklareli to provide material and moral support to refugees from Kosovo.

29 January-6 February 1999, “Idil High School in Istanbul” project: CYDD Bakırköy Branch brought Idil High School students, who were in their last year at school, to Istanbul for the university exam preparation program.

1998, expansion of preschool education: Together with  AÇEV, CYDD applied to the Ministry of National Education for the establishment of preschools at primary schools. As a result of these efforts, the Ministry of Education published a declaration supporting the opening of preschools classrooms in every elementary school in Turkey.


1998, “I have a daughter in Tunceli, she will become a teacher” project: As a result of a submission from the governor of Pervari, a district in Siirt, 17 female students in Pervari received scholarships from CYDD. These scholarships were continued, together with education support totalling 100 million TL which was provided to 192 female students intending to become teachers.


July 4, 1998, Extraordinary General Assembly: At this assembly amendments to the bylaws were carried out to remove the “center” membership status and transfer  members to approximately 2,000 branches.

30-31 May 1998, the MIA Conference: A symposium was organized in Istanbul with the theme, “The Role of Civil Society Organizations in the Development of Rural Areas”. One governor, three deputy governors and 22 district officers from Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia were present.


21-22 February 1998, restructuring: Institutionalization efforts were started at the second branches meeting, held in Antalya.

10-12 October 1997, “Our Idil” Festival: In Idil, the district of Sirnak, a festival was held to support the growth and development of Idil.

November 3, 1997, CYDD High School opened: Ataturk’s Contemporary Life Multi-Program High School opened its doors, serving 525 students.

1997, the first “Youth Congress”:  Youngsters came together under the “Youth Forum” banner, organizing two successful assemblies – one in Ankara and the other in Kocaeli.

1997, the first “Youth Brochure”: Thanks to the efforts of some young people, a guide booklet was prepared and distributed to students during their university registration.

1997, “Starfish” project: The education project, “Starfish” was started at the Headquarters, with 20 students.

1997, “Fatih Community Centers”: The first  community center was opened, with the aim of educating and providing social support for families who had migrated to larger cities

September 4, 1997: The association was awarded the “public benefit association”  title as a result of various inspections.

March 13, 1997: The first meeting of branches was held.

1996, the first dormitory for girls: Two buildings, one of them belonging to the municipality and the other to the university, were converted into a dormitory for boys and girls by the Izmit Branch. 80 female and 320 male students were accommodated in these dormitories.

19 October 1996: The number of branches reached 55.

13 February 1996, books and libraries to schools:  A library was established in Batman with the books provided during TÜYAP (Exhibition Group). A total of 75 boxes of books were sent to İstanbul/Halkalı Malkoçoğlu Elementary School, Tunceli, Digor, Ulukışla, İdil and Batman.

1996, “Police Training Project” begun: The “human rights education” project targeted at the National Police and civilian supervisors began at Florya Sukru Balci Police Training Center.

6 February 1996, first CYDD Elementary School: Ferit Aysan Contemporary Living Elementary School was opened by Kağıthane Branch and started the education of 800 students.

1995, Foundation of TÜRKÇAĞ: The current name for the Supporting Contemporary Life Foundation (CYDV) began to work as a subsidiary of the Association.

1995, “Foundation House” was bought:  With the valuable contributions of philosopher Hüseyin Batuhan a five-storey building in the Şişhane Şimal Street was bought, repaired and began to be used as a “Head Office”.


29 March 1995: Fazıl Say donated the income from his first concert in Turkey to CYDD.

1995, HEM Project begun: Together with the Beşiktaş branch, and in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Singer – the sewing machine company, in 249 different Public Education Centers all around Turkey, a special training program was introduced for women. Targeting “1.5 million women”, it provided training on women’s, and children’s health and education, the environment, citizenship, women’s problems and the law.

06 June 1994, the number of branches 41: The target was to open a branch in every city of Turkey and in 33 districts of İstanbul.

26 February 1994, first award: The award of the Orhan Apaydın Democracy and Peace Foundation was given to CYDD in recognition of its work on secularism.

16 March 1992, support to national disaster: 1,000,000TL contribution to Erzincan earthquake victims.

1990, scholarships to female students: Under the supervision of the Istanbul University Research Center for Women’s Issues, 12 female students studying in rural areas were given scholarships.

19 December 1990: The first branch was opened in Ankara.

19 June 1990: Prof. Dr. Türkan Saylan was elected President.

16 June 1990: Meeting of the General Assembly was held.

1989, the first and only logo competition: The university student Sedat Karakuş won the competition to design the CYDD logo.


 1989, first reports: Following an examination of primary and secondary school books for content that was not in compliance with contemporary education, the CYDD reported its findings and recommendations to the Ministry of Education, Another report, on the issues around the exploitation of religion and secularism, was delivered to the Ministry of Education, the Head of the Main Opposition Party and the Director of Religious Affairs.

1989, first book: The book, “Contemporary Education on the Creative Education Path” was published.

5-6 December 1989, first seminar: On the 55th anniversary of Turkish women winning the right to vote and to stand for election, a two-day seminar titled “Women’s Participation in Political Life and Decision Making” was held.

1-25 November 1989, attack on CYDD: In the Museum of Press, the exhibition of photographs titled “Women’s Heads in terms of Tradition, Faith and Symbol” was attacked by groups of religious fanatics on 10 November and photographs were destroyed. (Prof. Nermin Abadan Unat and Sabiha Tansuğ made a speech about “The Headscarf as a Political Symbol” and “Traditional Anatolian Heads” at the opening of the exhibition.)

4 October 1989, first conference: led by Prof. Dr. Necla Arat, and titled “Women and Political Rights”.

20 April 1989, first condemnation telegraphs: This was sent to the Mayor of Konya, who wanted to separate the male and female students’ buses.

11 April 1989, first march: Participation of women’s associations, as approximately 2,000 people held the first “respect for secularism” march in Republican History

13 March 1989, first signature campaign: 3,700 signed letters were sent to President Kenan Evren expressing concern that secularism was under threat.

3 March 1989, first booklet: speeches of the panel called “Transition to Secular Education in Turkey” were copied and printed  2,000 units in total.

3 March 1989, first panel: Panel of Union Education titled “The importance of transition to secular education in Turkey” was led by Altan Öymen, and Prof. Dr. Aysel Çelikel, Prof. Dr. Necla Arat, Dr. Tüten Ang, and Fahriye Çelikkanat were the speakers.

25 February 1989: Division of tasks was completed. A temporary Board of Directors started to work with the Chairman Prof. Dr. Aysel Ekşi, 2. Chairman Prof. Dr. Türkan Saylan, members Prof. Dr. Aysel Çelikel, Prof. Dr. Necla Arat, Dr. Tüten Ang and Birnur Özümert

21 February 1989: The Association for theSupport of  Contemporary Living  was established