Turkey

In 1985, Turkey formally launched its first international assistance programme, focused on institutional capacity building in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2011, Turkey hosted the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, culminating in the Istanbul Programme of Action and cementing its role as a global champion for least developed countries (LDCs). Since 2018, Turkey has been hosting the United Nations Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries, providing funding and premises for the new institution in Gebze. Over the past five years, the volume of Turkey’s development assistance has expanded significantly. The vast majority of this support is provided through bilateral means, primarily through, or in co-ordination with, the Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA), an autonomous agency under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Turkey is among the top 10 providers of development co-operation globally – development co-operation remains an integral part of its proactive foreign policy. Turkey supports international efforts against the spread of COVID-19, extending bilateral support to more than 150 countries and contributing to international organisations’ efforts, such as the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the United Nations Children’s Fund and the World Health Organization.

Please note that 2020 preliminary and 2019 data in the text are provided in current prices whereas the charts reflect all data in constant 2018 USD, in order for the data to be comparable over time. Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

Turkey’s vision for development co-operation is primarily based on the idea of tailoring its expertise and experience to the specific context and needs of its partner countries, while also assisting fragile populations affected by conflict, emergencies and disasters. Within Section 37/Article 5211 entitled “Establishment and Organization”, TIKA is described as a public legal entity with a private budget that carries out its activities under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Section 37 (Articles 521-531) also provides the overarching policy and legal framework for Turkey’s development co-operation. In addition to implementing Turkish bilateral projects and programmes, TIKA plays a key co-ordination role for all Turkish stakeholders involved in development co-operation, including line ministries, public institutions, non-governmental organisations and the private sector. In its bilateral co-operation, TIKA works in more than 150 countries, providing technical assistance for institutional capacity building across the public sector, as well as scholarships for study in Turkey.

Turkey focuses its development co-operation on promoting food security and nutrition, addressing unemployment, combating inequality, and advancing a development agenda conscious of the underlying role of peace, the rule of law and governance in achieving development goals. TIKA finances infrastructure projects for irrigation, sanitation and transportation projects, schools and hospitals and engages in triangular co-operation projects, including with the private sector. Turkey is an Adherent to the OECD Recommendation of the Council for Development Co-operation Actors on Managing the Risk of Corruption.

Turkey provided USD 8 billion (preliminary data),2 representing 1.12% of gross national income (GNI) in 2020. This was an increase of 1.2% in real terms in volume and a decrease in per cent of GNI from 2019. Total ODA on a grant-equivalent basis has the same value as net ODA under the cash-flow methodology used in the past, as Turkey provides only grants.3

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In 2019, Turkey provided more of its ODA bilaterally. Gross bilateral ODA was 97.7% of total ODA. Turkey allocated 2.3% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

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In 2019, Turkey provided USD 197.8 million of gross ODA to the multilateral system, an increase of 13.9% in real terms from 2018, which was entirely provided as core multilateral ODA.

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In 2019, Turkey’s total contribution to multilaterals was mainly allocated to regional development banks, the United Nations (UN) institutions and the World Bank Group. These contributions together accounted for more than 92.3% of Turkey’s total support to the multilateral system. The UN system received 29.7% through core contributions. Out of a total volume of USD 58.7 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Turkey’s support were the UN Secretariat (USD 18.3 million), the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (USD 11.1 million), and the Food and Agriculture Organization (USD 8.6 million).

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See the section on Geographic and thematic focus of ODA for the geographical and thematic breakdown of bilateral allocations earmarked through the multilateral development system. Learn more about multilateral development finance.

In 2019, Turkey increased its bilateral spending compared to the previous year. It provided USD 8.5 billion of gross bilateral ODA. This represented an increase of 1.6% in real terms from 2018. Technical co-operation made up 2.7% of gross bilateral ODA in 2019. In 2020, providers of development co-operation started voluntarily reporting to the OECD data on how ODA focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals for 2019 activities. In 2019, Turkey focused most of its bilateral ODA on addressing the poverty eradication and education goals of the 2030 Agenda.

