5.6 Supporting youth organisations
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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 the Turkish 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.”
Besides, subparagraph (d) of Article 187 of the Presidential Decree No. 1 includes the provision: “Realizing registration, visa and transfer procedures of 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.
In 9 Project calls between the years of 2012-2018: a total of 172,694,718 TL support was provided for “Social Cohesion”, “Training, Vocational Training/Vocational Course”, “Culture and Art”, Healthy Life and Sports”, “Volunteering”, Combating Addiction”, “Scientific Research”, “Innovative Ideas”, “Youth Centres”, Mobile Youth Centres”, “Book Coffee” and for projects with various titles prepared by NGOs, universities, high schools, youth communities and state institutions and organizations
During the 2018/I Special Call Period, a total of 16,500,000 TL support was provided for the projects under the titles of “Healthy Life and Sports”, “Culture and Art” and “Innovative Ideas” for High School- Youth Groups and University Youth Communities.
During the 2018/II General Call Period, a total of 35,039, 750 TL support was provided for the projects of NGOs working in the field of youth throughout Turkey titled “Book Coffee”, “Mobile Youth Centre”, “Combating Addiction”, “Social Cohesion”, “Healthy Life and Sports”, “Culture and Art”, “Innovative Ideas” and the projects with various titles.
During the 2019/I Special Call Period, a total of 17,336,560 TL support was provided for the projects under the headings of “Volunteering”, “Physical Activities, Exercises and Sport”, “Culture and Art”, “Innovative Ideas”, “Environmental Awareness” and “Protection of Animals “aimed at elementary- secondary –high schools- universities -science and art centres.
During the 2020/I General Call Period, a total of 90,000,000 TL support was provided for the projects under the headings of “Volunteering”, “Book Coffee Projects”, “Innovative Ideas”, “Culture and Art”, “Animal Protection”, “Environmental Awareness”, “Healthy Life and Sports” and “Personal Development Training”.
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. From 2012 to 2020, within the context of Youth Projects Support Program, grants were given primarily to projects in the underdeveloped regions of Turkey and these mainly focused on reaching young people who could not take place in the representation bodies and helping them to take part in the youth organizations as volunteers and participants.