25 May 2010
PROBLEMS AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION OF THE YOUTH
(Dr., Marmara University, Department of Political Science and International Relations)
(Assist. Prof., Yeditepe University, Department of Sociology)
(Res. Assist., İstanbul Technical University, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences)
(Genç-Sen -Student Youth Union-, Member of Central Executive Committee)
(Student, Marmara University, Department of Political Science and International Relations)
Marmara University Research Center for International Relations (MURCIR) organized its second panel on the “Problems of Youth and Political Participation” in 25 May 2010 at Mustafa Necati Conference Center. The first conference with the same title was organized on 13 January 2009 at İbrahim Üzümcü Conference Center. After the first conference, some students from the department of Political Science and International Relations asked for a new panel that could give them a chance to express their ideas. They organized an ad hoc committee to prepare a common document on the youth and its problems. The committee chose Ayşenur Ordulu to present their paper. The other speakers of the panel were Assistant Professor Demet Lüküslü from Yeditepe University and Dr. Emin Alper from İstanbul Technical University. Dr. Nurşen Gürboğa was the moderator of the panel.
Ayşenur Ordulu summarized the problems of the youth and asked for active participation of youth especially in politics to overcome all these problems. Ordulu also criticized the passive notion of youth that the education system inculcated into her generation.
Demet Lüküslü criticized the imposition of top-down definitions of youth from elsewhere and explained the context-specific nature of youth-ness. She also reviewed some findings of a recent research on the Youth and Political Participation in Turkey. The research was composed of a quantitative and a qualitative stage which were held in 2007 and 2009. Lüküslü introduced her observations drawn from the focus groups that she organized within the scope of the research held in 2009. She did not share the general criticism of depoliticized youth. Instead, she highlighted alternative means of engagement in social issues that are increasingly becoming attractive to the youth rather than the conventional ways of participating in politics.
Dr. Emin Alper presented a comparative insight on the student movements of 1968 in Turkey and in the world. In addition to some similarities, he focused on the vital differences of the 68 movement in Turkey from the West European and American experiences in particular. He also criticized certain continuities with the 1970s’ student movement that puts significant obstacles for the current student activism to establish a solid political culture as well as strong ties with the society at large.