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The Turkish and Greek Solidarity Platform has come up with new social and cultural projects on the first anniversary of its founding in an effort to further improve the mutual relations between the two neighbor countries, Turkey and Greece.

Supported by the Greek Embassy in Ankara, the platform was founded one year ago with contributions from the Anatolian Modern Education Foundation, or ANAÇEV, and aims to support the children and youths who face social and financial pressure and have a disability through various projects.

"The projects will provide opportunities for these children and youths to have access to educational facilities and obtain an income to continue their education. We will also provide support for them to develop their skills in the areas they are talented and create a ground to make their work visible with exhibitions, concerts and workshops," said Ayla Hatırlı, ANAÇEV executive board chairman, speaking at the event Thursday in the Greek Embassy. The Greek ambassador’s wife, Evangelia Rallou Xyda, meanwhile, said the initiative targeted children and youths who are isolated from society for social and economic reasons.

"The societies of both countries are getting closer but they need further rapprochement. This platform, I am sure, will play a crucial role in this respect," she said.
Turkish-Greek friendship

A stand featuring Anatolian handicrafts will be opened in the gift fair in the Atatürk Cultural Center between Dec. 20 and 31 and the proceeds from the sales of the handicrafts will be used to send two Turkish youths to Greece for a cultural trip as part of the project. Ten Turkish youths will be sent to the Greek Mytilene island in February and likewise, 10 Greek youths will come to Turkey for a cultural exchange program. The "Turkish-Greek Friendship Book" is to be released and showcased at an International Children’s Fair in 2009.