Call for a youth policy in Turkey

01 Jun 2008

In early May, 44 youth NGOs came together and issued a call for the Turkish government to develop a youth strategy for Turkey.

New Horizons - In their press release, youth NGOs stated that they support the recommendations brought forward by the 2008 Human Development Report: Youth in Turkey – published by UNDP – in developing a holistic and comprehensive youth policy with the active participation and contribution of the public and private sectors as well as NGOs.

The youth NGOs stressed that youth with their successes, aspirations and projects make up the dynamics of Turkey and noted that developing, protecting and expanding these dynamics are crucial. Youth NGOs stated that youth are the architects of the Turkey they want to see in the future and that investments needed to be made in youth to ensure a better Turkey in the future. The supporting NGOs stated that ensuring equal participation into societal and political activities was one of the ways to increase life quality and warned the government not to see youth as a “problem that needs to be solved”.

Youth NGOs reminded that Turkey’s young population – with its 12 million young people – is more than the total population of many European countries but that Turkey was one of the rare countries that did not have a youth policy and urged the government to address this potential by taking into consideration the recommendations made in UNDP’s 2008 Human Development Report and by accepting the active engagement of youth NGOs in establishing a youth policy.

Some of Turkey’s leading NGOs that supported the report and called the government to take action are: AEGEE, Alternative Life Association, Arı Movement, Educaide, Youth Federation, GSM-Youth Services Centre, International Children’s Centre, Social Responsibility Association and Community Volunteers Foundation.