"*" indicates required fields

Briefing Note- Turkey as a Rising Donor State https://www.flickr.com/photos/132470584@N06/

Briefing Note- Turkey as a Rising Donor State

share this


  • First established in 1992, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency Directorate (TIKA)  projects span 5 continents (TIKA).
    • Countries with “shared cultured and geography” are recognized as official priorities
  • Priority Interest Areas include institutional development, education, health, water supply and sanitation, agriculture and cultural cooperation (TIKA).
    • Two emergency aid divisions:
      • Syrians living inside of Turkey
      • Assistance in response to wars, conflicts and natural disasters (TIKA Report, 2012).
    • According to TIKA, Afghanistan is largest recipient of TIKA aid
      • Three operational field offices in Afghanistan: Kabul, Mazar-I Sharif and Wardak plus an embassy in Kabul
      • TIKA recognizes a total of 806 projects between 2005-2014
        • Including: 240 education projections, 20 transportation, 214 health projects serving 5 million patients, 35 water supply and sanitation projects, 34 agriculture, livestock and forestry projects (TIKA)
      • In the last 13 years, Turkey has gone from a net receiver to a net donor of aid. It now ranks 4th globally for OAD (Official Aid Dollars) in USD behind the US, EU, and UK in USD.
        • According to OECD, OAD in 2013 accounted for .42% of GNI, a 29.7% increase from 2012 (OECD).
        • In 2002, OAD stood at $85 million. By 2011, OAD stood at $1.27 billion.
          • Turkey undertook approximately four times more aid projects from 2003 – 2011 than from 1992-2002.
        • The sudden and dramatic increase in OAD is attributed to the policies of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK) and is not universally supported.


  • Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world (Al Jazeera)
    • Officially hosting 1.7 million Syrian refugees, with the total likely just over 2 million (Al Jazeera, UNHCR)
      • From April 2012 to Feb. 2013 Turkey spent $600 million on these specific refugee populations. By April 2015, the number increased to $5.6bn (AA).
  • Turkey’s refugee camps are widely heralded as the best in the world (UNHCR, DRC, NRC).
    • Approximately 200,000 Syrian refugees currently reside in a formal camp
    • However, 4 out of 5 refugees live outside of camps and are solely responsible for their own well-being
      • Until October 2014, Turkish law only granted refugee status to European asylum seekers. There is now an exception specifically for Syrian refugees
    • Under the provision, Syrian’s may stay until safe return can be secured, though it does not necessarily grant access to basic social services afforded to European refugees.


  • Turkey’s rise as a donor nation is not universally supported by its citizens. The dramatic increases in refugees and the OAD budget at a time of economic uncertainty is beginning to weigh heavily on civil society.
    • The lira continues to fall while unemployment, inflation are rising.
      • Food inflation rose to 14 percent in April, as world prices saw five-year lows, according to the FAO.
      • Potential for food insecurity brought on by conflict across the Middle East was a key agenda item at the May 8th G-20 meeting
      • A public brawl involving 200 people in Sanliurfa last week highlighted the simmering tensions between Syrians and the residents of southeast Turkish cities refugee populations continue to grow (Vestnikkavkaza).

Areas for Further Examination

  • Turkey’s position as a net donor state as well as its donor behavior raises important questions for the region, and Turkish society. These questions include:
    • What is the approximate value in USD of Turkish aid to Afghanistan in the last 10 years?
    • What does the estimated $5.6bn spent on Syrian and Iraqi refugees and $16.5bn on Syrian and Iraqi conflicts include?
    • With only 200,000 refugees in formal camps, where are the remaining 1.5+ million refugees? Can Turkey continue to absorb refugees at its current rate, or at all?
    • Prior to the October 2014 amendment, was there a high percentage of European asylum seekers in Turkey warranting the aforementioned clause? Where were they from?


  1. Thank you for the very informative message on Turkey
    Norman N VanToai, Ph. D.

Comments are closed.