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Turkey as a New Player in Development Cooperation

The past six decades have witnessed Turkey’s evolution from an aid recipient to an emerging donor country. Turkey’s aid volume now far surpasses Poland and is only slightly behind South Korea. Turkey’s aid policy has undergone fundamental changes since the collapse of the former Eastern block. Connected to this geopolitical transformation, Turkey’s bilateral aid has become an effective instrument in advancing Turkish foreign policy objectives in recent years. This article examines how Turkey reached the status of an emerging donor in terms of international development cooperation and how this shift of status has shaped Turkish foreign aid policy. This article also looks into the reorganization process of Turkey’s Official Development Assistance with a special focus on the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) and its ODA reporting policies. In addition, this article argues the political and strategic considerations as well as trade concerns with recipient countries are the main reasons motivating Turkey’s proactive foreign aid policy.


Turkey’s transition from single party rule to multi-party rule in the 1950s also opened the door for the flow of foreign aid to Turkey, among which the Marshall Plan was the most famous for its role in promoting a solid economic foundation for Western Europe. The Marshall Plan also marked Turkey’s first experience with the Official Development Assistance (ODA) as an aid recipient country. Since then, Turkey’s role in the international aid community has fundamentally changed, reflecting the transformations in Turkey’s foreign policy orientation. Although Turkey still receives aid at a symbolic level, its stronger economic position and sense of responsibility for promoting international peace and prosperity have enabled Turkey to emerge as a new donor. It is currently a net contributor to ODA.

ODA has increasingly become an integral part of Turkey’s recent proactive foreign policy. In line with the current government’s objective of creating a more peaceful and stable environment in the surrounding regions, Turkey has interjected itself as an important stakeholder in the building of regional stability. As an extension of its policy of utilizing a wide range of soft power instruments, such as assuming a mediator role in regional conflicts, Turkey also increased its level of contribution to ODA geared towards helping countries affected by conflicts and natural disasters. At the same time, Turkey’s ambition to act as a major regional power provides an added impetus to growing its ODA contributions. 

This article will shed light on Turkey’s aid policy as well as its evolution from an aid recipient country to a new player in the international donor community, by placing it in the context of Turkey’s proactive foreign policy. This article aims to compare Turkey with other emerging international donors, such as South Korea and Poland. This will facilitate our understanding of Turkey’s emerging role within the international donor community. Moreover, the article will trace the changes in the institutional organization of the ODA in Turkey, with particular reference to the role of the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) and its ODA reporting policies.

As the direction of foreign aid is determined not only by political and strategic considerations, but also by the economic needs and policy performance of the recipient countries,1 this article will argue that Turkey’s foreign aid policy appears to be motivated by two main factors. First, the current Turkish government is aiming to assume international responsibilities commensurate with its position as a regional power. Second, the growing Turkish economy is in need of new markets in the developing world for its products. In other words, the political and strategic considerations as well as trade concerns with recipient countries are the main reasons for Turkey’s proactive foreign aid policy. 



Turkey’s History as a net ODA Recipient Country

In the late 1940s, the Marshall Plan offered Turkey a significant amount of ODA, which subsequently brought about a strong impetus to Turkey’s economic development in the 1950s. Since,Japan and Germany have been the two other major donors contributing to the improvement of Turkey’s economic performance. According to OECD/DAC data, starting from 1960 until the end of 2007, the total ODA delivered by the USA, Japan, and Germany to Turkey are USD 2,4 billion, 1,5 billion, and 2,8 billion, respectively. As detailed in Chart 1 below, from 1999 to 2007, in terms of the total ODA volume, Germany is the largest donor to Turkey, followed by the USA, and Japan.


Source: OECD DAC 2a ODA Disbursements

In addition to these traditional donors that provided assistance through bilateral channels, multilateral international institutions have also contributed to Turkey’s development, notably Asian Development Fund (ADF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). ADF delivered USD 22 billion, while the aid provided by the UNDP and the IBRD amounted to USD 109.39 million and 617.19 million, respectively.2



Turkey’s Aid Policy: From a Recipient to an Emerging Donor Country

Although Turkey is still on the OECD DAC (Development Assistance Committee) list as an aid recipient country, the figures from Chart 1 show that the ODA amount Turkey has received on a yearly basis is neither considerable nor significant given the increasing amount of Turkey’s ODA flows to developing countries as illustrated in Graph 1. In other words, Turkey has entered into a new phase of development cooperation. Although it is still an aid recipient country, it also posesses a strong enough economy to emerge as a rising donor country since 2004.

