The Turkish Presidency's Directorate of Communications has won two awards for exemplary public relations work.
The International Public Relations Association (IPRA) awarded the Communications Center of the Presidency (CİMER) and its "I Have an Idea for My Country" project with the Golden World Awards in the Community Engagement and Public Affairs categories.
CİMER, through a hotline or online application via Turkey's e-government portal, allows citizens to air their complaints, grievances or appreciation of public services as well as voice their opinion on everything from politics to human rights. Last year alone, the center received more than 2.8 million applications and officials said all of them received responses.
It is viewed as an extension of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's image as a man of the people, which helped him win multiple elections.
Apart from directing complaints, criticism and appreciation to relevant public agencies, ministries, etc., CİMER also regularly compiles reports about issues most complained about and presents them to ministries and the Presidency for the creation of policies and regulations to address these issues. Officials say they receive on average 10,000 applications a day.
"I Have an Idea for My Country" was launched earlier this year by the Directorate of Communications. It promotes a different version of CİMER where the public can present their suggestions, particularly about new projects, to relevant public offices.
Through a website, any citizen can write about their ideas and suggestions about an array of issues, from environment, health and culture to energy and education. One user suggested new traffic lights while another user proposed the use of a new coat of arms while another came up with an idea for smart garbage trucks. If an idea or project is viewed feasible, public authorities contact the user.
The Presidency's Communications Director Fahrettin Altun tweeted yesterday that they were proud of winning the awards for their work to strengthen the bond between the state and the nation. He said the awards would contribute to Turkey's reputable representation in the international community.