Citizens' Assembly, Mission and Brief History
Citizens' Assembly (formerly Helsinki Citizens' Assembly) is a civil society organization working on fundamental rights and freedoms, peace, democracy and pluralism.
The Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Turkey started its activities in 1990 in parallel with the initiative of the international Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly and was established in Istanbul in 1993 as a non-governmental organization, recognized as an internationally operating organization by the Council of Ministers. Helsinki Citizens' Assembly was renamed as Citizens' Assembly with the decision of the General Assembly held in 2016.
The Assembly works on fundamental rights and freedoms, peace, pluralism, citizenship and democratization. It aims to introduce - into daily life - values such as life with dignity, the rule of law and justice, accountable, transparent and participatory public administration, gender equality as enshrined in international conventions; an economy which does not destroy the social texture and peace, cities and the planet; resolution of conflicts and problems through peaceful negotiations, consultation and dialogue and to ensure that these values be concretely reflected and spread on a civic basis.
In order to achieve these goals, the Citizens' Assembly organizes activities, symposia, seminars, workshops, panels and meetings at local, national and transnational levels (such as the Balkans, Caucasus, Mediterranean and European Union); issues publications; cooperates with civil society organizations, initiatives, think-tanks and academic community working on similar issues; develops contacts with public institutions at different levels.
Working independently from political parties, governments and states and trying to develop pluralist democratic structures and civil society initiatives, the main working principle of the Assembly is the resolution of problems through mutual understanding and dialogue.
The Citizens' Assembly acts on the basis of the principle that citizens should have a say in decisions and actions that shape their lives. As regards the resolution of social problems, it strives to create environments where the parties can discuss these issues and come up with solutions together. It makes efforts to create avenues for dialogue, problem-solving and reconciliation.
The Helsinki Citizens 'Assembly (hCa), an international working conference that has also marked the starting point for the launch of the Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Turkey, is a network of inter-community solidarity operating for peace, human rights, an international economy that does not destroy the environment, international democracy and the rule of law.
The Helsinki Final Act is an international agreement which provided a basis for creating conditions favourable to peace in Europe and made human rights a common value to be respected by all nations in a world which was divided into Eastern and Western camps in that period. The word "Helsinki", used in the name of our assembly till 2016, refers to the historic significance of this agreement.