9.6 Intercontinental youth work and development cooperation
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In Turkey, the most important role in the international and intercontinental youth work is played by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and National Agency. The National Agency is the National Agency of Erasmus+ Programme, and it supports and encourages international youth cooperation within the scope of main action areas of Learning Mobility of Individuals, Cooperation for the Change of Innovation and Good Practices, Support for Policy Reforms.
General Directorate of International Organisations and Foreign Relations within the Ministry of Youth and Sports cooperates with Council of Europe, European Union, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Turkic Council in the field of youth.
International youth camps, Youth Exchange with the South Korea, Youth and Expert Exchanges with Germany, Turkish-German Youth Volunteering Exchange programs are the main international youth cooperation works carried out by the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
The Republic of Turkey has many cooperation agreements with other states on the subject of youth and in this scope, mutual youth exchange and joint meetings are carried out.
Youth Exchange with South Korea: In order to strengthen the traditional friendship ties with Turkey and the South Korea and to ensure the youth to get to know each others better by featuring historical, social and cultural values within the framework of mutual understanding, youth exchanges have been carried out with the South Korea since 2007. 23 people formed of the chosen youth and representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Sports visited the Turkish martyrs’ cemetery and various institutions in the South Korea; performed presentations promoting Turkey and Turkish culture, became guests of South Korean families in order to know the friendly and sister country culture better and made various cultural contacts in the youth arena.
Youth and Expert Exchanges with Germany: In accordance with the “Protocol on the Cooperation in the Youth Policies” (Gençliğe Yönelik Politikalarda İşbirliği Hakkında Protokol) signed between Turkey and Germany in 1994, youth and expert exchanges carried out through youth centres and partner institutions in Germany are ongoing. Up to date, approximately 4000 youth have enjoyed the mentioned program. In 2015, totally 381 people participated in the activities in question that was completed as exchange of 24 youth and 3 experts. Furthermore, the Ministry of Youth and Sports is carrying out necessary works to enable realisation of application and procedures online by creating a web site regarding the youth exchanges.
Turkey-Germany Youth Volunteering Exchange: For the purpose of increasing cooperation on Turkish-German youth exchange, finding new project partners, creating network, strengthening the existing works, cooperation works between the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Family, Elderly, Woman and Youth of the Federal Republic of Germany are ongoing. To this aim, a partner market preparatory work was organised in Eskişehir on 9-14 June 2015. Furthermore, the “Turkish-German Partner Market” organised by the German Youth Institute was also held in Berlin on 11-15 September 2015. 25 youth worker from youth arena participated in the program. The main theme for next year’s exchanges to be carried out with Germany is ascertained as “Volunteering”.
Turkish-German Youth Bridge Programme:The Turkish-German Youth Bridge Programme (Gençlik Köprüsü Türkiye-Almanya programı) is a youth program aimed at intensifying student and youth exchanges between Turkey and Germany and thus, strengthening relations by bringing the two countries closer. The Turkish-German Youth Bridge develops multi-dimensional project formats and supports these projects. Within the scope of the project, youth groups, non-governmental organisations in Turkey and Germany form partnerships and carry out joint youth works.
Another opportunity enabling international mobility of the youth, however, are the student exchange programs carried out through offices of the big international networks in Turkey. In this scope, supports for the youth to study in other countries in the world are provided with scholarship support. Without limited to international mobility, youth organisations with wide networks like Community Volunteers Foundation (TOG) and Habitat Centre for Development and Governance also support the youth to enable them to volunteer in non-profit social projects and participate in decision-making mechanisms by ensuring their mobility inside and outside the country. While TOG provides that mostly through university clubs, Habitat supports youth assemblies and local youth organisations (some NGOs, Youth Culture Houses etc.).