Turkey and Japan, beyond borders

Highlights from our interview with the Chief Representative of JICA Turkey Office, Yuko Tanaka.

Turkey and Japan have a strong relationship built on a long history of helping each other out.

Our four top priorities in Turkey are (1) to contribute to the establishment of a strong urban infrastructure that supports the economic and social development as well as disaster risk reduction, (2) to strengthen partnership with the private sector, (3) to strengthen ties with development partners for development of other part of the world, and (4) to support the governmental policies regarding vulnerable people including those forcibly displaced.

For the first pillar, symbolic urban infrastructure projects are located in İstanbul to showcase the friendship between Turkey and Japan as well as Japanese technology.

The Marmaray, Bosphorus rail tube crossing project and Faith Sultan Mehmet Bridge (the 2nd Bosphorus Bridge) contributed to socio-economic development of Turkey as major artery of physical distribution of goods and facility for commutation between Europe, Middle East and Asia. 

Turkey and Japan have a strong relationship built on a long history of helping each other out.

Yuko Tanaka, Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency in Turkey

In the field of disaster risk reduction, JICA has been working on strengthening of the resilience of urban infrastructure in Turkey from various approaches, including planning and mitigation, earthquake observation and simulation, school-based disaster education, and earthquake reinforcement of bridges and other critical structures.

For the second pillar, JICA, with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization of Turkey (KOSGEB), is extending support for the rapid support of micro and small enterprises whose business operations and employment have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey. As of the end of June 2022, more than 40,000 MSMEs have received financial support for the quick recovery from pandemic. 

For the third pillar, there have been active interaction between the two countries since 1959. For example, more than 4000 Turkish from public and private have visited Japan for various trainings across more than 40 JICA’s projects.

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) is one of the main partners when we implement third country cooperation, contributing to the strengthening relationship between Japan, Turkey and the neighbouring regions. Until now, more than 1,000 participants from neighbouring countries took part in over 20 different programs (projects) and 80 courses.

Third country technical training projects between JICA and TIKA cover a wide range of areas from aquaculture to disaster risk management. Turkey has been contributing to economic and social development of other countries, as an emerging donor.

For the fourth pillar, through the cooperation with Iller Bank, JICA is providing a long-term finance for the projects to promote social infrastructure development in local authorities affected by the large influx of forcibly displaced people.

Recently, technical cooperation agreement between Turkey and Japan has been reactivated. We are entering new era to resume many economic activities after Covid19. 

Now is the very good time for us to extend more projects. We expect more and more projects will start. JICA will have stronger relationship with Turkey to tackle global issues such as climate change. We are seeing new areas of cooperation with Turkey in relation to climate change such as energy efficiency, renewable energy and response to natural disasters.

We will make our best effort to contribute to strengthen the trustful relations between Turkey and Japan.


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