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Turkey

Turkey

5. Participation

5.4 Young people's participation in policy-making

On this page
  1. Formal Mechanisms of Consultation
  2. Actors
  3. Information on the extent of youth participation
  4. Outcomes
  5. Large-scale initiatives for dialogue or debate between public institutions and young people

Formal Mechanisms of Consultation

According to the principles and policies set down in the policy area of  “Democratic Participation and Civic Consciousness”, to ensure youth consultation, the Ministry receives the ideas and demands of young people via written forms, meetings, workshops, questionnaires when planning a project or activity. Written demands of young people are evaluated in the Ministry. For bigger projects, a survey service is bought from a research company to find out the demands and expectations of young people about the issue which is intended to be tackled in the planned project.  After the project implementation, to get a reliable feedback from young people an impact analysis is carried out by using satisfaction surveys and other methods, subsequent to this analysis, results are transformed into statistics and the statistics are evaluated for future projects. In the activities requiring decision-making such as updating National Youth and Sports Policy Document, developing new strategies etc. the workshops turn out to be most used consultation mechanisms. 

In line with this structure of consultation, National Youth and Sports Policy Document is drawn up with a democratic and participative method in accordance with the opinions and suggestions of the public organisations and institutions related to youth, universities, nongovernmental organisations, educators and especially the young people. For this purpose, comprehensive workshops and evaluation meetings were held in and outside the country in which the young people participated, written opinions were received and online environments were created on which the opinions and suggestions of the young people are taken.

In addition, Youth Centres in the provinces and districts operate as formal consultation mechanisms on the local level to receive the opinions and demands of young people about the activities of youth centres. Young people can submit their demands in writing or verbally. Youth centres after sharing general expectations and demands with the Ministry of Youth and Sports can act upon the expectations received from young people. 

City Council Youth Assemblies within the City Councils on local level takes part in the administration by presenting their opinions to the Municipality in the process of determining, implementing and monitoring the basic strategies and action plans in relation to the city.

 

Actors

Ministry of Youth and Sports and Ministry of National Education are the most important public authorities in relation to youth participation and youth consultation, also nongovernmental organisations operating in the field of youth provide significant contributions in relation to youth participation and youth consultation by being organised in the forms of federations and confederations.

The youth NGOs have a key role to ensure that youngsters’ thoughts and demands are consulted in policy making processes. Within the framework of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Youth Project Support Programme which is a grant programme for youth projects, before and after the call for proposals the meetings and workshops with a broad participation from youth NGOs are held and in these meetings youth representatives and young people are consulted over the themes and priorities of grant programme and over the implementation of the projects granted by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. In this way, a strong link has been established between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and non-governemental youth actors in respect of youth consultation.

In addition, youth representation bodies explained in the chapter 5.3, Youth Assemblies, Youth Councils, Turkish Student Council and Students Assembly of Turkey are the well-functioning units of youth consultation.

In the preparation and updating processes of National Youth and Sports Policy Document, when treating the policy areas and chapters concerning disadvantageous youngsters such as “Social Inclusion” and "Fight Against Addiction” the young people who are or have been in these disadvantageous conditions are invited to workshops and consulted. 

 

Information on the extent of youth participation

Each public authority by itself takes inventory of the participants in its consultation processes with young people, these inventories primarily include numbers of participants and in some cases the details of participants. However, since each public authority keeps a list of participants on its own, there is no an overall integrated number of young people interviewed or consulted.  In the body of Ministry of Youth and Sports, an inventory is created by way of the number of members in the Youth Centres which can be considered as youth consultation centres on common level. In youth centres, the educational programmes are mostly adapted to the needs and expectations of local young people in the result of consultation, particularly in the regions mostly populated by young immigrants and disadvantageous youngsters special training programmes such as language courses, activities of social inclusion and integration are offered as a consequence of consultation with local youngsters.

 

Outcomes

In the preparation stage of the National Youth and Sports Policy Document, opinions and suggestions of the young people presented at the workshops as well as the opinions submitted on the internet are evaluated and reflected to the Document. The whole document can be considered as a product of consultation process encompassing ideas of younsters and youth organisations from all sections, the Ministry of Youth and Sports had only put together the separate ideas following from the consultation workshops and formulate the ideas and suggestions in a language proper to a legal document. Since the proposals had emerged and developped anonymously during the consultations and discussions in the workshops, no feedback could have been returned to discussants and collocutors, however every participant could see the contribution created in the workshops included in the Policy Document. The 13 policy area listed below have been created with the direct contribution of young people and youth organisations.

  • Education and Lifelong Learning
  • Family Ethics and Humanitarian Values
  • Employment, Entrepreneurship and Vocational Training
  • Disadvantaged Young People and Social Inclusion
  • Health and Environment
  • Democratic Participation and Civic Consciousness
  • Culture And Art Science and Technology
  • Youth In The International Arena and Intercultural Dialogue.
  • Utilizing Free Time Informing Young People
  • Voluntary Work and Mobility

Within the scope of Ministry of Youth and Sports Youth Project Support Programme, several thematic calls for proposals have been created to meet the needs of young people as a result of consultations with youth organisations. To be specific, II. Call for Proposals in 2013 had been dedicated to social inclusion projects in accordance with the needs identified for socially inclusive measures based on the consultations with youth organisations and evidences adduced by them for such a need.

In addition, in 2016 the Special Call for Proposals dedicated to the projects in the Eastern and Southeastern Turkey has been launched with a view to priority of developement and demands coming from young people living in these regions.

 

Large-scale initiatives for dialogue or debate between public institutions and young people

Article 19: Youth and Sports Councils of the Decree Law No 638 on Organisation and Duties of the Ministry of Youth and Sports includes the provision; “Separate youth and sports councils are held in every four years with the purpose of determining needs and problems in relation to activities regarding youth and sports services and developing suggestions in that direction”. 

In this framework, 2nd Youth Council on Education, Employment and Entrepreneurship, Disadvantaged Young People and Participation in Social Life, Youth in International Level, Healthy Life, Sports and Environment, Internet and Media, Democracy Consciousness and Participation, Culture, Arts and Leisure Time Activities, Ethics and Humanitarian Values assembled in 2012 and the decisions made in this council were directly reflected to the National Youth and Sports Policy Document. Some examples of the policy goals under various policy areas introduced into the Policy Document are as follows :

  • Ensuring the social inclusion of young people who have migrated to the city and have social adaptation problems.
  • To improve the representation of young people in national and local assemblies and to remove the communication gap between the local authorities and young people.
  • Increasing the competing power of young people in the international arena.
  • Increasing the number of centres, activities, and places young people can spend their free time, and extend such services to more people.