Turkey launched its foreign aid program on June 5, 1985 when the State Planning Organization worked out a comprehensive aid package worth $ 10 million, destined to the Sahel countries. This project was implemented in Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Senegal, Somali, and Sudan. The assistance was directed towards these countries’ institutional capacity building.3 The reason behind this new orientation can be attributed to the foreign policy priorities of the Turgut Özal government of the 1980s, which involved the promotion of Turkey’s positive image worldwide, its integration into the world economy, and the use of aid as an effective instrument to enhance Turkey’s trade relations with developing countries, especially less developed African countries. Indeed, the favorable economic environment Turkey benefited from after 1984 may have encouraged the government to intiate aid programs. The period between 1984 and 1989 witnessed the expansion of the Turkish economy, owing to the export-oriented growth strategy pursued by Turkey. During this period, the upward trend of the Western economy overlapped with Turkey’s new strategy, resulting in tbe expansion of the volume of Turkish exports towards Western markets. Emboldended by such a favorable economic climate and in serarch of new markets in the developing world for its products, Turkish decision makers decided to use all tools available, within the context of aid for trade, including ODA. In addition, the improvement in Turkish living standards may have also encouraged the Özal government to consider tackling some global issues, which included poverty reduction through aid disbursement. This type of initiative served to promote Turkey’s visibility in the international arena. Therefore, as a corollary to Turkey’s efforts in exploring markets to export its goods, it considered all tools available, including ODA.



Establishment of TIKA: Institutionalization of Turkey’s ODA policy

However, the rapidly changing international environment in the late 1980s, which resulted in the emergence of the Caucasus and Central Asian countries as independent republics, paved the way to new dimensions in Turkish foreign policy. These new opportunities prompted Turkish policy makers to reshape foreign policy towards the Caucasus and Central Asia, which were virtually out of Turkish policy reach throughout the Cold War years. In this new context, Turkey was perfectly positioned to seize the chance to advance its interests in the vast geographic area of Eurasia with which it has had strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. 

As Turkey was exploring ways to reap the advantages of this new geopolitical reality in the Eurasian region and develop closer ties with these newly independent countries; it employed ODA as a powerful instrument to promote its presence. Based on its own previous experience as an aid recipient from important donor countires, Turkish leaders were convinced that effective ODA to these countries would only be possible through the establishment of a full-fledged official aid agency. Thus, the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) was created in 1992 to meet the immediate aid needs of Eurasian countries. This led to the opening of field offices in the Caucasus and the Central Asia region in the early 1990s. From this period on, TIKA set the scene for substantial Turkish aid to developing countries. 




Redefining TIKA’s Role to Reflect Turkish Foreign Policy’s New Priorities

Although at its inception TIKA was established to deliver ODA to former Soviet Union countries in Central Asia, the Caucasus and the Balkans, the Turkish government gradually decided to broaden its vision of development cooperation by encourging TIKA to extend its aid efforts to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries and Sub-Saharan African countries.

Indeed, since 2002, the Turkish government has adopted a multi-dimensional, goal-oriented, balanced, and humanitarian foreign policy with a view to restoring and maintaining peace in the world, and particularly in Turkey’s neigborhood. It is also helping third-party countries through development cooperation as part of Turkey’s policy of eliminating regional problems and becoming a more influential and eminent actor in international politics. This shift of foreign policy stems from Turkey’s current proactive approach to today’s unpredictable international environment, in which issues like democratization, pluralism, and sustainable development are gaining priority and importance. Against this backdrop, TIKA stands out as the principal official aid agency, which functions as a corollary to Turkey’s foreign policy objectives through the implementation of projects and programs in developing countries. Thus, promoting Turkey’s visibility in the wider world.

