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Monitor

Turkey's Development Assistance Transformation

Between donor and receiver

With its "Monitor Development Policy" series, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation focuses on the role of non-traditional donors in development cooperation. This time we take a look at Turkey, which has become increasingly self-confident and strategic with its development policy in recent years. Furthermore, it has significantly expanded its foreign policy, linked to national security interests and regional political ambitions.

In contrast to many traditional donor countries, Turkey has been able to steadily increase its development assistance funding over the past 20 years. In the mid-2000s, Turkey started to give more aid than it received, marking an official transition in its status from aid recipient to net donor country.

There is a clear link between Turkish development and security policies in the context of its support for the world's least developed countries. Syria is by far the largest target country for Turkish development assistance expenditure, amounting to 7.2 billion USD in 2019. The majority of this expenditure declared to be for Syria, however, in fact represents funding for Syrian refugees within Turkey’s borders.

Although somewhat isolated among its traditional Western partners, a look to Africa and Asia clearly shows that Turkey has never had economic and diplomatic relations with as many countries as it does today.

For Germany, intensified cooperation with Turkey, especially in Africa, could translate into increased influence, and by building on Turkey's work, to improved development assistance with greater access to governments and potential project partners.

 

Read our Monitor Development Policy "Turkey's Development Assistance Transformation" here as a PDF.

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