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Comprehensive support to
human rights defenders in turkey


New Funding Opportunity for Human Rights Defenders in Turkey

In consideration of the latest developments in Turkey creating an ever less enabling environment for human rights defenders, has established a grant-making program to provide support to human rights defenders in Turkey with the support of the European Union.

The three-year project aims to protect human rights defenders at risk, support human rights defender organizations in continuing to carry out their work while strengthening their domestic and international networks, and increase their capacities in documenting human rights abuses, access to justice mechanisms, and advocating for a more enabling environment for their work in Turkey.

In the context of this project, is launching a second call for proposals to offer institutional support grants to human rights defenders in Turkey.

Institutional support grants are designed to support human rights defender organizations in their work with two components. Core funding aims to ensure that human rights defenders can continue their routine human rights work. Grants for projects and/or activities aim to increase the capacity of human rights defenders in a broad range of areas.

Human rights defenders can be individuals, registered civil society organizations, and unregistered groups or initiatives who can use financial support for their human rights work. Applicants who have already received support from this funding scheme are also eligible. However, the project will give priority to new applications. The project welcomes applications from all over the country and in all working areas, but applications from HRDs who work outside of big cities, and/or cover those areas through their activities are strongly encouraged.

Human rights defenders are invited to submit their proposals starting from today by sending an email to in line with the Guidelines for applications.

The call for applications will remain open until 14 June 2021, 17.00 (CET).


Protection grants pay for provisions to improve the security and protection of human rights defenders and their organizations at risk through rapid response measures.

The scope of protection grants include, but not limited to :

  • improving the physical security of an organisation or individual, digital security and communication security;
  • supporting legal fees for HRDs who are being judicially harassed;
  • paying for medical fees for HRDs who have been attacked or who have suffered a medical condition as a result of their peaceful human rights activities;
  • providing family assistance for imprisoned HRDs or family members who are at risk because of an HRD’s activities.

Protection grants are allocated by Front Line Defenders. By clicking here, you can reach the relevant page on Front Line Defenders’ website and get more information about the application process.


Institutional support grants are allocated to

  • support human rights organisations to keep carrying out their activities;
  • strengthen their domestic and international networks;
  • improve their capacity in documenting human rights abuses, access to justice, and advocating for a more enabling environment for human rights defenders in Turkey.

The institutional support grants have two components as core funding and funding for activities/projects:


Scope of core funding includes activities to develop human rights initiatives and to sustain their work. Proposals can include a wide range of activities such as to build and maintain a stable office (office equipment and furniture, rent, physical office maintenance with its inner and outer parts, security measures and equipment, utilities, repairs, etc), staff-related costs (such as new recruitment and recruitment for expansion, project-related or temporary staff, maintaining existing staff, etc), digital or software, information security, website, and social media design expenses (such as website/mobile site/smart-phone application purchase and upgrades, multimedia integration and upgrades, etc), administrative and operational costs, translation and interpretation, publications and other costs (such as transportation costs in international and domestic levels, audit, evaluation and report producing costs, etc).


Scope of the funding includes activities related to advocacy or public campaigns, community building, training, documentation, joint development, and implementation of protection plans by human rights organizations and networks, etc. More specifically, proposals can include advocacy missions and activities to sensitize policymakers, practitioners, professionals, public campaigns and awareness-raising about human rights; research and investigation, trial monitoring, monitoring human rights violations and data collection activities; legal actions and costs such as litigation and legal assistance, etc; media and communication activities; outreach activities (including coalition-building work with other human rights defender actors, for increasing the engagement of community members, etc); solidarity and collaboration activities (actions that support strengthening human rights defender organizations and initiatives, actions to support communities at risk or on topics prioritized in the specific objective, actions that help strengthen strategic cooperation with allies, support to innovative projects, etc); strategic planning and organizational development activities; fundraising, development, and marketing activities.

Proposals can cover one-off events/activities, or a series of activities and projects both at the domestic and international level, seminars (internal capacity building, retreats, certificate programs, etc); conferences; training, and workshops (for the team of the organization, for a target group, in or for cooperation to create a training, for building capacities of local organizations, etc); field missions (outreach, networking, research/investigation, exploration, etc); publications (leaflets, booklets, posters, flyers, reports, articles, etc in paper and blogging, broadcasting, article, etc in digital).

Institutional support grants are allocated by the Secretariat

You may read the guidelines for grant applications to have more information about eligibility criteria, eligible activities, steps to follow to submit an application, and the evaluation process.


To apply for a grant, you can submit your application via e-mail. In e-mail applications, both the  Application Form and the Budget Form Template should separately be downloaded and filled. You can apply by sending both completed forms via e-mail to

You may read the Guidelines for grant applications to have more information about eligibility criteria, eligible activities, steps to follow to submit an application, and the evaluation process.

If you have submitted a valid application, it will be reviewed by Turkey Consortium board members. The Secretariat can get in touch with applicants to ask follow-up questions.

Turkey Consortium board members meet every three months to review applications. Therefore, depending on the time of your application, a decision will be made about it in a maximum of three months’ time.


You can write to us for questions about grants and the application process at

ABOUT PROTECTDEFENDERS.EU is the European Union Human Rights Defenders mechanism, established to protect defenders at high risk and facing the most difficult situations worldwide. Led by a Consortium of 12 NGOs active in the field of Human Rights. provides a stable, comprehensive and gender-sensitive EU support to individuals and local actors who strive to promote and defend human rights worldwide. is committed to reaching Human Rights Defenders working in remote areas and countries where it is particularly dangerous to work in human rights defense. It also focuses on defenders who are especially targeted, including women human rights defenders, defenders of LGBTI rights, land and environmental rights defenders, economic and social rights defenders, defenders of minorities, lawyers, and those fighting for freedom of expression and association. is supported by the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), which provides for 95% of its funding.