Official Development Assistance is one of the most effective soft power tools of Turkey’s foreign policy pursuit

Shaped by the current Turkish foreign policy, this aid policy is based on three methodological principles and six operative principles. The methodological principles are: (1) vision orientation, (2) a systematic framework, and (3) soft power in political rhetoric and actions - compatible with European values and a transatlantic orientation. While the six operative principles refer to the balance between security and freedom, “zero problem with the neighbours,” proactive peace diplomacy, compatible global relations, active involvement in all global and international issues, and active involvement in all international organizations.4



The Role of ODA in Turkish Foreign Policy

Official Development Assistance is one of the most effective soft power tools of Turkey’s foreign policy pursuit. Furthermore, as the current government seeks to advance Turkey’s interests in regional and global affairs, ODA has emerged as a peaceful instrument to facilitate Turkey’s involvement into various regions. For instance, following the downfall of the Taliban regime, Turkey placed Afghanistan at the top of its foreign policy priorities. In line with Turkish foreign policy’s commitment to the principle of establishing a balance between security and freedom, Turkey prioritized the reconstruction of this war-torn society, based upon the provision of basic services, the creation of a new system respectful of basic freedoms and rights, as well as the establishment of domestic stability. Backing up these ideals, Turkey pledged hundreds of millions of USD to the reconstruction of Afghanistan at various international donor conferences. As an active, implementing agency, TIKA was allocated this money to develop projects/programs in Afghanistan for the past five years. Between 2005 and 2009, according to the ODA figures, Turkey’s assistance to Afghanistan attained 400 million USD. Currently, TIKA has three operational field offices in Afghanistan, which are based in Kabul, Mazar-i Sharif, and Wardak, all of which are working in close cooperation with the Turkish Embassy in Afghanistan.

A related goal of Turkish foreign policy, which has been shared by various governments in recent decades, is to extend the scope of Turkey’s involvement beyond its immediate region and proactively address other pressing global issues. In line with this objective, the Turkish government has commenced its development cooperation activities in Africa in 2004 within the framework of its “Opening Up to Africa” policy. This was followed by the declaration that 2005 was “the Year of Africa in Turkey,” which resulted in the first TIKA office in Africa to be established in Ethiopia the same year. To meet the development challenges faced by African countries, TIKA established more offices in Sudan and Senegal. These offices are not solely for these three countries, but they also act as liaison offices for the countries within their vicinity. 

Consequently, Turkey’s total official development assistance flows to Africa have reached $ 51,73 million in 2006, five times the 2005 ODA amount of $ 11.76 million. However, Turkey is committed to gradually increase these figures. Thus, a further $ 5 million assistance was allocated by Turkey solely for the Least Developed Countries in the LDCs Meeting that took place in Istanbul on July 9-10, 2007.

Turkey, through TIKA, undertakes many projects in building physical infrastructures for the provision of social services such as the construction of schools and hospitals

Turkey attaches great importance to capacity building projects in African countries. To this end, vocational training courses are organized in Turkey or in partner countries in specific sectors depending on the priorities of partner countries. Besides capacity building activities, Turkey, through TIKA, undertakes many projects in building physical infrastructures for the provision of social services such as the construction of schools and hospitals.

In addition to assisting African countries, Turkey is also actively engaged in international humanitarian efforts to ameliorate the conditions in fragile environments and post-conflict situations. For instance, in 2008, emergency aid provided by Turkey amounted to 31,08 million USD, of which 11,73 million USD went to Iraq. Ten trucks containing basic needs and 15 ambulances were donated to the Palestinians suffering under the Israeli blockade on the Gaza strip. Similarly, aid consisting of food packages, cleaning materials, medicine, and vaccines as well as tents were sent to Georgia after its conflict with Russia in 2008.

Through the promotion of “zero problem with the neighbours” principle,Turkey aims to enhance maximum cooperation, and economic integration with its neighbors. For instance, during the second half of 2009, Turkey held several high level strategic council meetings with Syria and Iraq. Within this framework, Turkey signed 48 agreements with Iraq only. While initiating similar mechanisms with Russia and Greece as well as with other neighbors, Turkey has concluded visa-waiver agreements with Syria, Albania, Jordan, Lebanon, and Libya. As a result of this proactive foreign policy doctrine, the economic interaction between Turkey and its immediate neighbours has increased from 8 percent to 32 percent in the last 6 years, this may explain one of the reasons why Turkey is less affected by the global financial crisis.5 To give further momentum to this “zero problem” policy, the Turkish government recently decided to open a regional TIKA program coordination office in Syria to strengthen its ties with Middle Eastern countries through such aid programs.

In that context, it is noteworhty that one of Turkey’s other priorities has been to foster good working relations with various international organizations to bolster its growing influence in global politics. Thus, through TIKA, Turkey has been providing a considerable amount of voluntary contributions to multilateral organizations, such as the OECD, UNDP, UNIDO, and FAO to develop aid programs for developing countries. The total contributions made by Turkey to international organizations in 2008 alone amounted to USD 44,62 million, of which the largest portion went to various UN agencies and funds.



