Turkey’s Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) launched its activities in 1992 with the main purpose for humanitarian aids throughout the globe. As an organization, it provides financial supports, coordinate activities and projects in a variety of fields across the globe. TIKA is covering four continents with more than 140 countries, and has coordination offices in 55 countries focusing on different development collaborations such as education, health, sports and culture. The agency’s activity areas have been gradually enlarged to encompass the Middle East, Africa, the Balkans and many south and central Asian countries including Bangladesh.
Most importantly, according to the recent report of TIKA’s; Turkey is the most generous donor country in the World.
According to the Global Humanitarian Assistance report released in 2016 by Development Initiatives – “an independent organization with an aim at ending poverty by 2030, in which the data provided by TIKA is considered – Turkey is the second largest contributor to humanitarian assistance, after the USA. In terms of humanitarian assistance with respect to the ratio of a nation’s Gross National Income (GNI), Turkey is in first place”.
TIKA’s Contribution towards humanitarian aid in between (2011-2015)
Source: TIKA’s annual report, 2016
The most important component of TIKA is their total development assistance which is called Official Development Assistance (ODA). “Turkey’s ODA has increased 9% from 3.591 billion USD in 2014 to 3.919 billion USD in 2015”.
In 2015, the top 10 recipients of Turkey’s bilateral official development assistance were Syria, Somalia, Kyrgyzstan, Albania, Afghanistan, Palestine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Kazakhstan and Sudan (2015; Million USD). Additionally, accordingly to the report of 2015, “Turkey donated 3.919 billion USD in Official Development Assistance – a 9% increase from the previous year”.
Accordingly to the TIKA’s report of 2015, “the most benefited countries from Turkish bilateral aid are Somalia, Afghanistan, Sudan, Mauritania, Gambia, Niger, Senegal, Djibouti, Myanmar and Bangladesh respectively”.
According to the Turkey’s Economic and Technical Cooperation Package for the LDCs report in 2016, “Construction of 10 Public Health Stations for Bangladesh, public health stations, each treating approximately 100 patients daily, are an important need in Bangladesh where health services are miles away, transport conditions are extremely difficult, serious health problems are a common concern due to unhealthy drinking water and epidemics. TIKA started the construction of 10 public health stations in cooperation with the Bangladesh Ministry of Health. The project aimed to contribute to ensure access to health services, and fight diabetes, child and birth diseases for the rural population. Ten public health stations were built under the project, each featuring 3 examination rooms, 1 waiting hall and 1 bath, all built in a single story concrete structure of 60 m2. The entire project (excepting land) was completed by TIKA and delivered along with equipment to the Government of Bangladesh in an official ceremony held on 21 January 2015. Each station serves about 10,000 people in its region and treats about 100 patients daily”.
Bangladesh is a developing country with the GDP growth of 6.9%. Looking at this we can easily describe that Bangladesh is no more poor country, and it slowly goes to the good position in the world economy. TIKA is doing some projects in Bangladesh as like they are used to do in other countries. But with respect, implemented projects in Somalia or some African countries cannot be implemented in the Bangladesh. If TIKA really wants to take part as a sustainable development collaborator in Bangladesh, they should take into account to work some new projects in Bangladesh.
Education sector is one of the emerging sectors in Bangladesh. Every year thousands of students are going abroad for pursuing their higher education. Turkish government scholarship has created a great opportunity for them to come in Turkey and pursue higher education from here. But it is very small amount, no more than 70 students per year..
TIKA can launch a new project in Bangladesh to open Turkish language institution where Turkish language will be taught. It will be good opportunity for students, who want to come to Turkey to pursue their higher education in Turkish medium, to learn Turkish language before coming Turkey. Certainly it will remove difficulties which students face after coming Turkey due to language barrier. In Bangladesh huge number of students, who go to Germany for higher education, learn German language before going to Germany since German authority provides the facility. If TIKA establishes such institution then it will be great step to attract more students as pursuing higher education in Turkey is rising in Bangladesh. Nowadays, students are considering Turkey for higher education due to high standard education quality with low expense. Moreover, throughout this institution, people in Bangladesh will get opportunity to learn Turkish culture and history. This will contribute sustainable development for both countries. Bangladeshi young and highly ambitious students will be able to pursue their higher education from Turkey, and after pursuing higher education from Turkey when they will come back to Bangladesh, they will contribute at a large scale in different type of sustainable development works. In this perspective Turkish language institution will act as the bridge between Turkey and Bangladesh.
Our life has gone through changes since mainstream media such as TV-shows and movies come into being, which provides a totally new and different way of spending our leisure time as well as quality time with family. As a matter of fact, with the wide spread of this mainstream media such as TV-shows and movies, people thoughts have been changed a lot, since it has become an inevitable part of our daily life. TV-shows or movie influences human’s behavior by altering their attitudes towards particular aspect. For example, The TV-show called “Satyamev Jayate” hosted by Amir Khan, has changed the thoughts of Indian people. He discusses social issues such as sexual violation on women, killing girl’s embryo, dowry etc in his show in a dramatic way. Considerable changes have been found in Indian society due to this show. People have been concerned about woman rights and have realized the importance of girls and stopped killing the girl’s embryo at the womb of mother in many states of India.
Like all countries, Bangladesh has also some social problems such as dowry system, drug addiction, eve-teasing or lack of proper consciousness in climate changing. Though many social issues related TV-shows are being broadcasting in Bangladesh for last couple of years. But no fruitful result has come out from it. Because these TV shows are not having high quality and not organized by professional experts due to lack of financial supports. As a result these TV shows are not gaining attraction from viewers. Since program is being made that has to be made. If TIKA provides sponsorship to these sorts of TV-programs to make them high quality and professional then it will definitely gain viewer’s attraction which will certainly have impact on public awareness about different kind of social problem.
Bengali is the seventh most spoken native language in the world, with more than 250 million speakers. It is the national and official language of Bangladesh, and the official language of some eastern and north-eastern states of India, including West Bengal, Tripura, Assam (Barak Valley) and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. For this reason many international media such as BBC, Voice of America, Radio Tehran are broadcasting their program in Bengali for last few years. Nowadays, it’s easy to reach out more people through media vehicles, especially youth group, who are deeply integrated with mainstream media. At the same time it is alarming that predetermined false news can manipulate them, what world has already been experienced recently. On the other hand, providing reliable news, attractive programs and informative documentaries will make them responsible citizen. Considering these, TIKA can start a Bengali language based channel to provide reliable news, attractive programs and informative documentaries. Reliable news will be one kind of humanitarian aids because the world is fully wrapped with fake information and fake news. Hence, providing reliable news will be the greatest help for the humankind particularly for the people of Bangladesh as a humanitarian activity.
To draw conclusion, currently TIKA pays particular attention to projects on emphasizing on the development of institutional capacity and human resources in partner countries. It will be great steps to expand TIKA’s activities in different social issues if TIKA launches future projects to enhance public awareness in different social issues as mentioned above. Simultaneously it will strengthen the relations between Bangladesh and Turkey as strategic partners and friends.
Mr. Razu is a Masters Student in Marketing at Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey and he can be reached at email@example.com.
Mr. Islam is a PhD Researcher at Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University (AYBU), Ankara, Turkey and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.