Year’s New Citizen of Turku and Multicultural Act

What is this about?

  • There are people of about 130 nationalities living in Turku at the moment
  • Over a hundred different languages are spoken in the city
  • 20 000 residents of Turku speak some other language than Finnish or Swedish as their mother tongue

In order to publicize the internationality of Turku, the city annually nominates the Year’s New Citizen of Turku and the Multicultural Act.

Do you know builders of multicultural Turku region?

Suggest a person, give us a name
of our new citizen worthy of fame
or why not an achievement, an act or a feat
that helps multiculturalism look cool and neat.

Selection criteria

The New Citizen of Turku

  • is a person with an immigrant background who lives in the Turku region
  • promotes integration in their own everyday life and home region.

The Multicultural Act of the Year

  • can be awarded to a person, company, organisation or other community
  • promotes multiculturalism in an exemplary and concrete manner

Additionally, both candidates

  • increase contacts and mutual understanding between the immigrant and local populations
  • work to promote tolerance and integration in an innovative and open-minded manner

The receivers of the acknowledgements are selected based on suggestions from citizens. Turku Multicultural Council names the winners.

The acknowledgements are given annually

The awards have been given since 2006.

Award winners

  • 2019: chairman of The Estonian Centre of Southwestern Finland Mari Jurtom and Shams falafel co-operative
  • 2018: refugee instructor Ali Sagal and Nuorten TyöTuki ry
  • 2017: Sports coach for children Paco Diop, the Föli immigrant drivers and the wide-ranging volunteer efforts of the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi
  • 2016: Chef Berhan Ahmadi,  the church’s visible actions when asylum seekers surprised the Finns 2015 and Turku Market Hall
  • 2015: entrepreneur Aydin Yilmaz and the Runokohtauksia Poetry Event initiative
  • 2014: Councillors Roda Hassan, Alas Ali and Mohammad Azizi, and football in social integration, for example Åbo IFK P-01 team and the multicultural team FC Nations United
  • 2013: teacher Hatice Kütük and Turku Christian Institute
  • 2012: CEO Maria Severina and retired teacher Anja Marjanen
  • 2011: journalist Wali Hashi and principal Annika Hongisto and the activities supporting multi- and interculturalism by Turku Normal School
  • 2010: Chairperson of Sondip ry and Together Association ry Hasan Habib, and Turku Women’s Centre for effort against honour related violence
  • 2009: entrepreneur Ahmed Al Chibib and teacher Ismo Laine
  • 2008: coordinator Selim Selimi and special social worker Päivi Talvinen
  • 2007: teacher Irina Ossipowski and project manager Sari Kanervo
  • 2006: Bachelor of Art Binh Le Xuan and teacher Tellervo Vaitinen

Immigration Coordinator of the City of Turku Regina Ruohonen was acknowledged in 2012, Hülya "Hissu" Kytö in 2014 for a long career and life’s work with immigrants, and Pertti Widen in 2015 for an extensive life work as a researcher and promoter of multiculturalism and intercultural communication. In 2016 Ismo Söderling was honored for his long career in the management of the immigration institute.

A celebration for new citizens

The acknowledgements are handed in spring in the celebration which the City of Turku organizes annually for its residents who have obtained Finnish citizenship. The celebration was first organized in 2004.

The celebration and acknowledgements were thought up by Hissu Kytö, and the celebration of Turku is the first of its kind in Finland. In 2014 the celebration was organized as a joint congratulatory event of the municipalities of the Turku region.

Additional information

Development Manager Maarit Luukkaa