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. 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 increased significantly. Turkey is among the top 10 providers of development co-operation globally, and development co-operation remains an integral part of its proactive foreign policy. Total official development assistance (ODA) (USD 7.7 billion, preliminary data) decreased slightly in 2021, representing 1% of gross national income (GNI). 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.

Find the methodological notes behind the profile here.

Turkey’s vision for development co-operation is primarily based on 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. TIKA is a public entity with a dedicated budget under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.1 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 transport 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, the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Environmental Assessment of Development Assistance Projects and Programmes, the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Policy Coherence for Sustainable Development, and the OECD Recommendation of the Council on Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas. Learn more about DAC standards.

Turkey provided USD 7.6 billion (preliminary data) of ODA in 2021,2 representing 1% of GNI. This was a decrease of 23.7% in real terms in volume and a decrease in the share of GNI from 2020. Turkey provided all of its ODA as grants in 2020.3

Turkey provided most of its ODA bilaterally in 2020. Gross bilateral ODA was 98.9% of total ODA. Turkey allocated 1.1% of total ODA as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

In 2020, Turkey provided USD 11.9 million of gross bilateral ODA for the COVID-19 response, representing 0.1% of its total gross bilateral ODA. The total amount was all provided as health expenditure within the COVID-19 response.

In 2020, Turkey provided USD 90.9 million of gross ODA to the multilateral system, a fall of 50.5% in real terms from 2019. All this was core multilateral ODA.

Ninety-seven per cent of Turkey’s total contribution to multilateral organisations in 2020 was allocated to United Nations (UN) entities (64.8%), regional development banks (23%) and other multilateral institutions (9.3%).

The UN system received 64.8% of Turkey’s gross ODA to the multilateral system, mainly through core contributions. Out of a total volume of USD 58.9 million to the UN system, the top three UN recipients of Turkey’s support (core and earmarked contributions) were: the UN Secretariat (USD 18.3 million), the UNRWA (USD 10 million) and the FAO (USD 9 million).

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

In 2020, Turkey’s bilateral spending increased compared to the previous year. It provided USD 8 billion of gross bilateral ODA (which includes earmarked contributions to multilateral organisations). This represented an increase of 2.1% in real terms from 2019. In 2020, Turkey focused most of its bilateral ODA on addressing the poverty eradication, education and partnerships goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

In 2020, country programmable aid was 7.3% of Turkey’s gross bilateral ODA, compared to the average for all reporting countries of 47.8%.

In 2020, Turkey channelled bilateral ODA mainly through the public sector, as earmarked funding. Technical co-operation made up 1.4% of gross ODA in 2020.

In 2020, Turkey’s bilateral ODA was primarily focused on the Middle East, amounting to USD 7.5 billion (93% of gross bilateral ODA). ODA to Asia totalled USD 115.4 million (1.2%) and ODA-eligible countries in Europe received USD 98.3 million (1.2%). Africa received USD 74.9 million (0.9%) of Turkey’s bilateral ODA.

In 2020, 91.2% of gross bilateral ODA went to Turkey’s top 10 recipients. Its top 10 recipients are in the Middle East and Asia, 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 7.4%.

In 2020, least developed countries received 1.2% of Turkey’s gross bilateral ODA (USD 99.5 million). Turkey allocated the highest share of gross bilateral ODA (89.4%) to lower middle-income countries in 2020, while 7.4% was unallocated by income group.

Support to fragile contexts reached USD 7.3 billion in 2020, representing 90.4% of Turkey’s gross bilateral ODA. Ninety-eight per cent of this ODA was provided in the form of humanitarian assistance, increasing from 97.3% in 2019, while 0.1% was allocated to peace.

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

Turkey engages in triangular co-operation; however, it did not report its triangular co-operation activities to the DAC Creditor Reporting System or to the Total Official Support for Sustainable Development (TOSSD) system. Learn more about triangular co-operation and Turkey’s number of projects through the OECD’s voluntary triangular co-operation project repository. Turkey is a member of the Global Partnership Initiative of Triangular Co-operation.

In 2020, most of Turkey’s bilateral ODA was allocated to humanitarian aid. Allocations in this area accounted for 90.5% of bilateral ODA commitments (USD 7.3 billion), with a strong focus on emergency response (USD 7.2 billion), such as that related to temporary sustenance of refugees. ODA for multi-sector totalled USD 351.7 million and social infrastructure and services USD 295.8 million, with a focus on education (USD 220.5 million), other social (USD 30.7 million), and health and population policies (USD 22.9 million).

Turkey also committed USD 21.6 million (0.3% of its bilateral allocable aid) to promote aid for trade and improve developing countries’ trade performance and integration into the world economy in 2020.

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 enforced 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 Agency was 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.

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. 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, No. 30479. Section 37 (Articles 521-531) also provides the overarching policy and legal framework for Turkey’s development co-operation.

← 2. DAC members adopted the grant-equivalent methodology starting from their reporting of 2018 data as a more accurate way to count the donor effort in development loans. See the methodological notes for further details.

← 3. Other providers also provide non-grants, which include sovereign loans, multilateral loans, equity investment and loans to the private sector.

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