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EACEA National Policies Platform


8. Creativity and Culture

8.1 General context

Last update: 21 March 2024
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  1. Main trends in young people's creativity and cultural participation
  2. Main concepts

Main trends in young people's creativity and cultural participation

Although there is no research conducted on the cultural participation of young people at national level, there are some statistics that can be included in cultural participation. 

In 2022, as a result of the efforts and collaborations, 27 new libraries were opened and the total number of libraries under the Directorate General of Libraries and Publications has reached to 1,257. The number of districts without libraries decreased to 85. There are now 72 Children's Libraries including 14 Baby and Children's Libraries and 14 Specialized Libraries including 10 Literature Museum Libraries, 2 Railway Station Libraries, 2 Airport Libraries and 10 Mall Libraries. 

According to the data from Public Libraries in 2022, the total number of books in all public libraries is 23,243,046, the number of library users is 26,787,859, the number of members is 5,568,164 and the number of materials lent out is 9,476,508. According to the data of the National Library in 2022, the number of books in the National Library is 1,632,589, the number of library use is  405,584, the number of members is 169,008 members and the number of downloads from digital library is 1,773,256.

Main concepts

Culture is defined as the style of living and thinking that distinguishes one community from another, has been continuing for a long time with numerous changes and builds the identity of the communities with specific arts, beliefs, manners and customs, understanding and behavior. It is the entire material and moral values that give an identity to the society and maintain order with the feelings of solidarity and unity.

The scope of the concept of cultural heritage is very extended, and it can be grouped into two as tangible cultural heritage and intangible cultural heritage. 

Tangible cultural heritage includes the structures, historical places and monuments that need to be protected so that they can be passed down to next generations. Archaeological, architectural and scientific/technological works are addressed as tangible cultural heritage. These structures carry the development of societies and the places they live beyond time and are the areas that illustrate the natural environment, social, economic and cultural aspects of the societies and give information on those societies.

Intangible cultural heritage refers to the cultural products and production processes such as oral narration, oral tradition, performance arts, social practices, rituals and festivals, folklore, practices concerning the universe and nature, and handicraft tradition.

It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to design surveying, restitution and restoration projects for immovable cultural property and to carry out maintenance, repair and restoration practices under such projects, and any action or work concerning the movable and immovable cultural property is carried out within the framework of Law no. 2863 on Protection of Cultural Propert (2863 sayılı Kültür Varlıklarını Koruma Kanunu). Some legal definitions used in this law regarding tangible cultural heritage are given below:

Cultural property: It refers to movable and immovable property on the ground, underground or underwater pertaining to science, culture, religion and fine arts before and after recorded history or that is of unique scientific and cultural value for social life before and after recorded history.

Natural property: It refers to all assets on the ground, underground or underwater pertaining to geological periods, prehistoric periods until the present time, which are of unique kind or require protection due to their characteristics and beauty.    

Conservation area: It refers to areas that are the product of various civilizations from prehistoric ages up to the present and containing cities, ruins and cultural property reflecting the social, economic, architectural and similar characteristics of the respective times as well as areas where important historical events occurred with a concentration of cultural property and areas the natural characteristics of which have been documented to require protection.  (As per the Decree no. 648 (648 Karar Nolu Kanun Hükmünde Kararname), published in the Official Gazette no. 28028 of 17.08.2011, the authority on natural protected areas and natural property was delegated to the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization.)

Street improvement projects and their implementation: They refer to any project for conservation and documentation of the immovable cultural property and other structures on the streets required to be protected along with all elements defining the texture of the streets in urban protected areas and conserved areas, including survey, restitution, restoration and urban design projects as well as any project required to be carried out in the branches of engineering and their implementation.

The concept “Conservation” refers to the safeguarding, maintenance, repair, restoration, functional change of immovable cultural and natural property and safeguarding, maintenance, repair and restoration of movable cultural property. 

Since 2006, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has been a party to the “Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage” (Somut  Olmayan  Kültürel  Miras'ın Korunması  Sözleşmesi), adopted by UNESCO in 2003, and the convention has been executed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Within the framework of Article 3 of the Convention, which says “Safeguarding means measures aimed at ensuring the viability of the intangible cultural heritage, including the identification, documentation, research, preservation, protection, promotion, enhancement, transmission, particularly through formal and non-formal education, as well as the revitalization of the various aspects of such heritage.”, activities are carried out with a view to passing down Intangible Cultural Heritage to next generations and enhancing visibility and awareness of Intangible Cultural Heritage among young people. 

In this scope, conservation programs are designed in relation to the items included into the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage (UNESCO Somut Olmayan Kültürel Mirasın Temsili Listesi), Intangible Cultural Heritage National Inventory of Turkey (Somut Olmayan Kültürel Miras Türkiye Envanteri) and Living Human Treasures National Inventory of Turkey (Yaşayan İnsan Hazineleri Türkiye Ulusal Envanterleri) in order to pass down historical items to next generations, raise awareness of and sustain them.