Developments in Turkey’s ODA Reporting

From 1991 to 2008, Turkey’s ODA disbursement has experienced fluctuated. As is indicated in Graph 1, there has been an increase from 1991 to 1993, as well as a sharp decrease in 1994, followed by a steady decrease from 1994 to 2003. This can be explained by the two major economic crises Turkey suffered in 1994 and 2001, causing a negative impact to its ODA disbursement. During those periods, Turkish domestic politics were turbulent, negatively impacting Turkish development cooperation. As a result, TIKA’s budget shrank considerably. However, since 2002, Turkish politics has entered into a more stable period following the formation of a single-party government. The new government restructured TIKA and increased its budget to maximize its complementary role to foreign policy. As a result, aid volume from 2004 to 2008 exhibited an upward trend, except for a slight drop in 2007. 

The sharp increase in ODA from 2003 to 2004 was accomplished thanks to the adequate data collection methods in accordance with DAC Guidelines. While the lack of coordination among Turkish government institutions was one reason that kept the figures on ODA flows at very low levels before 2004, the unavailablity of complete data on development assistance, underreporting of in kind support as well as the lack of awareness of the international criteria for aid calculations were the other major factors. To put an end to this inadequate ODA reporting, TIKA was assigned by the Prime Ministry the task of collecting, recording, and reporting the ODA data in 2005. This task used to be undertaken by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜIK). Previously, the annually reported ODA data would appear less than the actually realized amount because the assistance provided by many organisations had never been reported to the State Planning Organization nor to TÜIK.


Once TIKA assumed the duty of ODA reporting, a team of experts was formed to conduct relavant studies, and the ODA made by each public sector entity was closely examined. Furthermore, an electronic data collection program and an Assistance-in-Kind Budget Guide were created to measure the actual value of the development assistance. Thus, a significant portion of the assistance data was collected and the assistance in kind could be measured based on the international criteria. As a result, the ODA figures of 2004 showed a significant increase, compared to the figures of the previous years.

In its 2005 Annual Report, TIKA developed a more advanced and functional data collection and report generation electronic program, after holding a series of advisory meetings with the relevant agencies and institutions which provided development assistance, and brought about a common understanding of report generation. Nonetheless, beyond the changes in reporting systems, there are also substantial improvements in Turkey’s ODA assistance, as was reflected in the sharp increase from 2004 to 2005.

This rise of ODA volume can also be attributed to several other factors. Firstly, a new foreign policy vision pursused by the current government played a major role in the expansion of the ODA. Since 2003, Turkey’s weight as a major regional power has been gradually felt as it has become increasingly engaged with global and regional issues, advocating a peaceful international environment, while denouncing conflicts. To this end, the Turkish government has spared no efforts to channel funds for global public goods. Secondly, the recovery of the private sector has allowed Turkish firms to make direct investments6 in developing countries.

Thirdly, NGOs, which represent the most organised form of assistance actors, were another contributing factor in this change. NGOs implement development assistance either through income from benefactors or through public support. There was so little of this type of data that it was virtually non-existent up until 2005, when TIKA began collecting ODA data for the first time from the NGOS. As a consequence, development assistance provided by NGOs was valued at USD 56.7 million in 2005, USD 78.25 million in 2006, and USD 45.66 million in 2007 respectively. In 2008, this value increased to USD 125.5 with the addition of USD 53.11 million in public support.

Increased awareness by the NGOs and public organisations of the fact that the NGOs are effective agents of social, economic, and cultural development contributed to the growth of aid amounts. The increase in projects and activities by the NGOs using public funds stems from this. Parallel to this, with the increase of capacity building activities undertaken by the NGOs such as international forums, seminars and symposiums, significant progress has been recorded in terms of development actors’ sharing a common agenda. 

Fourthly, this increase in real terms can be explained by additional factors: i) the adequate reporting of Turkish humanitarian aid to Pakistan after the earthquake and the Tsunami disaster in Southeast Asia, ii) Turkey’s recent aid projections to Africa and the Middle East, and iii) reporting of other governmental agencies’ ODA figures.

