PARTISPACE: Evidence paper 5: Youth centre Eskisehir

Year of production: 2018

Image is illustrative. Chris Beckett (Flickr)

Youth work and Youth Centers are new phenomena in (and in Turkey in general) and very few researches exist on the subject. Among other things, with this particular youth Center it has been possible to observe the European touch on youth work. There are two main sites. The first one is on the ground floor of a building; the other, a medium-size 4 floor building. Resources: local municipality and EU resources. The first site has been established in 2011, the second one in 2014. The local municipality in Eskişehir is known for providing youth-specific services for years.

However, the particular decision of the local municipality to establish a youth Center seems to be influenced on the one hand by EU-funded youth policies and activities in Turkey and on the other, by the youth-oriented activities of the Turkish ministry of youth and sport. All activities and services provided by the Center are free. Youth workers (almost all under 30 years old, regularly trained by EU programs and hired by the municipality), voluntary trainers (university students or recently graduated), professional trainers (very few), participants who can also be distinguished as volunteers, “users” and “service takers” (almost all, university students). Moreover, it seems that the Center’s popularity among young people, especially the number of users, determines how much interest local politicians show to the setting. Youth workers criticize the municipality for being too much focused on numbers instead of contents.



The PARTISPACE project provides empirical knowledge on how to broaden the concepts of participation. The core of this knowledge lies in relating individual biographies of young people and the social spaces in which they act in order to understand the meaning of participation from their perspective.