Turkey has launched a project to hear back from its citizens. The project launched by the Turkish presidency aims to involve the public in improvement programs throughout the country.
The Turkish Presidency Directorate of Communications released a statement on Thursday inviting any and all citizens to collaborate with the state to make the country a better place.
The project is called “I Have an Idea for My Country in 2019” where citizens can fill out forms with their suggestions online. Citizens are given 2000 characters to freely express their thoughts and are asked to leave behind their contact information so that the relevant state department or ministry can get in touch with them.
The project is separate from the channels which lead citizens to the complaint or information request pages, and neither is it a project for those seeking funding for their proposals. It is intended as “a channel with which any member of our country can relay their suggestions and ideas on any subject to our state institutions.”
According to the Turkish press, the site has enjoyed popularity since its launch on January 28. It has received more than 4,500 suggestions within its first 24 hours, tweeted Fahrettin Altun, presidential communications director. There have been recommendations and ideas coming from fields as varied as the environment, health, culture, management, communications, energy, education and justice.
“Because we know the best ideas are discussed during talks among families and friends, and in high schools and university canteens,” Altun said.
“I imagine a 2019 in which 82 million people [in Turkey] will brainstorm for our country and can directly share their ideas with our state departments.”
The website opens with a pop up in Turkish welcoming citizens to share their ideas, thanking them for “making inspiring contributions to the future of our country.”
Suggestions have included “Listening to Children Day” for the Ministry of Education, which turns the tables on adults and allows them to form better communication bonds with kids, and producing a local version of a cataract surgery device that would drive down costs for the Ministry of Health.
Other suggestions from the statement range from blue traffic lights at zebra crossings to encourage people to use them, as well as a new coat of arms for Turkey, smart garbage trucks that cut off unpleasant odours from garbage dumpsters to public shelters for street animals.