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Graduate Program

Youth participation in local politics

City councils and youth assemblies in Turkey
(2016) Southeast European and Black Sea Studies, 17: 1, 97-112.


The focus of this study is political participation of youth in local politics in Turkey. Since local politics includes elements from both macro politics and mundane affairs, it proves to be a fertile ground to analyse how youth experience politics. Youth participation in local politics became an important issue in Turkey with the Agenda 21. The Agenda 21 that was launched with the UN Rio Summit was transferred to Turkey in the form of Local Agenda 21 leading to the establishment of city councils and youth assemblies under the umbrella of the councils. We treat city councils and youth assemblies as ‘a lost opportunity’ for now, and we ask why the youth cannot be integrated into local politics, despite the fact that they are willing to participate. Based on the interviews conducted with the members of assemblies and the civil society, we try to understand the factors that lead to young people’s engagement in political life.