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In article 58 “Protection of Youth” of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Anayasası), legal commitments and duties of the state for protecting the youth are defined and thus the broadest legal framework in relation to youth is defined.
There is no exclusive youth law in Turkey’s legislation. However, it is assumed that Legislative Decree Number 638 on the Organization and Duties of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Dated 03/06/2011 includes the provisions that should be included in a youth law. Therefore, Legislative Decree Number 638 on the Organization and Duties of the Ministry of Youth and Sports may be considered as the youth law of Turkey. After the adoption of new governmental system, with the issuing of Presidential Decree 1 dated 10/07/2018 organisation and assignement of duties within the Ministry have been restructured.
In the article 184 of the Presidential Decree Number 1 which prescribes the Organization and Duties of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, duties of the Ministry are listed as follows:
- Determining the policies which support personal and social development of youth, enabling young people to realize their potentials by taking needs of different young groups into consideration, developing suggestions to ensure effective participation of the youth in every field of social life with decision making and implementation processes and carrying out activities in that direction and providing coordination and cooperation in services of the relevant institutions which are related to the youth.
- Carrying out investigations and research on the needs of youth and the services and opportunities offered to the youth and developing suggestions, carrying out information, guidance and consultancy activities in the field of youth.
- Determining principles and procedures in relation to youth studies and projects.
- Carrying out youth studies and projects, supporting such studies and projects and inspecting the implementation and outcomes of them.
- Supervising that sports activities are carried out as planned and in accordance with the legislation, taking measures to ensure that sports activities are improved and become widespread.
- Determining the policies to be implemented in the field of sports and ensuring that international rules and directives are implemented.
Ministry of Youth and Sports carries out abovementioned duties by means of following service units:
- Directorate General of Youth Services
- Directorate General of Education, Research and Coordination
- Directorate General of International Organisations and Foreign Relations
- Directorate General of Sports Services
Duties of Directorate General of Youth Services are:
- Taking necessary measures and developing suggestions with the purpose of preventing abuse and violence towards young people and preventing all kinds of discrimination among young people.
- Organizing youth meetings, courses, seminars and similar events in or outside the country, attending and supporting such events.
- Determining the principles and procedures of establishing and operation of youth centres and similar facilities as well as youth and scout camps and carrying out activities to improve and promote such facilities.
- Developing suggestions to ensure effective participation of youth in every aspect of social life.
- Carrying out registration, visa and transfer procedures of youth associations.
- Carrying out studies and activities to keep young people away from bad habits.
- Organizing youth events at national and local level.
- Organizing youth week events.
- Maintain relationships with non-governmental organizations and related departments of public organizations and institutions, local administrations and universities which operate in the field of youth.
Duties of the Directorate General Education, Research and Coordination are:
a.Providing guidance and consultancy to the youth and carrying out activities to improve education services and opportunities
b.Carrying out projects and works in the field of youth or sports, evaluating, participating in, supporting and inspecting the results of projects and works in this field and determining principles and procedures about the projects and works to be supported.
c.Arranging seminars, symposiums, expertise programmes, conferences and other events alike, opening courses and delivering trainings, planning activities in the fields of education and culture in order to make contribution to development of young people.
ç. Preparing and enabling the preparation of audio-visiual publishings, films, documentaries and the like at national and international levels concerning the duties of the Ministry.
d. Carrying out investigations and research about the youth within or outside the country, sharing the outcomes of such investigations and research with related organizations and institutions.
e. Carrying out activities to increase the interest of young people in science, arts and cultural fields and supporting activities carried out in that scope as well as conducting the activities meant for promoting our cultural and historical heritage among young people.
f. Carrying out activities designed for raising awareness on voluntary work among young people and promoting young people's volunteering.
g. Supporting the projects targeting disadvantaged young people and the mobility projects of young people as a priority.
ğ. Providing coordination and cooperation between organizations and institutions in its field of duty.
h. Taking account of the submitted requests, suggestions and complaints about the services and opportunities offered to the youth.
i. Carrying out similar duties to be assigned by the Minister.
Duties of the Directorate General of International Organisations anf Foreign Relations are:
a. Conducting the foreign relations of the Ministry and following the international developments within the scope of duties of the Ministry.
b. Serving as an offical authority in the context of realization of international organisations and international contacts and relations, arranging international meetings, conferences, seminars and other events alike and ensuring the necessary coordination for these events.
c. Carrying out the necessary works and transactions directed to the execution of pecuniary obligations concerning the payment of subscription fees and other dues alike to the international organisations.
ç. Carrying out works for identifying the procedures and principles for purchasing, selling and leasing in international organisations and conducting the exclusive account created for that aim.
d. Implementing and coordinating the international exchange programmes and joint projects with international organisations in the field of youth and sports.
e. Conducting the works and transactions for international cooperations and protocols in the scope of duties of the Ministry.
f. Carrying out the works related to the visitors to our country in the field of youth and sports.
g. Ensuring that outsourced (internationally granted) project proposals and drafts whether coming directly from international organisations and other countries or coming through the agency of other bodies and organisations are checked and assessed in line with the policies of the Ministry.
ğ. Carrying out similar duties to be assigned by the Minister.
Youth policy is a dynamic concept. Youth policy of each country is shaped within the scope of its own political, economic and cultural codes. Within the context of this dynamism, various revisions and updates have been made in the content of the Legislative Decree Number 638 on the Organization and Duties of the Ministry of Youth and Sports since 2011 and these works still continue.
For instance, in line with the suggestions of NGO’s working in the field of youth, a change related to the formation of legal basis for National Youth Council has been introduced into Decree Law in 12.7.2013. Besides, in 27.3.2015 changes related to provincial organisation of the Ministry have been adopted.
After the adoption of new governmental system, with the issuing of Presidential Decree 1 dated 10/07/2018 organisation and assignement of duties within the Ministry have been restructured.