In 2019, country programmable aid was 8.3% of Turkey’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to a non-DAC country average of 31.1%.

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Note: NGO: non-governmental organisation.

In 2019, Turkey channelled almost all of its bilateral ODA through the public sector.

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In 2019, Turkey’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on the Middle East and Europe. USD 7.7 billion was allocated to the Middle East and USD 233.2 million to ODA-eligible countries in Europe, accounting for 90.5% and 2.8% respectively. Two per cent of gross bilateral ODA was unspecified by region in 2019.

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Bilateral ODA by recipient country

In 2019, 88.3% of gross bilateral ODA went to Turkey’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are in the Middle East and Europe, in line with its focus on its immediate neighbourhood and its policy priorities. The share of gross bilateral ODA that was not allocated by country was 9.9%.

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In 2019, the LDCs received 1.6% of Turkey’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 139.7 million). Turkey allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (86.5%) to lower middle-income countries in 2019, noting that 9.9% was unallocated by income group.

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Note: LDC: least developed country; LIC: low-income country; LMIC: lower middle-income country; UMIC: upper middle-income country; MADCTs: more advanced developing countries and territories.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 7.4 billion in gross bilateral ODA in 2019, representing 87.8% of Turkey’s gross bilateral ODA. Ninety-seven per cent of this ODA was provided in the form of humanitarian assistance, similar to 98% in 2019. None of it went towards peace-related objectives in 2019, compared to 1% in 2018.

Learn more about support to fragile contexts on the States of Fragility platform.

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Note: The chart represents only gross bilateral official development assistance that is allocated by country.

In 2019, most of Turkey’s bilateral ODA was allocated to humanitarian assistance. Investments in this area accounted for 89.4% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 7.6 billion). ODA for social infrastructure and services totalled USD 605.6 million (7.2% of bilateral ODA), exhibiting a strong focus on support to education (USD 429 million), government and civil society (USD 79 million), and health (USD 40 million). ODA for economic infrastructure and services totalled USD 19.7 million.

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TIKA was initially established under Statutory Decree Law 480 as an international technical assistance agency under the authority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1999, it was moved under the authority of the Prime Minister’s Office, and in 2001, the organisation’s body of rules was put into force with the publication of Law No. 4668 on the “Organization and Tasks of Turkish Cooperation and Development Administration Directorate”. A further Statutory Decree on the Organization and Duties of the Turkish Co-operation and Co-ordination Agencywas adopted in 2011 to enable a restructuring of the agency for more flexible and responsive decision making. In July 2018, TIKA was moved under the authority of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, but retained its status as a public legal entity with a dedicated budget. Today, TIKA implements projects in more than 150 countries, with 62 programme co-ordination offices in 60 countries. In addition to its own activities, TIKA also co-ordinates projects in collaboration with other ministries, non-governmental organisations and the private sector. Other public institutions, non-governmental organisations and the private sector also implement projects and programmes for Turkey’s development co-operation.

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey: www.mfa.gov.tr/turkey_s-development-cooperation.en.mfa

Member of the OECD since 1961. Not a member of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). Reporting to the OECD since 1990 and reporting activity-level data since 2019 on 2018 activities.

The methodological notes provide further details on the definitions and statistical methodologies applied, including the grant-equivalent methodology, core and earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations, country programmable aid, channels of delivery, bilateral ODA unspecified/unallocated, bilateral allocable aid, the gender equality policy marker, and the environment markers.

Notes

← 1. Article 521 “Establishment and Organization” of Section 37 “Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency” in the “Presidential Decree Law on the Organization of Institutions and Organizations Under, Affiliated with, Linked to the Ministries, and Other Institutions and Organizations” published in the Official Gazette dated 15 July 2018, and numbered 30479.

← 2. DAC members adopted the grant-equivalent methodology starting from their reporting of 2019 data as a more accurate way to count the donor effort in development loans. See the methodological notes for further details.

← 3. Non-grants include sovereign loans, multilateral loans, equity investment and loans to the private sector.

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