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In Turkey, the main public actor in the area of culture is the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. All efforts necessary for passing down the cultural heritage of Turkey to next generations are carried out in accordance with international protection principles, most notably the Venice Charter, by the authority granted by Article 63 of the Constitution (Anayasa), Law no. 4848 on the Organization and Duties of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (4848 sayılı Kültür ve Turizm Bakanlığı Teşkilat ve Görevleri Hakkında Kanun) and Law no. 2863 on the Conservation of Cultural and Natural Property (2863 sayılı Kültür ve Tabiat Varlıklarını Koruma Kanun).
The cultural and natural property and natural conservation areas that need to be protected are identified by obtaining the approval of relevant institutions under the coordination of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Within the framework of the relevant laws, bylaws and regulations, projects are designed in relation the entire cultural heritage in Turkey, and restoration and conservation efforts are made. Furthermore, efforts for protection of the common immovable cultural heritage of Turkey abroad are made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with relevant organizations as per the permission of the state owning the relevant property and the cultural agreements entered into.
The management of cultural heritage is important in the sense that the conservation efforts will contribute to the cultural heritage of Turkey and the world in the long term and sustainability of conservation will be ensured. In order to ensure that archaeological sites, conservation areas and interaction sites as well as junction points are conserved and used within the framework of a sustainable management plan under the coordination of governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations, “Law no. 5226 on Amendment to the Law on the Conservation of Cultural and Natural Property and Various Laws” (Kültür ve Tabiat Varlıklarını Koruma Kanunu İle Çeşitli Kanunlarda Değişiklik Yapılması Hakkında Kanun) and “Regulation on Organization and Duties of the Area Management and Monuments Board and Procedures and Principles of Identifying the Areas of Management” (Alan Yönetimi ile Anıt Eser Kurulunun Kuruluş ve Görevleri ile Yönetim Alanlarının Belirlenmesine İlişkin Usul ve Esaslar Hakkında Yönetmelik) were enacted. The provisions of this Regulation started to be applied primarily for the areas in the world heritage and tentative lists, and implementation of the provisions have been developing.
The following activities are carried out with the framework of the activities of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in order to ensure that the concepts of cultural heritage and conservation are embraced by the young population as well and that the young population get involved in the process.
In order to ensure access to correct information by discussion in the efforts for conservation of cultural property and during and before the process of execution of projects relating to the immovable cultural property particularly in the final and tentative World Heritage lists, Scientific Committees are set up containing expert academics from the relevant departments of universities. The academics in the said committees take part in the functioning of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism under these projects, and an effective relations are developed between the universities delivering courses on cultural heritage and the efforts being made.
University students studying on conservation in the relevant universities are provided with the opportunity to do an internship in the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and take part in the activities for protection of cultural heritage. The said activities are intended to enhance the students’ fund of knowledge and ensure flow of information regarding the efforts of the bureaucracy in addition to theoretical knowledge.
Additionally, within the framework of the EU Culture Program (Avrupa Birliği Kültür Programı), there are projects executed under the subtitle “Civil Society Dialogue” in which the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is involved and that have also social aspects in addition to technical efforts and are kept track of by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism:
- IPA I (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance I) Common Cultural Heritage: Within the scope of the Preservation and Dialogue between Turkey and the EU;
“Common Cultural Heritage: Project for Preservation and Dialogue between Turkey and the EU - Sinop Model” is carried out. The said project is a comprehensive project with many subtitles and also has a social aspect. The scope of the project includes technical matters such as the preparation of an area management plan and restoration of historical structures as well as training courses and conferences on cultural heritage and design for enhancement of civil society dialogue and culture/art grant programs.
IPA I (Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance I) – “EU-Turkey Anatolian Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Institute Project” (AB-Türkiye Anadolu Arkeolojisi ve Kültürel Miras Enstitüsü Projesi) carried out in Gaziantep by the Ministry of European Union, Gaziantep Metropolitan Municipality and our Ministry is intended to found the Anatolian Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Institute in Gaziantep and develop dialogue and cooperation between Turkey and the EU civil society representatives.
The most important target group of the civil society dialogue projects planned to be integrated with the restoration works mentioned under this subtitle is young people. Besides, as per the Culture Agreement or the applicable laws in the countries, a Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Cooperation is entered into with other countries in order to set the legal stage for the relations between Turkey and other countries in the area of culture and develop our cultural relations with other countries in accordance with the foreign policy and interests of Turkey. Within the framework of the provisions set forth in the Cultural Cooperation Agreements concluded, cultural activities are carried out under the agreements with different names such as Mixed Culture Commission Protocol, Cultural Exchange Program and Implementation Program in accordance with the legislation of the countries.
Within the framework of such agreements, the countries are cooperated with in many areas of culture, and it is ensured that young employees or students receive training courses and are involved in implementation. Some of these titles include awarding of scholarship to mutually encourage education and internship programs, cooperation and exchange of information on the conservation and restoration of cultural property, timely notification of the parties on the international cultural and scientific conferences, congresses, symposiums, colloquiums and similar meetings to be held in their countries, opening of departments at universities for learning the languages of other nations and exchange of scientists.
