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Voluntary National Review 2019

Implementation of the Agenda has been started by linking SDGs with National Development Plans (NDPs) and sectoral strategies. Indeed, the concept of “sustainable development” has been embedded in the NDPs since 1996. This accumulated experience, along with strong infrastructure and institutional mechanisms provide a strong ground towards SDGs.

The Strategy and Budget Office under the Presidency, in charge of preparing NDPs, coordinated the 2019 VNR preparations. The process commenced with the highest-level political ownership, upon H.E. President Erdogan’s call on all government entities.

During the VNR, legislative and institutional framework, policies and projects were scrutinized through SDG lenses. Focus areas were identified for each SDG and targets examined systematically with a special attention to vulnerable groups. Additionally, practices that served the principle of “leaving no one behind” were elaborated under a separate heading.

The analysis reveals that most targets have been incorporated in policies, and legislation provides adequate framework for implementation. Considering policy, strategy and legislation, Turkey stands at an advanced level, while there is room for improvement in practices and projects.

Significant progress was achieved in SDG1, SDG3, SDG6, SDG7, SDG9 and SDG11. More effort is required to address gaps in implementation, to increase quality of services, and to enhance financial and technical capacities.

Regarding monitoring, responsibilities were assigned to ministries for 218 SDG indicators and Sustainable Development Indicators Set comprised of 83 indicators was published in 2019. While the ratio of produced indicators is higher for SDG3, SDG7 and SDG9; further work is needed for SDG1, SDG2, SDG12, SDG13 and SDG14 indicators.

As a middle-income country, Turkey has made progress in all three dimensions of sustainable development and taken fundamental steps in eradicating poverty, reducing inequalities and addressing the vulnerable. Based on a human-centered development approach and having a younger population, Turkey has achieved remarkable progress in providing better quality, broader and more accessible public services, particularly for education and healthcare. Policies to reduce inter-regional infrastructural disparities and promote technological facilities across the country marked an inclusive development pathway.

Looking ahead, Turkey will focus on maintaining the pace of progress, and improving the quality and effectiveness of services. With a special emphasis on “competitive production and efficiency”, high value-added production will be prioritized. On the basis of equity principle, efforts will be sustained to distribute increased prosperity among all segments of society. Improving R&D and innovation ecosystem, ensuring digital transformation and competitive production, strengthening human resources, logistics and other infrastructure required for those targets will be among Turkey’s priorities towards 2030.

Turkey promotes “leaving no one behind” principle both at home and abroad, and advocates raising the voice of developing countries in international decision-making mechanisms. As an emerging donor, Turkey supports development efforts of developing countries. The establishment of the Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries as a UN entity in Turkey in 2018 marked SDG17.8 as the first global target achieved.

In 2018, with its total ODA of 8.6 billion USD and ODA/GNI ratio of 1.10%, Turkey was one of the few countries that fulfilled 0.7% ODA/GNI target. Our development assistance in 2014-2018 exceeded 38.7 billion USD, including 7.3 billion USD in NGO grants and private sector direct investments.

Ever willing to offer a helping hand to those in need, Turkey has responded generously to the influx of Syrians since the onset of Syrian humanitarian crisis in 2011. Turkey has granted temporary protection to these people. Hosting the largest refugee population in the world, Turkey has spent more than 37 billion USD for the well-being of 3.6 million Syrians to date. They can access to public services equally as Turkish citizens, especially for their education, healthcare and humanitarian needs."

To achieve SDGs, ownership and engagement of all stakeholders including public and private sectors, local authorities, NGOs, academia and citizens are essential at all levels. Accordingly, during VNR preparations 2.962 representatives were consulted directly from government bodies, 312 NGOs, 2000 companies and 50 municipalities. Turkey will continue to pursue its development efforts in an inclusive manner.

Voluntary National Review 2016

Bearing in mind that each country will decide on the scope of their review and the format in which they want to present their voluntary national reviews, Turkey would like to present the outline of its review to be submitted to the 2016 HLPF Meeting. The following components are planned in Turkey’s Report in line with the proposal for voluntary common reporting guidelines that was delivered at first retreat meeting.

1. MDG Status of Turkey with a Particular Focus to the Theme of 2016 HLPF
The theme of 2016 HLPF is defined as “Ensuring no one left behind”. Therefore, in that section, MDG status of Turkey will be presented keeping in mind this theme with a forward looking perspective to the 2030 Agenda. Transition from MDGs to SDGs will be presented. Furthermore, there will be a best practices and lessons learnt part in that chapter.

Initial Reflections: Turkey has shown substantial success on almost all MDGs during the last 15 years. Even though progress on some goals as gender equality was not adequate, comprehensive efforts to increase achievement in all MDGs created a holistic development perspective among policy practitioners. For some goals – eradicate extreme poverty, reduce child mortality, improve maternal health, improvement of safe water and sanitation facilities and global partnership for development, Turkey is among the top ten performers as measured by average annual rates of relative progress.

