Turkey is an emerging country, having achieved stable economic development with GDP per capita exceeding USD 10,000 and has a large population of more than 80 million. As one of the member countries of G20 and the important emerging donors in the international society, Turkey is expected to play a further bigger role. In addition, Turkey is located at a geopolitically important point that is connecting Asia, Middle East and Europe, with a political influence on these regions. In recent years, Turkey has accepted more than 3 million Refugees escaping from Syrian Civil War, thereby contributing to the crucial agenda of the international society.
We cannot forget to mention the strong historical relationship between Turkey and Japan, which has been built up by several impressive incidents: devoted rescue of the wrecked Ottoman Navy Frigate Ertugrul by Japanese village people in 1890; rescue of more than 200 Japanese citizens by the Turkish Government who were left helpless in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war; Japan emergency disaster relief team sent to Turkey upon Marmara earthquake in 1999; Turkish emergency rescue team dispatched at the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011. Turkey has a long history of Ottoman and Byzantine, even going up to Mesopotamia and the era when mankind firstly started agriculture. Since I came to Turkey, I have been attracted by the culture created by such long history and friendliness with Japanese people.
In achieving its economic development, Turkey has become a donor country providing aid to the countries in Africa, Middle East and Central Asia. I have come to recognize that the relation between Turkey and Japan is now an equal partnership of cooperating with each other and working together for realizing better international society. JICA's assistance of more than 50 years in the past has contributed to creating network of people and fostering trust between two countries. Now, it is getting important for us to make the best use of those precious assets for developing wider range of partnership, including those among regional governments and business societies.
JICA Turkey Office will continue to work for further enhancing this precious relation/partnership of two countries. I am looking forward to working with as many as both Turkish and Japanese people together.
JICA Turkey Office