The main responsibility of passing down the cultural heritage to next generations rests with young people. It is important that young people be provided with opportunities to take on responsibility and make decisions regarding cultural heritage from the viewpoint of implementing and embracing the decisions taken. In order to ensure involvement of young people into the process and obtain their opinions regarding cultural heritage, Governorates, Municipalities, Foundations dealing with culture, and Development Agencies organize training courses, conferences, seminars and contests.
In addition to the general culture and art policies and activities of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, culture and art policies aimed at young people are contained in the National Youth and Sports Policy Document (Ulusal Gençlik ve Spor Politikası Belgesi). Culture and art policy approach aimed at young people is discussed in the section titled ‘Culture and Art’ of the National Youth and Sports Policy Document (Ulusal Gençlik ve Spor Politikası Belgesi). The policy measures identified within the scope of this policy area are as follows:
1. Better promotion of Turkish history and cultural heritage to young people.
2. Enhancement of young people’s involvement in artistic activities.
3. Increasing the quantity and quality of cultural and artistic activities aimed at young people.
4. Increasing the quantity and quality of TV channels broadcasting for young people at national and/or regional level to a sufficient degree.
In determining the Culture and Art policy and setting the goals for this policy area within the scope of the National Youth and Sports Policy Document (Ulusal Gençlik ve Spor Politikası Belgesi), the stakeholders responsible for the said policy measures were also determined and attention was paid particularly to maintain a cross-institutional and cross-sectorial approach in the culture and art policy area aimed at young people.
The National Youth and Sports Policy Document (Ulusal Gençlik ve Spor Politikası Belgesi) is a determinative document in relation to ensuring coordination between various public authorities and civil society initiatives involved in cultural and artistic activities aimed at young people. Moreover, the projects of young people and non-governmental organizations in the area of culture and art across Turkey are provided with grant funds within the scope of the Ministry of Youth and Sports Youth Projects Support Program (Gençlik ve Spor Bakanlığı Gençlik Projeleri Destek Programı). The Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of European Union are the public authorities that work in coordination with each other regarding the culture and art policies and actions aimed at young people. Additionally, Yunus Emre Institute, which carries out activities in different parts of the world and teaches Turkish to foreigners in its centers abroad as well as being engaged in cultural and artistic activities for the promotion of Turkey, supports young artists and cooperates with other organizations and institutions abroad in order to ensure cross-cultural interaction.
In order to establish a strong tie between culture and art pursuits and the education system, the Protocol on Culture and Art Cooperation (Kültür, Sanat İşbirliği Protokolü) was signed between the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The aim of the protocol is to ensure the students are informed of various art branches and their awareness on art is created, to increase their interest in the art and artists, to help them unearth their artistic talents in cooperation with the Ministry of National Education and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
In this scope, the activities for which the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Ministry of National Education are responsible were determined.
The activities to be carried out by the General Directorate of Fine Arts within the Ministry of Culture and Tourism:
1) While a part of the concerts are allocated to schools, further concerts will be organized for students as well.
2) It will engage in cooperation with relevant institutions so that music class materials can be supplied for effective, efficient and meaningful teaching of music in educational institutions.
3) It will be ensured that choir and society members visit schools, inform students of the art they perform, introduce their instruments and perform some mini gigs with teachers and students, and contribution will be made to form school choirs.
4) Kits will be prepared, which promote bards and composers as well as their works and contain music books and CDs with instrumental and vocal-led music.
5) Kits will be prepared, which promote folk songs based on their themes (wedding, henna night, homesickness, military service, etc.) and regions (Balkans, Kirkuk, etc.) and contain music books and CDs with instrumental and vocal-led music.
6) Arrangements will be made to enable students to see the artistic activities in art galleries.
The activities to be carried out by the General Directorate of State Opera and Ballet within the Ministry of Culture and Tourism:
1) While a part of the gigs are allocated to schools, further gigs will be organized for students as well.
2) It will be ensured that opera and ballet artists visit the schools and inform students of the art they perform.
3) Materials that promote opera and ballet, such as CDs and brochures will be prepared and reproduced.
4) It will be ensured that ballet artists show the basic ballet positions to students and guide them in trying these positions.
5) Activities will be organized in which students will be taught the differences between voice types such as tenor, soprano and baritone in opera and will be given the opportunity to know their own voice type.
6) Opera and ballet shows or gigs will be performed at schools with a suitable hall.
The activities to be carried out by the General Directorate of State Theaters within the Ministry of Culture and Tourism:
1) While a part of the plays are allocated to schools, further plays will be organized for students as well.
2) Students will be given the opportunity to see preparatory activities before the plays, such as costume, decoration and make-up in theater halls or workshops and take part in these activities if possible.
3) Students will be allowed to watch the rehearsals before the plays if possible.
4) Artistic and technical support will be provided to the plays and drama activities at schools.
5) Diction courses will be delivered at various levels for teachers and students to speak Turkish clearly and eloquently.
6) Teachers will be provided with teaching support in the area of drama.
Activities to be carried out by the Ministry of National Education:
1) The annual plays, concerts and show programs prepared by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism will be announced and delivered to schools.
2) The schools to be visited by artists will be determined and the necessary coordination will be ensured.
3) The teachers and students that will attend the drama and diction courses will be selected and the necessary coordination will be ensured.
4) The materials prepared by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, such as kits, CDs and brochures will be distributed to the educational institutions.
5) Students and teachers that will attend shows, excursions and other activities under the protocol will be transported to the relevant locations.