2. Sustainable Development Concept in Turkey’s Policy Environment
Sustainable development concept in Turkey’s national plan and human centered development approach will be outlined. Main policy areas in Turkey’s national development plan that have relation with the SDGs will be highlighted. The structure of the 10th Development Plan, which covers 2014-2018 period, including the development axes of the Plan and the Transformation Programs will be elaborated in the context of 2030 Development Agenda.

Initial Reflections: In Turkey, sustainability policies are taken place in various laws, regulations and action plans of various policy fields and sectors. But above all, Turkey’s National Development Plan (NDP) is the guiding document for all macro-level national policies and priorities. Turkey has introduced the concept of sustainable development first into 7th Development Plan in 1996 after 1992 Rio Conference. Recently, Rio+20 outcomes have been integrated into 10th Development Plan of Turkey. One of the main axes of the 10th Development Plan is sustainability and the Plan is based on the “human centered development” approach. Additionally, the preliminary analysis show that there is a high coherence between 10th Development Plan and the SDGs.

3. Integration of SDGs into the National Development Plan
Embedding the SDGs into the upcoming 11th Development Plan’s strategies will be explained in this section. In this regard, the ongoing efforts and the background studies to insert SDGs into national strategies will be shared under this title.

Initial Reflections: Turkey is currently in the stage of updating its long term vision for supporting the preparation process of its 11th Development Plan. Turkey intends to take SDGs as one of the main inputs of the long term vision and the 11th Development Plan.

4. Institutional Mechanisms to Implement SDGs
The coordination role of Ministry of Development, high level legal bodies that are relevant for SDGs, new structure of Sustainable Development Coordination Commission and the shared responsibility of line ministries for implementing the 2030 Agenda will be presented in this section.

Initial Reflections: Ministry of Development, the Ministry responsible for the preparation of National Development Plans of Turkey, will follow a policy coherence approach at the center of the implementation process of SDGs. Given the coordination role of Ministry of Development and macro level place of national development plans at the top of policy making process in Turkey, implementation of SDGs will be a shared responsibility of all ministries. This sharing will facilitate the integration of SDGs into all relevant strategy and policy documents at central and local levels. Turkey has a Sustainable Development Coordination Commission (SDCC) coordinated by the Ministry of Development. SDCC is aimed to be strengthened and widened in line with its coordinating role, especially for implementation and reporting process of the SDGs taking into account the comprehensive nature of the 2030 Agenda. It is planned to extend the role of the Commission including by increasing the number of its members in order to have an integrated and holistic approach to the drivers and progress of SDGs. It is also planned to ensure high level participation in the commission in order to effective policy and decision making. The Commission will have a role for the follow-up and review process of implementation of SDGs.

5. Public Awareness and Ownership for SDGs
Turkey aims to prepare an agenda that will be embraced by all stakeholders as well as all citizens. Under this section, the strategies for increasing ownership and public awareness on SDGs will be outlined. This awareness campaign includes outreach activities that are planned to be conducted together with the academia, the NGOs and the business sector through all kinds of communication methods.

Initial Reflections: In the implementation phase of the Agenda, political ownership will be essential for successful outcomes. Taking into account the comprehensive and universal nature of SDGs, political ownership at highest possible level and effective coordination among all stakeholders will be a key factor for translating the global vision of the SDGs into national sustainable actions. 2030 Agenda gives responsibility not only to governments but also to business, NGOs and academia. Turkey aims to guarantee a national setting that fits to the effective contribution of all relevant stakeholders for the planning, implementation and review of SDGs. This agenda should be reflected in the working programs and priorities of all the relevant stakeholders.

6. SDG Indicators and Monitoring Progress
The role and the capacity of Turkish Statistical Institution (TURKSTAT) will be presented in that section. Monitoring the progress will be mainly carried out by TURKSTAT. The initial steps to produce SDG indicators taken by TURKSTAT will be shared under this title.

Initial Reflections: Regarding the follow-up and review, Turkey intends to develop a review framework that is in conformity with the UN framework of monitoring and review. In line with that, National SDG Review Reports are expected to be prepared on a 4-yearly basis, regarding the HLPF agenda. In terms of monitoring the SDGs at national level, Turkey already has a national sustainable development indicator set, composed of 132 indicators under 10 categories since 2000. This monitoring framework will be further developed in light of SDGs’ global indicators according to our national priorities and capabilities. TURKSTAT follows closely the work of UN on the indicators and will shortly initiate work for analyzing and filling the data gap. TURKSTAT will have the central role for the monitoring part of the Agenda based on global SDG indicators. Turkey will develop its current set by taking into account the results of UN Statistics work for global common monitoring framework and the national priority list of SDGs.

