RADIO WEB SITE
Mersin with its spotless beaches laying across Meditterrnean and its orange and lemon trees and historical relics is one of the rare self sustaining cities of Turkey. There is no other city like Mersin in the world where the members of three divine religions lay side by side in the same cemetary. The tallest skyskraper of Turkey, the second biggest mosque of the Republic’s history and important centers of the Christian world also take place in the limits of Turkey.
The migration of Roma has been thought to have started from India to Iran via different waves between 5. and 9. centuries and has separated to two branches as west and south. One branch of the migration headed to Anatolia over Syria and Armenia. The time of the migration of this branch is uncertain. The Roma who have migrated to Europe over Turkey remigrated to Turkey with the population exchange starting from the first quarter of the 20. century. During the population exchange, population which came from Drama, Cretan, Kavala, Thesselonike, Edessa and Janina is located to East Trachea and West Anatolia emptied by the leave of Rum minority. Adana, Balıkesir, Bilecik, Bursa, Çanakkale, Edirne, İstanbul, İzmir, Kırklareli, Kocaeli, Manisa, Mersin, Samsun and Tekirdağ are the cities where the refugees are located. Drıing the population exchange, Roma in the Mediterranean area arrived here via different branches. Some of them settled to Trachea region. Some of them settled to İzmir. Some of them arrived to Samsun with ships. They moved to Sivas and Yozgat from Samsun and settled there. They produced baskets from reed and worked as agriculutural labours. There was a very big need to human resource in the Çukurova area at those times who will work as agriciultural labors, ploughman and hired hand. Because of this Roma came to this area and settled in Adana and Mersin.
The first Roma association in Mersin was established in 2004. In 2007, other Roma NGOs in the area came together and formed Mediterranean Roma Associations Federation. The assocaitons under the structure of the federation are as follows: Roma Education Folklore Culture and Sports Club Associations, Assocation to Support Roma Culture, Social Assistance and Education Association of Mersin Roma, Association for Development and Improvement of Roma and Ceyhan Assocaiton for Introducing and Supporting Roma Culture. The acryronim of the federation is AKROMFED. The federation’s establishment principle is to realize activities for supporting education, employment, housing, discrimination and integration of Roma to society. Federation realizes activities at local, national and international levels. Federation is also the founder and term chairman of Turkey Roma Rights Forun (ROMFO) which is the leading Roma platform in Turkey. Federation is also a member of the board of directors of International Roma Union (IRU) and European Roma Union (ERU).
Some of the Roma celebrities in Turkey:
Mustafa Aksu: Retired bureaucrat and writer
Hüsnü Şenlendirici: Clarinetist
Özcan Purçu: PM from Republican People’s Party