Turkeys Humanitarian Policy: Changing Concepts, Scale and Goals

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DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-6-102-111
S. Sherstyukov, ssherstyukov@hse.ru
National Research University Higher School of Economics, 17 Malaya Ordynka Str., Moscow, 119017, Russian Federation.

Received 29.08.2021. Revised 14.03.2022. Accepted 06.04.2022.

Acknowledgements. The article was published with the support of the project “The Impact of the Policies of Iran and Turkey on the Transformation of the Middle East and the Post-Soviet Space” conducted by the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs of the National Research University Higher School of Economics.


Abstract. This article aims to delineate the place of humanitarian aspect of the foreign policy of the Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP). It traces the main objectives and actors of Turkish humanitarian policy, as well as ways of conceptualizing it. The OECD Development Assistance Committee classified a group of countries as “new donors” in the 2000s. However, the growing activity of these donors as subjects of humanitarian diplomacy still demands thorough research. Turkey’s experience seems particularly interesting as an example of a country that remains a recipient of humanitarian aid itself, yet has over the years emerged as a major donor of international humanitarian aid. The Covid‑19 global pandemic and Turkey’s response to this challenge both provides new answers and raises new questions about the nature of Turkish humanitarian policy and the motives, tools, and driving forces behind it. Since the AKP came to power, humanitarianism has become one of the foundations of Ankara’s foreign policy. The changes in Turkish humanitarian policy since the end of the Cold War have been the result of a profound and multifaceted transformation not only of Turkish society but also of the Turkish state. The official narrative describes Turkey’s humanitarian policy in recent decades as a success story, but despite a number of achievements, this policy faces a number of internal and external challenges and constraints. The shift towards authoritarianism in recent decades, the accumulated economic problems, and the increasing polarization of Turkish society are factors that have an increasingly negative impact on the attractiveness, sustainability, and ultimately the effectiveness of Turkish humanitarian policy.

Keywords: Turkey, Justice and Development Party, TIKA, NGOs, Humanitarian Policy, Erdogan, Islam, “new donors”


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For citation:
Sherstyukov S. Turkeys Humanitarian Policy: Changing Concepts, Scale and Goals. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2022, vol. 66, no. 6, pp. 102-111. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2022-66-6-102-111



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