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Turkey

Turkey

2. Voluntary Activities

2.2 Administration and governance of youth volunteering

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  1. Governance
  2. Cross-sectoral cooperation

Governance

There is no legal legislation in Turkey which determines the definition of volunteering and framework of the responsibilities of the non-governmental organizations in terms of volunteering governance.

Public organizations and non-governmental organizations are the main actors in youth volunteering in Turkey. The institutions that are stakeholders in volunteering are as follows:

Ministry of Youth and Sports,

Turkish National Agency,

Ministry of Interior,

Ministry of Family and Social Services,

Ministry of National Education,

Presidency of Religious Affairs,

Ministry of Environment, Urbanization and Climate Change,

Ministry of Interior Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency,

Ministry of Culture and Tourism,

Ministry of Health,

Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry,

Union of Municipalities of Turkey,

Local Administrations,

Higher Education Institution,

Universities,

International Organizations,

Media Companies,

Non-Governmental Organizations, 

Private Sector Organizations.

Pursuant to subparagraph (f) of Article 190 of the Presidential Decree on the Presidency Organization No. 1 dated 10/07/2018: The task of "to carry out activities that increase the awareness of volunteering and encourage the youth" has been entrusted to the General Directorate of Education, Research and Coordination of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

In Article 26 of the Regulation on the General Directorate of Relations with Civil Society of the Ministry of Interior, the duties of the Civil Society Strategies and Education Office are "to promote volunteering in the field of civil society, to maintain statistics on this, to do the necessary work on the creation of a voluntary pool".

Cross-sectoral cooperation

In order to launch a volunteer campaign with full participation of all stakeholders in our country, the “2019 year of volunteering” was announced by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the 2019 year of volunteering Launch Program was carried out. The 2019 Volunteering Year Strategy Document, which was prepared with the understanding of maximizing cooperation between civil society, private sector and public institutions and organizations regarding volunteering and ensuring the effective use of resources, and consisting of 6 main focuses, was shared with the public. In the context of "strengthening inter-institutional relations", which is one of these 6 main focuses, many inter-institutional cooperation protocols have been signed in the field of volunteering. In this context, “Cooperation Protocols in the Field of Volunteering” were signed with the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Higher Education Institution, Universities, the Union of Municipalities of Turkey and many municipalities, and a similar study was brought to the signature stage with the Ministry of Family and Social Services. Again, in cooperation with the Presidency of Higher Education, "Volunteering Studies Course" has started to be taught as an elective course in universities since the 2020-2021 academic year.

Studies carried out with the aim of contributing to the creation of inclusive and holistic social policies at the widest level through the development and strengthening of civil society cooperation with the Ministry of Family and Social Services were moved to an institutional level in 2021, and the Civil Society Cooperation and Project Department was established under the umbrella of the Strategy Development Presidency. “To encourage and develop voluntary services for the development of Ministry-civil society cooperation, to prepare training programs and projects, to organize activities and to cooperate and coordinate with relevant institutions and organizations” are among the duties of the Civil Society Cooperation and Project Department.

The Ministry of Family and Social Services has established a “Social and Labor Union Council”, which will conduct work under the chairmanship of the Ministry of Family and Social Services to develop cooperation and coordination, promote volunteering, strengthen consultation mechanism, evaluate social policies, develop and implement projects with NGOs, universities, international organizations, private sector and all stakeholders.

In addition to these developments, in 2021, a number of activities were carried out in the preparation of the Civil Society Vision Document and Action Plan, which would enable the mobilization of the Ministerial – civil society cooperation mechanisms, where NGOs participated as active stakeholders and contributed to the qualitative and quantitative findings obtained. As a result of a process carried out with a participatory approach, "Ministry of Family and Social Services Civil Society Vision Document and 2022-2023 Action Plan" was created and shared with the public on March 11, 2022 with the promotional program.

Within the scope of the "Development of Digitization within the Scope of the Ministry - Civil Society Cooperation" target, which was determined as the 3rd Target in the said action plan;

3.3. Development of the volunteer engagement module, and

Within the scope of the “Promoting Volunteering” action determined as the target 5; activities are included as ;

5.1. Giving informational trainings on volunteering in the field of social services and social assistance,

5.2. Increasing awareness about the volunteer participation module,

5.3. Honoring non-governmental organizations and volunteers who perform successful works in the field of social services and social assistance,

In order to determine the procedures and principles regarding the honoring of non-governmental organizations and individuals who voluntarily contribute and participate in the services of the Ministry, "Regulation on Honoring Those Who Participate and Contribute to the Services of the Ministry of Family and Social Services" was prepared and put into effect by being published in the Official Gazette.

With the aim of promoting civil society and volunteering activities in universities, the General Directorate of Civil Society Relations continues its activities together with other stakeholders, especially with YÖK.(Higher Education Instituion) In this context, in line with the data received from YÖK, Volunteering Studies course has been opened in a total of 3,394 associate and undergraduate programs in 107 higher education institutions as of the year 2022, and 33,107 students have taken the course.

In our country, which has a strong and dynamic population, studies for the dissemination of Civil Society Centers within universities are carried out by the General Directorate of Civil Society Relations, in order to increase the awareness of young people studying at universities in the field of civil society and their participation in voluntary activities. Currently, there are NGO Centers in 9 universities. The "Legal Framework and Capacity Development Project I-II", which is also funded by the Presidency and is expected to contribute directly to the legal framework for volunteering, and has been implemented as two phases, covering 2020 and 2021 by the Directorate General of Civil Society Relations.

Within the scope of the project, 15.000 public and NGO representatives were surveyed to determine the current situation in certain topics including “volunteering,” and reports were prepared by experts as a result of Civil Society meetings and workshops conducted within the scope of the project. Within the scope of the phase 2 of the project in 2021, workgroups  composed of specialized academics were created in 5 different topics, especially in the subject of volunteering.

Within the scope of volunteering, which has an important place among the topics, studies were carried out with academicians on the draft law on volunteering, which also includes the opinions and suggestions of organizations working in the field. Again, since 2019, the Ministry of Interior General Directorate of Civil Society Relations has provided a total of 2,830,126 TL support to 18 associations in return for projects in the subject of volunteering, and project support in the field of volunteering continues.

One of the primary ways of forming cooperation between public authorities and civil society organisations is the grant programmes designed to support civil initiatives in the field of voluntary work. To this aim, Ministry of Youth and Sports in the framework of Project Support Programme grants a number of volunteering projects every year.

One of the primary ways of forming cooperation between public authorities and civil society organisations is the grant programmes designed to support civil initiatives in the field of voluntary work. To this aim, Ministry of Youth and Sports in the framework of Project Support Programme grants a number of volunteering projects every year.