The 2021 budget of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and affiliated institutions was discussed and ratified by the Plan and Budget Commission of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

Minister Kasapoğlu answered the questions of the deputies at the TBMM Plan and Budget Commission, where the 2021 budget of his ministry was discussed. Stating that they were open to all kinds of views and wished to have a more constructive consultation environment, Minister Kasapoğlu reminded of the invitation he made to the deputies in the budget negotiations held last year and said:

“Last year, I specifically invited you. I invited you to see our youth centers, youth camps, dormitories, halls and facilities that defy the world. We met with our friends from the Justice and Development Party and the Nationalist Movement Party at our facilities at times, but unfortunately, we were unable to host any deputies from the opposition. I repeat my invitation. Let’s talk with our young people who you see as unhappy, whom you are pessimistic about. Let’s talk to them about their views on the youth centers and dormitories. We stand behind our youth. We have no intention of getting anybody between us and our young people. Our youth are our greatest asset. With anyone who has well intentions and concerns for the future in this country, we are ready to work on behalf of our young people and to receive their contributions. I repeat my invitation.” 

Stating that there was no "stopping” in their philosophy of work, Minister Kasapoğlu said, "I’m afraid I do not agree with such pessimism. We will work with effort and love for this country, keeping our spirits up and without losing our faith. We will work for the youth, athletes and bright future of this country as no obstacle and no barrier has managed to get us down”.

Pointing out that Turkey experienced quite a few revolutions in the last 18 years, Minister Kasapoğlu said:

“We have had a revolution in the economy. We know how things were before six zeros were knocked off the Turkish lira. We remember well the 1980s and the 1990s in Turkey. 

You have mentioned about the despair of young people and the discrimination. I know the persuasion rooms, and you know them, too. We know how our girls suffered because of their headscarves, how they could not go to school, attend their classes or go to proms. We know about the times they wore wigs. We know academicians who were denied associate professorship and doctor’s degree due to the headscarf of their wives. You know very well the people who were discharged from bureaucracy and much discrimination. We are committed to work with anyone who have the sincerity and the efforts to make in this cause to make sure that this country never goes through such dark times again”.

Stating that they did not make any discrimination between young people, Minister Kasapoğlu talked about the progress of the dormitories in the last 18 years and said:

“Dormitories are one of the biggest vision projects of this country. Our government and ministry have a very broad vision regarding the student loans and scholarships. Our goal is to raise the bar every year, increase the rate of granting scholarships and reaching more young people. Repayment of loans does not start until our young people start working. We have talked about revolutions. Another revolution our country has experienced was the investments made in facilities since 2002. Each data and visual we have on hand is a witness to this. We are working towards using them more efficiently in the upcoming period. We are working toward making sports popular among the public.”

Indicating that they worked to support young people and athletes, Minister Kasapoğlu said, “Our goal is to compete in services. Power and position are temporary. The important thing in this race is to pass the torch to our next friends in line in a better condition. Our goal involves the future of this country. We will pass the torch to our young people. And we believe that, such well-equipped young people will carry it higher with belief and excitement”.

“Our goal is to make sure they are raised to be well-equipped in the Turkey of the future and stronger in this competitive world”, said Kasapoğlu and added, “Are there problems? Of course, there are. Our job is to resolve these problems. It’s a changing and transforming world. We meet something new every day. Youth and sports are both dynamic fields. Therefore, we need to produce new strategies about them”.

“As the ministry, we see the fight against addiction as one of our main duties”

Emphasizing that the fight against addition was a very important issue, Minister Kasapoğlu noted as follows:

“Drug addiction is one of them. There is also a digital addiction. As the ministry, we see the fight against addiction as one of our main duties. It would be wrong to express our efforts with only 3 million liras in the budget. Because many projects and services offered by our Ministry should also be considered as a tool of combatting addiction. Therefore, I believe that, when we use these resources more efficiently and with a focus on this fight, God willing, we will get rid of addiction much faster with the unifying spirits of sports and the common understanding among us”. 

Minister Kasapoğlu indicated that sport is a phenomenon that unites, transforms and rehabilitates and expressed his belief that the efforts to make sports popular among the public are thus meaningful.

Stating that he repeated his call in every environment that facilities should be used more efficiently, Minister Kasapoğlu indicated that this should be achieved together by building a culture.

Emphasizing that they were making great efforts as a team to turn the pandemic into an opportunity, Minister Kasapoğlu said, “We believe that at the end of this process, we will walk towards the future with greater opportunities”.

Minister Kasapoğlu also shared statistical information with the deputies and stated that the number of dormitories increased from 190 to 782, the bed capacity increased from 182 thousand to 700 thousand, the amount of scholarships and loans increased from 45 lira to 550 liras compared to 2002. Stating that nearly 1 million 200 thousand students are currently receiving loans, Minister Kasapoğlu noted that there are almost 4 thousand sports facilities. Noting that they were building facilities all over the country through Spor Toto, Minister Kasapoğlu said, “We have increased the number of our youth centers to 350. Camps are very important for us. Our camps are scattered all across our country. We have decided to arrange these camps thematically. I hope our science camps will start; we were unable to start them due to the pandemic. We will also launch mathematics, physics, and chemistry, biology, agriculture, cinema and media camps”.

Stating that sports tourism was also an important issue, Minister Kasapoğlu said, “The Formula 1 race that we will organize this week is important in terms of demonstrating the brand value of our country. We will continue our efforts to raise these standards”. 

Earthquake resistance test for dormitories

Minister Kasapoğlu informed that earthquake resistance tests were carried out in 647 dormitory blocks and said, “We closed 114 dormitories that were deemed risky. 114 dormitories have been strengthened, and the strengthening of another 130 is underway. However, we have demolished 26 dormitories that were not deemed appropriate”.

Sharing information also about the number of active athletes, Minister Kasapoğlu said, “I would like to state that the number of active athletes is 3 million 948 thousand 383 at the moment. I would especially like to state that this is not enough. We have to move this number up by joining hands. With the talent scouting project, we will raise the champions of tomorrow in the strongest way without leaving it up to chance. I believe that many pioneering achievements we have had in swimming, gymnastics and athletics among others, herald many other great achievements. We also have very important works to support our special athletes”. 

Responding to the requests and questions of the deputies about their provinces, Kasapoğlu concluded his words by saying, “We will continue to spend every penny of our budget for our nation and for our future. Good luck with our budget”.

Following the completion of the negotiations, the 2021 budget of the Ministry of Youth and Sports and affiliated institutions was ratified in the commission.