26 January 2024

Turkish aid agency to continue global outreach in 2024: Head of organization

Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency prioritizes people, supports development projects in different parts of the world, says Serkan Kayalar

Marking the 32nd anniversary of its foundation, Türkiye’s state-run aid agency will continue to extend Ankara’s helping hand to the world in 2024, the head of the state aid agency said.

“The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) is an organization that prioritizes people and supports development projects in different parts of the world,” Serkan Kayalar, TIKA’s president, told Anadolu.

Kayalar said that the agency will continue to diversify activities in 2024, adding that TIKA is an organization that reflects “Türkiye’s global humanitarian stance with tangible development projects. We prioritize income-generating projects, especially in Africa and other regions. In the coming period, we will continue our activities in these areas.”

“We will continue to share the expertise of our country’s institutions, especially in developing human resource capacities, with our brotherly and friendly countries,” he said

Kayalar also noted the ongoing efforts to open offices in different regions in the coming years.

He said that since 2023 is the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Türkiye, they are carrying out projects and activities that carry this joy abroad, and in this regard, they have carried out 35 projects and activities in 18 countries.

“The world’s mobilization in the wake of the Feb. 6 earthquakes is a testament to the work we did and to Türkiye’s presence at their side in their difficult times. The fact that search and rescue teams from different countries came to Türkiye after the earthquakes is also a sign of this,” Kayalar said.

He stressed that the agency’s work is spread across a wide geography. The agency began extensive renovation work on The Potocari Old Battery Factory in Bosnia and Herzegovina in early 2023 to transform it into the Srebrenica Potocari Memorial Museum for the Victims of Genocide. The museum is of great importance as a way to ensure that the atrocities that took place are not forgotten.

He also highlighted the establishment of the Türkiye Hall within the National Museum of World Cultures in Mexico City, the first of its kind in Central and Latin America.

About the work TIKA is doing in North Africa, he said the agency this year will begin restoration work on the complex that houses the tomb of the famous Turkish sailor Turgut Reis in Tripoli, the capital of Libya.

TIKA’s work in the Turkic world is continuing, he said, adding that the agency is continuing work on the Bilge Tonyukuk Museum in Mongolia, which was founded in 2022, and that the museum will open to the public this year.

Tonyukuk, an essential figure in Turkic history, was a supreme commander and adviser of four successive Gokturk khagans, while the Tonyukuk inscriptions from the eighth century are considered as the oldest written attestations of the Turkic language family.

Touching upon TIKA’s work in Gaza and Palestine, he said: “The suffering in Palestine deeply affects us all. Through TIKA, over 1,100 projects have been implemented in Palestine to date. “

“We are striving to deliver essential materials such as food packages, blankets, sleep sets, winter clothing, and medical supplies through various humanitarian aid projects. We will continue our efforts for the people of Palestine,” he said.

Founded in 1992, TIKA has implemented over 30,000 projects and activities to date, with 93% of them being carried out since 2002.

In 2002, TIKA had 12 program coordination offices worldwide. By 2023, this number increased to 63, and the number of countries where it operates has grown from 28 to over 170.

It plans to increase the number of its coordination offices worldwide in 2024.

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