PR in Turkish Parliament

Beginning of this year, we were invited to the Turkish Parliament which is known as the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. First of all, it was surprising for us to be invited by the highest level of state agency but also we can consider it was the accumulation of years and years of effort of PR committees

of NA Turkey in the past as a non-legal entity. In the passing through 25 years, we had some chances to meet with some of the ministers by taking appointments from them, but this was the first time a legislative commission of the state which was established to give direct suggestions to policymakers was inviting us to listen. This is for us the clear proof that NA Turkey Fellowship is being accepted as the interlocutor by the Turkish State.

So we were excited. The Commission (The Parliamentary Research Commission Established to Investigating Drug Addiction and the Types of New Addictions and Determining the Causes of Addiction and the Measures to be Taken) which is inviting us, is being formed by MPs from all the parliamentary parties, therefore, their recommendations must be taken into consideration by the policymakers in this regard. We have created our team for this service from four members who are the last three PR chairs and one female member.

Our total time was 1 hour and we planned to make the presentation which was prepared for the EU parliament in the first 15 minutes. I translated I made this presentation as a delegate also. After this, my three other friends briefly shared their experience in recovery and what they found in the NA fellowship, and this section took about 20 minutes. And after this section, we answer the questions of MPs for about 25 minutes. In this Q&A section, we found the chance to explain some specific problems we are facing by giving answers to suitable questions.

Overall it was very satisfying service work for us. As a result, in the final report presented by the commission, we see that all the NGOs working on this area are in audit increase, while the support increase for NA has been decided. This is the direct translation of the part of the special paragraph for NA which is in the report:

Although the Association of Narcotics Anonymous, which is based on consultation between old addicts, has been operating in our country for 25 years, it has been stated that there is no legal recognition. Regulations should be made to provide a more systematic evaluation of the community which is working in close cooperation with AMATEMs (State Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Centers) in terms of rehabilitation and social harmonization. Firstly, the necessary convenience should be provided at the point of finding the meeting place.

Whatever I am going say about my gratitude for this service which I participated in as a delegate, will be not enough more than this paragraph.

Regional Delegate Of Turkish Fellowship
Serkan Ö.