Athletes announced as “Sports Ambassadors” by the Ministry of Youth and Sports during the Olympic Games successfully represented Turkey while wearing T-shirts with the “Faces of Turkey” logo, produced by Argande, a textile brand working for the empowerment of women in the Southeast Anatolia Region supported by UNDP. Photograph: Possible Agency Archive


To support and motivate the Turkish athletes attending the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, special t-shirts were embroidered by the women working at Argande, a brand supported by UNDP’s Women Empowerment Project in the South-East Anatolia Region.

Ankara, 08 August 2021 - The textile brand Argande which works towards empowering women in the South-East Anatolia Region, collaborated with the Ministry of Youth and Sports to prepare special t-shirts for the Turkish athletes competing at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games between 23 July and 8 August 2021. The t-shirts were hand-knitted by the women working at Argande and were included in the kit that was prepared by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and gifted to the athletes representing Turkey at the Olympic Games as a symbol of the country’s love and support.

The logo embroidered by women to the t-shirts is created within the “Faces of Turkey” Project that was recently launched by the Ministry of Youth and Sports with the aim of positioning Turkey’s athletes attending the international competitions as “Sports Ambassadors” and supporting them to represent the country in the most effective way. The project focuses on empowering these designated athletes to become Turkey’s brave, passionate and trustworthy ambassadors with powerful communication skills. For that purpose, various trainings, workshops and activities are organised. Announcing the athletes at the Tokyo 2020 as the Sports Ambassadors of Turkey and preparing special gift kits along with a letter from the Minister of Youth and Sports was the first stage of the project.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mehmet Kasapoğlu expressed the importance of this initiative as follows: "We wanted to see our "Faces of Turkey" logo, embroidered one by one with the handiwork of women in the Southeast Anatolia Region, right on your heart. We want to give you strength and let you know that the heart of this country beats with you. These t-shirts are a gift to you from our good-hearted, hardworking and altruistic women, your mothers and your sisters."

The t-shirts were produced by Argande, a brand that was supported by the “Social Cohesion between Syrian and Host Communities in Turkey through Women’s Empowerment” Project implemented by GAP Administration and UNDP Turkey to create a sustainable income for women by ensuring their participation in the labour market while also contributing to building friendship and solidarity among them.

A total of 250 t-shirts were prepared by 20 women in one week and delivered to the Turkish Olympic team before their departure to Tokyo. The athletes have been wearing these t-shirts all throughout the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and announcing some of their best records gained in Turkey’s sports history with those t-shirts on. Giovanni Guidetti, UNDP Turkey Gender Equality Advocate and the coach of the Turkey Women’s Volleyball National Team is one of them. Guidetti and the team made it up to the quarterfinals first time in Turkey’s records, creating a great influence on national level, and breaking down more barriers on gender equality.

Also, national gymnast Ferhat Arıcan who previously supported UNDP Turkey’s advocacy efforts on mine awareness, and archer Mete Gazoz who supported the joint campaign of UNDP Turkey and European Union Delegation to Turkey “We are the climate, We will change”, are among Turkey’s Sports Ambassadors. While Ferhat Arıcan won a bronze and Turkey's first-ever Olympic gymnastics medal, Mete Gazoz won the gold medal and brought Turkey its first-ever Olympic medal in archery.

“It is exciting to see how far the Women Empowerment Project has reached, through successful implementations of sustainable and inclusive business models benefitting women in the rural areas, now that it provides support to representing Turkey in the international arena through the country’s Sports Ambassadors in the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Today we clearly see that when we put our efforts towards Sustainable Development Goals, the results can be astonishing.” said Louisa Vinton, Resident Representative of UNDP in Turkey.

Completed in March 2021, the “Social Cohesion between Syrian and Host Communities in Turkey through Women’s Empowerment” Project supported Argande and aimed at creating value without leaving no one behind where both Syrian and host community women took part in the value chain as producers, assumed leading roles, developed themselves in the field of textile with the trainings and became stronger in social life besides the economic gains they have achieved.

Today, Argande continues producing high quality textile products as one of the well-known brands from South-East Anatolia and sells them at some of the largest online sales channels of Turkey such as Trendyol. The online store can be reached at

Contact Information: Nur Akıncı, Communications Associate for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth Portfolio, UNDP in Turkey,


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