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Although there is no legal definition and basis for the nongovernmental organisations working in the field of youth in Turkey, young people also have the right to found associations in accordance with the article 3: Right to Found an Association of the Associations Law No 5253; “Real and legal entities with capacity to act have the right to found an association without prior authorisation. However there exist some limitations concerning members of armed forces, law enforcement officers and officials working in public institutions and organisations. Minors over 15 having the power of discernment may either found child associations or be a member in order to enhance their psychical, mental and moral capabilities, to preserve their rights of sport, education and training, social and cultural existence, structure of their families and their private lives with a written permission given by their legal representatives. Minors over 12 years old may become members of child associations however, they cannot be commissioned in executive and auditing boards.”
In addition, paragraph (d) of the article 7 of the Decree Law No 638 on Organisation and Duties of the Ministry of Youth and Sports includes the provision; “To carry out the registration, visa and transfer transactions of the youth associations”.
There are various grant programmes which support nongovernmental organisations financially in Turkey. Ministry of Youth and Sports Youth Project Support Programme (Gençlik ve Spor Bakanlığı Gençlik Projeleri Destek Programı), Ministry of Interior Project Aids Programme for Associations and Parent Organisations, Ministry of Family and Social Policies Project Support Programme, Development Agencies Project Supports are some of these programmes. In addition, especially the European Union funds have an important place with its Erasmus+ programme in that context. However, Ministry of Youth and Sports Youth Project Support Programme has a separate place in this field due to both targeting directly the youth organisations and its functionality.
Shortly after its foundation, the Ministry of Youth and Sports has published the “Ministry of Youth and Sports Project Regulations”. The basic aim of the regulations is “to support the personal and social development of young people; enable them to realise their potentials; increase their active participation in decision making and implementation processes and each field of social life; create and carry out project support programmes in relation to facilitating their access to youth and sports services and realizing innovative ideas (additional clause: RG-30/4/2016-29699) and carry out joint projects with real and legal entities, youth groups and youth communities by the Ministry of Youth and Sports by taking the needs of young people and youth groups into consideration.” This regulation has enabled the Ministry to grant the youth projects in many areas such as mobility, culture, art, participation, social inclusion, education and entrepreneurship.
352 Youth organisation has been supported and 26 million TL (6 million Euro) has been granted within the scope of the Youth Project Support Programme in 2015. These grants were not structural ones but project basis grants.
Another significant aspect of Ministry of Youth and Sports Project Regulations is the one which enables joint projects with Youth and Sports NGO's.
There are many local, regional and national activities which support the active participation of young people in social life in Turkey. The young people actually participate in social processes actively by means of the projects and programmes organised especially by the Ministry of Youth and Sports. In the framework of Youth Projects Support Programme in 2016 as a priority the projects in the underdevelopped regions of Turkey have been granted and these projects mainly focused on reaching out the young people who can not take place in representative bodies and helping them get involved in the youth organisations as volunteers and participants.