16 July 2019

TİKA Deputy President Serkan Kayalar: “We Implemented Approximately 800 Projects in the First 6 Months of This Year.”

Acting President of Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) Serkan Kayalar stated that they implemented approximately 800 projects in the first 6 months of this year and that they are trying to reach those who are in need with projects they are implementing in the fields of health, education, agriculture, livestock breeding, and vocational training.

Kayalar made statements to an Anadolu Agency (AA) reporter on TİKA’s works in various fields throughout the world from Central Asia to Africa, from Balkans to Latin America.

Stating that TİKA implements various projects in more than 170 countries every year with its 61 offices in 59 countries, Kayalar said that just as in previous years, TİKA reached the target number of projects in the first 6 months this year.

Kayalar said: “We implemented approximately 800 projects in the first 6 months of this year. With the projects we implement in the fields of health, education, restoration, agriculture, livestock breeding, infrastructure, and vocational training, we try to help people and communities in need, especially women, children, disadvantaged groups and victims of terrorism.” 

– “Cooperation between institutions and project diversity have increased in this new period”

Reminding that TİKA started carrying out its activities under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism within the scope of the reorganization following the transition to the Presidential Government System, Karalar stated that in addition to benefits of the speed and efficiency oriented architecture of the new system, the importance that Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of Culture and Tourism, attaches to institutions operating abroad and the support he provides to them contribute TİKA greatly in creating new projects by going beyond its existing works. 

Noting that the Presidency For Turks Abroad and Related Communities (YTB) and Yunus Emre Institute (YEE) began carrying out their activities under the supervision of Serdar Çam, who has recently been appointed as the Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, Kayalar emphasized that cooperation between institutions and project diversity have increased in this new period.

Stating that TİKA continues to carry out its projects at full speed following the transition to the Presidential Government System, Kayalar said: “We carried out more than 1500 projects and activities over the past year. We equipped or repaired approximately 70 health facilities, such as hospitals or healthcare centres.” 

On the other hand, Kayalar underlined that they also supported the equipment and repair processes of approximately 200 education facilities and provided more than 10 thousand people with training in various fields.

Pointing out that TİKA also supports restoration works, which it considers as one of the most important activities, Kayalar said that the Agency restores many architectural works, such as those from the Ottoman era. Kayalar explained that they started the restoration of approximately 20 historical buildings in a year.

Noting that in the care of President Erdoğan, they implemented many projects in Mongolia over the years including the landscaping of Bilge Tonyukuk Monument, which has a unique importance for Turkish history, and the construction of Bilge Tonyukuk Highway leading to the monument, Kayalar stated that important discoveries were made in the excavations carried out with the contribution of Turkey in recent years.

Kayalar also said that TİKA plans to build a Bilge Tonyukuk Museum complex with a modern landscape, architecture and exhibition area in order to increase the cultural tourism potential of the region and enable foreign and domestic tourists to visit the monument throughout the year.

– “TİKA extended Turkey’s helping hand to more than 400 thousand people in Ramadan”

Mentioning that TİKA implemented many activities in the different regions of the world during the last Ramadan, TİKA Deputy President Kayalar said: “Last Ramadan, we organized Ramadan programs in 75 countries. We tried to meet especially Muslims in these countries. Thanks to Ramadan programs, we extended Turkey’s helping hand to more than 400 thousand people.” 

Kayalar pointed out that TİKA has many important ongoing projects and said that the Construction Project of Jerusalem University’s Girls Dormitory in Palestine and the works to put a hospital in Kyrgyzstan into service continue.

– TİKA will restore a historical building in Azerbaijan for the first time

Stating that TİKA continues the restoration of Hejaz Railway Amman station in Jordan and carries out works to build a museum there, Kayalar said that the Agency will also restore Great Mardakan Castle in Mardakan, Azerbaijan, which is an important historical building in terms of concrete cultural heritage. 

