13 January 2010
YOUTH AND POLITICS
MURCIR panel on “Youth and Politics” was held on January 13, 2010 at Marmara University Göztepe Campus, İbrahim Üzümcü Conference Hall. Prof. Dr. Büşra Ersanlı from Marmara University Department of Political Science and International Relations chaired the panel.
The first panelist was Yörük Kurtaran, Director of the Youth Studies Unit at Bilgi University. In his speech, Kurtaran mainly focused on the definition(s) of the youth. Kurtaran asserted that age could not be accepted as the sole criteria to define the youth and mentioned different youth groups in the society. He pointed out various perspectives in the society considering the definition of the youth. He also shared his experiences with some youth groups at the workshops or projects of the Youth Studies Unit.
Following Kurtaran, Assoc. Prof. Yüksel Taşkın from Marmara University Department of Political Science and International Relations took the floor. Taşkın based his views and observations on two researches conducted to analyze the political tendencies of Turkish youth, one being a quantitative survey in 2007 while the other was a qualitative survey in 2009. Taşkın began his speech by saying that in Turkey the values endorsed by the youth do not significantly differ from the values of their families. He shared some figures from 2007 research and supported these figures with the findings of the qualitative survey. Taşkın mostly mentioned his observations on the youth of the political parties.
Third speaker was a senior student from Marmara University Department of Political Science and International Relations, Emrah Çınar. In his speech, Çınar expressed his views on the political scene in Turkey. He emphasized the need for a “democratic public” and complained that the private is extending into the public realm and confining the public to a narrower space. He exemplified his views by giving his experiences from the daily life.
The last speaker was another senior student from the same department, Ulaş Mert Olkun. Olkun conveyed his views on the politics in Turkey through criticizing “core-periphery” analysis of Turkish politics. While he was not rejecting the core-periphery approach, he pointed out a need to redefine the core and the periphery in Turkey. Contrary to the tendency to define conservative political elite in Turkey as the periphery, Olkun said the discriminated sections of the society should be deemed as the real periphery.
The panel ended with comments and questions of the audience.