© The Author(s) 2021.Children are important actors in the urban areas of Turkey since they make up the largest demographic group. Therefore, the reasons behind their being regarded as ‘passive’ should be re-examined, in view of the fact that they live and work in, and create and recreate the city. The purpose of this study is to elaborate the children’s right to the city concept from two different points of view using liberal and radical approaches within the theoretical framework provided by Marcuse in the right to the city discourse. The reason for choosing Marcuse is that at some points, his arguments meet with both a liberal and radical understanding of the right to the city. Therefore, these two approaches will be compared regarding children’s right to the city in Turkey in light of related literature. In the last part of the study, children’s right to the city will be discussed from these two perspectives with the particular case of street children derived from findings in the literature. It is revealed that while there are significant developments in Turkey at local and international level in terms of children’s right to the city and street children, there is still a need for a strengths-based perspective which positions children as active agents making decisions about their own lives and formation of urban space.