Kayalar announced that they will also restore Tuba Shahi Mosque, which is located inside the castle, and said: “TİKA has an office in Azerbaijan since 1994, and this will be our first restoration work in Azerbaijan. We attach great importance to this project to strengthen the friendly ties between countries and contribute to the concrete cultural heritage.” 

TİKA Deputy President Kayalar also announced that they will continue the restoration of Ethem Bey Mosque, which is one of the most important buildings from the Ottoman era in Tiran, the capital of Albania. 

Adding that they will also send 500 students to 35 countries within the scope of “Experience Sharing Program” in the coming days, Kayalar stated that these students will find the opportunity to become familiar with TİKA’s projects abroad and take part in them. 

– “Approximately 80 TİKA projects in nearly 30 countries are ready for inauguration”

Noting that they completed the restoration works of the Historical Mehmed Pasha Sokolovic Bridge, which is one of the biggest restoration projects in Balkans, and the tombs of King Najashi and the companions of the Prophet in Ethiopia, Kayalar underlined that these projects will soon be ready for inauguration.  

Kayalar announced that as well as a school in Niger and a Niger-Turkey Friendship Hospital, the construction and equipment of which were completed by TİKA in the care of First Lady Emine Erdoğan upon the instructions given by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during his visit to Niger in 2013, is also ready for inauguration. 

TİKA Deputy President Kayalar also noted that the restoration of nearly one-thousand-year-old Ram Castle, which is located near Veliko Gradiste in the north east of Serbia, has been completed and that the castle is ready for inauguration. 

“The restorations of approximately 80 TİKA projects in nearly 30 countries were completed, and these projects are ready for inauguration,” Kayalar said. 

– TİKA’s restoration works in Iraq 

In his speech, Kayalar touched upon TİKA’s activities in Iraq and said that the Agency collaborates with Iraqi authorities and carries out various restoration works in Iraq, where many spiritual heritage sites are located. 

Stating that Sheikh Abdulkadir Geylani Complex in Baghdad is a great complex and that TİKA carries out some works to repair the damage inside this complex, Kayalar noted that the restoration works such as the restorations of main entrance doors, altar and pulpit continue.

Kayalar added that they aim to complete the restoration of the complex by the end of the year and continued his remarks as follows:

“We aim to complete the restoration of Sheikh Abdulkadir Geylani Complex by the end of the year. The attention and collaboration of Geylani’s grandchildren and the management of the foundation are very important. They trusted us with very important parts of the complex. And that’s a sign of their kindness towards our country. In addition to Sheikh Abdulkadir Geylani Complex, we hope we will carry out the repair and restoration of Imam Al-adham Complex. The drawing of the project will be finalized soon. After drawings are completed, we hope we will start the restoration of Imam Al-adham Complex.” 

Kayalar said that as well as restoration projects, they carried out several activities within the scope of development aids not only in Baghdad but also in many other cities in Iraq. 

Stating that the restoration project of the historical Kayseri Bazaar in Kirkük, which burned and became unusable, continues rapidly, Kayalar said: “We hope that we will inaugurate the historical Kayseri Bazaar at the beginning of autumn. We are not only doing the restoration but also designing the stores to meet the needs of business owners.”

– “TİKA implemented 900 projects in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 24 years.”

Kayalar made some remarks on TİKA’s activities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and said that the Agency implemented approximately 900 projects in 24 years in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where many historical and cultural heritage sites are located. 

Kayalar added that the restorations of the historical Kovaci Cemetery in Sarajevo, the capital, and several mosques in Mostar and Bugojna continue. He also emphasized that as well as restoration works, TİKA carries out serious works to strengthen the human resource capacity to contribute to the employment in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

– “TİKA will open a contact office in Tripoli”

Commenting on new TİKA office abroad, Kayalar mentioned that they take into consideration the foreign policy of Turkey and the need in the field and said: “In Lebanon, we will put our contact office into service in Tripoli, which is important for us in terms of the Ottoman Heritage.”

Kayalar stated that the construction of the office is almost complete and that they will put the office into service by making the appointments.

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