The 2006 report provided analyses of Turkey’s ODA contributions towards the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). Moreover, in terms of reporting of assistance, the 2006 Report included four new areas within the development assistance activities.

i) Private flows: Starting with the 2006 report, private flows were included in the ODA reporting. Following the consultations with the relevant government organisations, including the Central Bank of Turkey, it was decided that the latter would be the most appropriate source of such information. As a result of meetings held with officials from the Central Bank, a new programme was developed in order to obtain the required data online. Private flows were also verified through the collection of data from embassies. Through such efforts, direct investments made by Turkish entrepreneurs to developing countries were included in the 2006 report. 

ii) Peace building: A series of meetings were held with the relevant departments of the General Chief of Staff, Ministry of National Defence, Gendarmerie HQ, and the representatives of the Coastal Guards in order to reach a consensus on the definition on Turkey’s peace building activities, which play an important role within development assistance. Consequently, it was decided to include peace building activities in the report.

Turkey, which was the number one donor in 2006, ranked second after Korea both in 2007 and 2008 with ODA that amounted to USD 602 million and 780,37 million respectively

iii) Expenses made for refugees: Starting with 2006, the support provided to refugees was also included within the scope of the report for the first time.

iv) Contribution to the MDGs: Turkey’s ODA, in line with the MDGs, which form the fundamental framework of the global development, was analysed and included in the report.

In preparing the 2007 Report, no new areas of assistance were included into the list. Still, TIKA endeavored to cover new entities, especially some NGOs, which had never reported their development assistance to TIKA. Toward this end, a series of meetings were held bringing together public organisations and private entities, as well as providing training to the representatives of those NGOs on how to complete the proper paperwork for reporting purposes. 

Starting in early 2009, both the private and public sector entities are now able to transmit their development assistance data online, without having to wait for the completion of the calendar year.



A Comparison among Leading Emerging Donors

According to the OECD/DAC Development Cooperation Report from 2009, with USD 699 million, Korea was the largest donor among non-DAC OECD countries in 2007. Korea increased its aid by 48.6% since 2006, owing to a rise in its contributions to international organisations. Turkey, which was the number one donor in 2006, ranked second after Korea both in 2007 and 2008 with ODA that amounted to USD 602 million and 780,37 million respectively.7

In terms of the motivations that underpin the selection of ODA recipients, Turkey shares many characteristics with other emerging donors. ODA flow patterns of Turkey, Korea, and Poland are characterized by an absence of significant post-imperalist alliances and reflect strong cultural, commercial, and geographical orientations. Turkey’s top ODA recipients, in order of importance, are Afghanistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Iraq, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan. These countries receive roughly 40 percent of Turkey’s ODA. Afghanistan and the Kyrgyz Republic alone receive 23 percent of Turkey’s ODA flows.8 This pattern of aid concentration underscores the fact that improving cultural ties with West Asia and regional strategic considerations act as major motivations of Turkey’s aid policy. Nonetheless, Turkey is not the only country that takes into account strategic factors in distributing aid. For instance, the top Korean recipients that account for 21 per cent of ODA flows include Iraq, Sri lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, and Viet Nam.9 A major share of Korean bilateral ODA (61%) was channelled to the Asian region. Geographical proximity and the interest of many Asian countries to emulate Korea’s experience partially explain this concentration. Similarly, Poland continues to focus its aid efforts on the countries in the Balkans and in the former Soviet Union. Thus, major recipients of Polish aid are Belarussia, Montenegro, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, which collectively receive 12 per cent of Poland’s ODA flows.10

Most of Turkey’s development cooperation projects between 2005 and 2008 mainly focused on the development of the social infrastructure sector


Graph 3 presents breakdowns of leading emerging donors’ aid performance from 1998 to 2008. As indicated by Graph 3, there has been a steady increase of Korean aid from 2000 to 2008 despite a slight decrease in 2006. Polish aid almost followed the same pattern as Korea, while Turkey’s ODA performance has been quite stable since 2003, except for a slight decline in 2007, and been quite remarkable in terms of volume in comparison with Poland.

Turkey’s high profile among donors in Central Asian, Caucasian, and Balkan countries indicates that Turkey’s top foreign policy priorities have remained unchanged

From a sectoral approach, both Turkey and Korea concentrated their aid efforts in economic and social infrastructure. While Turkey spent more resources on education and health, Korea allocated funds in the production sector. Indeed, as illustrated by Graph 4, most of Turkey’s development cooperation projects between 2005 and 2008 mainly focused on the development of the social infrastructure sector. The main reason behind this concentration can be attributed to Turkey’s demand-driven aid policy, as it responded to the call of recipient countries to deliver aid in sub-sectors such as education, health, water and sanitation, administrative and civil infrastructures, which represent basic needs. In comparison, Polish aid is focused on the promotion of democracy, good governance, and civil society building, which is a direct consequence of the country’s membership to the EU.

