The third of the Meridyen Association’s meetings took place with participation from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s wife Emine Erdoğan on Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013 at the Mariott Hotel Asia in İstanbul.

With the participation of many academics and artists, writers, the wives of ministers, businesswomen, representatives from NGOs members and volunteers of the Meridyen Association, the meeting under the theme “Education of Women” started off with a welcoming speech by host Ezgi Serter and a short introductory video featuring the activities of the Meridyen Association.

The guest of honour Emine Erdoğan noted in her speech that she saw the thematic meetings taking place within the assocation very important in terms of the activities geared towards convening young women doing international work with intellectuals and bringing new horizons to the country. She explained that the upcoming era would be much better for women, noting, “I believe that Turkey has left behind a very important turning point with regard to women.”

Emine Erdoğan noted that what is most important for them is that “human beings have been created not with their sexual, racial, or spiritual attributes, but with the attribute of being the best of creation,” adding, “We are exerting efforts towards ensuring that our girls and women are receiving the best education possible in every field so that the institution of the family can be strengthened.”

Mrs. Erdoğan explained that women could not seek help for the problems which they face through pervasive and effective mechanisms that are now available and that one of the greatest accomplishments of the country in the past 10 years was this great transformation in the way in which women are perceived.

Mrs. Erdoğan stressed that the upcoming era would be much better for women by saying, “Our educated women with self-confidence will certainly taken on much more important missions in serving as assurances of the family institution and our society.”

Emine Erdoğan went on to say:

“Regardless of which geography they are on, reaching out to the orphans and listening to their needs should be first and foremost our responsibility. What is most important is taking that first step. When our women possess the resources and courage to commence such initiatives, we will see that the whole of society will follow their lead. Today, it is no coincidence that that the aid organizations which are active all around our country are formed essentially by women. A matter in which the hand, mercy and benevolence of women is missing is deficient, incomplete and not sustainable.”

Following her speech, Erdoğan was presented with a plaquette of gratitude by the Meridyen Association President Saliha Büyükdeniz.

Dr. Sare Davutoğlu, one of the administrative board members of the Meridyen Association, also had a speech during the night, speaking briefly on the the activities that were taking place to this end.

Touching upon the goal of the establishment of the Meridyen Association, Davutoğlu explained that since 2006, when the association was founded, they had provided financial support to many postgraduate students, supporting projects in the field of social sciences.

Davutoğlu who noted that in the past, one thought of sciences and not social sciences when the word research was used, added that this contributed to a delay of producing social scientists that could soundly interpret the world and exert more effort towards producing solutions to problems.

Davutoğlu who explained that a group of women, six years ago, set out to set aside some of their own earnings to be used towards developing social sciences, with the slogans, “What is enough for one person will be enough for two,” and “Buy one instead of two,” utilized their own means for the young intellectuals who would become scientists of the future.

Davutoğlu said that she had been aware of and part of this movement from the beginning and that a web site was established which explained Prophet Muhammad in the aftermath of the Danish cartoon crisis while scientific works were being supported on the other hand.

Dr. Sare Davutoğlu went on to say:

“The world greatly needs compassion and love and we took such a step thinking that introducing our Prophet would be the most important work that could be done in this regard. Our portal titled runs in four different languages, including a children’s site, which is quite rich and can be considered an altogether different publication. In essence, civil society activities entail recognizing a social need or problem and convening in order to be part of the solution. While individual differences may cause difficulty in working together, sometimes they work to enrich and multiply, as in the case with Meridyen. These opportunities that are provided through this synergy become blessed and lead to opportunities and goals that could not have even been imagined. The fact that many projects are being supported and carried forth is a result of this synergy. In this period in which Turkey’s global and regional significance is on the rise, we believe that Meridyen will play a great role in producing people of the calibre that will be in tune with the new vision of the country.”

Davutoğlu noted that he association held members who were meticulous, respectful, in the habit of utilizing modern means in every way and highlighted that this was to be applauded.

The President of the Merdiyen Association Saliha Büyükdeniz spoke to the point from which the association emerged and its vision.