7. Development Cooperation Setting of Turkey and Possible Partnerships for Future Collaboration
Development cooperation strategies and experiences will be shared under this title. And the potential needs and the role of Turkey in terms of finance, capacity building, technology or partnerships will also be elaborated.

Initial Reflections: Turkey is an emerging donor in the development cooperation field and official development assistance (ODA) provided by the country has increased rapidly in recent years. In 2014, Turkey’s net ODA amounted to USD 3.6 billion, representing an increase of 15% in real terms over 2013. The ratio of ODA as a share of GNI rose from 0.40% in 2013 to 0.45% in 2014. Preliminary data show that ODA reached USD 3.9 billion in 2015 (0.54% of GNI). Turkey’s development co-operation is provided in line with the Statutory Decree on the Organization and Duties of the Turkish Co-operation and Co-ordination Agency (TIKA), adopted in 2011. The Agency designs and co-ordinates Turkey’s bilateral development co-operation activities and implements projects in collaboration with other ministries, NGOs and the private sector. Other public institutions, NGOs and the private sector also implement projects and programmes funded through Turkey’s ODA.

8. Challenges in the Implementation of the Agenda and Experiences
Potential problems will be highlighted in that section. Institutional arrangements to handle those challenges, particularly the ones related with coordination will be shared with the other countries. Lack of capacity, especially on data collection and analysis and ensuring all stakeholders’ ownership of the Agenda are among the first instant challenges to be shared.

Additionally, breaking silos and working together on particular goals in an integrated manner will be a critical challenge as this needs to change approaches in the regular policy making processes. Under this title, the best ways to integrate sustainable development policymaking at all levels and the opportunities for or barriers to integrating the three dimensions of sustainable development will be explored.

9. Conclusions and Messages for the International Community
Considering the challenges and needs for the future of sustainable development, Turkey’s messages for international arena will be presented in this section.

Additionally, Turkey would like to hear about other countries’ plans and good practices on the methodology of national reviews. And also Turkey wants to learn more about the other countries experiences on the incorporation of Addis Ababa Action Plan and the SDGs in their national context. In this section, those concerns and questions will be shared for enabling a mutual learning environment.

In the context of new development agenda, Turkey believes that continuing its human centered development approach which has the main axis of equality and sustainability is crucial. Fighting poverty for ensuring an honorable life quality for everyone is Turkey’s utmost priority. Additionally, peaceful society, ensuring rule of law and good governance are enablers of our goals and targets and support a level playing field for all. Turkey takes the governance and strong institutional capacity as the 4th pillar of sustainable development. Without them, it is almost impossible to realize goals and targets. Therefore, partnerships for capacity building and empowering respective institutions should have a high priority among all.
Focal point
Mr. Nebi Çelik
General Director
General Directorate of Sectors and Public Investments
Presidency of the Republic of Turkey
Presidency of Strategy and Budget
+ 90 312 294 6510

Partnerships & Commitments
The below is a listing of all partnership initiatives and voluntary commitments where Turkey is listed as a partner or lead entity in the Partnerships for SDGs online platform
IHO Hydrography Capacity Building Programme for Coastal States

The IHO capacity building programme seeks to assess and advise on how countries can best meet their international obligations and serve their own best interests by providing appropriate hydrographic and nautical charting services. Such services directly support safety of navigation, safety of life at sea, efficient sea transportation and the wider use of the seas and oceans in a sustainable way, including the protection of the marine environment, coastal zone management, fishing, marine resource exploration and exploitation, maritime boundary delimitation, maritime defence and security, and o...[more]

International Hydrographic Organization (IGO); 87 IHO Member States (Governments); International Maritime Organization (UN); World Meteorological Organization (UN); International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (NGO)
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
Turkey's Marine Litter Action Plans to Reduce Sea-based and Land-based pollution loads

Turkey commits to conclude Marine Litter Action Plans at the end of 2018 which will be prepared for each province that have a coast on Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea or Sea of Marmara. Action reports under these action plans will include information about the clean-up activities, pollution reduction studies and will be published at the end of each year. The results will be evaluated and minimization of marine litter studies will be executed with the relevant sectors such as plastics, cosmetics, textile etc. In order to combat marine litter, strong waste management policies as well as reduction,...[more]

Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation
Action Network
Sustainable Development Goals
9 Jun 2017
19 Jul 2016
21 Jun 2012
12 May 2011
12 May 2011
12 May 2011
13 May 2010
12 May 2010
12 May 2010
7 May 2010
5 May 2010
5 May 2010
5 May 2010
10 May 2007
2 May 2007
2 May 2007
1 May 2007
12 May 2006
1 May 2006
22 Apr 2005
29 Apr 2004
19 Apr 2004
2 Sep 2002
United Nations