Source: Turkey’s Development Assistance Report, TIKA (2008)

From the geographical perspective, least developed countries are the main destinations of both Turkey and Korea’s ODA, while Poland’s ODA flows are limited to low income countries.

In 2008 alone, Turkey provided development assistance to 131 countries that appear on the OECD/DAC list of aid recipients

As indicated in Graph 5, when evaluated on a regional basis, Turkey’s bilateral aid volume in all regions has increased from 2006 to 2008. There has been no change in the ranking of regions in terms of the level of aid received. The Caucasus and Central Asia region remains the region receiving the highest amount of aid, with a total volume of USD 445.4 million. Turkey’s high profile among donors in Central Asian, Caucasian, and Balkan countries indicates that Turkey’s top foreign policy priorities have remained unchanged. At the same time, by receiving USD 116.4 million and USD 97,24 million worth of aid respectively in 2008, the Middle East and the Balkans came in the second and third places in term of the aid volume. These figures are reflective of Turkey’s proactive foreign policy towards these regions, thus demonstrating their status as regions of interest for Turkey. Aid delivered to Africa also increased by 67% from USD 30.9 million to USD 51.73 million, thanks to the “Opening up to Africa” policy. Aid to the Americas and Oceania region, which in previous years remained at relatively low levels, exceeded the USD 10 million level, reaching USD 11.23 million in 2008.

In 2008 alone, Turkey provided development assistance to 131 countries that appear on the OECD/DAC list of aid recipients. Most of these countries are found on the continents of Africa and Asia. Given that Turkish aid reached almost every country in Africa, one can easily conclude thatTurkey’s aspiration of becoming a major regional power has also broadened the horizon of its development cooperation.




Although Turkey is a recent player in the donor community, its efforts and successes in this field have been closely monitored and acknowledged both in Turkey and in the international arena. To stick to the spirit of the Monterrey Consensus, Turkey has been supporting the development efforts of recipient countries through cooperation agencies and institutions, universities, and NGOs. Capability has been developed in the provision of a wide range of assistance, thanks to the highly qualified human resources that the Turkish agencies and institutions possess.

As in the case of TUIK’s handing over the task of ODA reporting to TIKA, the institutionalization of Turkish development cooperation is reaching a higher level of sophistication day by day as a result of increased awareness by government institutions and NGOs as well as increased sharing of expertise gained in the field.

As one of the leading emerging donors, Turkey’s ODA performance is well above the EU member-Poland, while it is slightly below the new DAC member-Korea. In 2007, Turkey was among the top ten countries providing assistance to seven out of ten countries in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, eight out of eleven in the Caucasus and Central Asia, and four out of eight in the Middle East according to the OECD’s performance data.

Just like many other donors, Turkey has a significant presence in geographical zones to which it provides development assistance. However, the changing world conjuncture and natural disasters that have occurred in the last few years have enabled Turkey to expand its aid efforts to a wider geographic zone. This is reflected by the amount of bilateral ODA provided by Turkey to African countries, which has increased from US$ 1.56 million in 2004 to US$ 51,73 million in 2008.

Finally, the current Turkish government has been very innovative in expanding Turkey’s horizon of development cooperation by guiding TIKA to develop projects/programs particularly for the MENA region and Sub-Saharan African countries. As a matter of fact, TIKA has proven itself as a very useful as well as an effective instrument for advancing Turkey’s foreign policy objectives.




  1. Alberto Alesina and David Dolar, “Who Gives Foreign Aid to Whom and Why?”, Journal of Economic Growth, Vol. 5, No. 1 (2000), pp.36-63.
  3. Nuri Birtek, “Türkiye’nin Dış Yardımları ve Yönetimi”, unpublished expert thesis, State Planning Organization of Turkey, 1996, p. 37.
  4. Address by H.E. Foreign Minister of Republic of Turkey Ahmet Davutoğlu in an event organized by SETA Foundation’s Washington D.C. Branch, December 8, 2009.
  5. Ibid.
  6. Direct investments, which refers to capaital exports made to developing countries, are evaluated within the development assistance context due to their potential to trigger economic development in the target country.
  7. OECD Journal on Development: Development Cooperation Report 2009, Vol. 10/1, p. 136-138.
  8. Ibid, p. 138-139.
  9. Ibid, p. 137.
  10. Ibid, p. 138.

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