Click here for search results

Turkey’s Development Results

Available in: Español, Français, 中文, Türkçe

Over the last four years, the number of Turkish girls in secondary school has increased, from 42% in 2001-02 to 51% in 2005-06. The time it takes to start a business has dropped from thirty-eight days in 2003 to nine days in 2006. 34,000 apartments were built to benefit victims left homeless after the Marmara earthquake. These are a few examples of how Turkey has made great strides in reducing poverty rates, improving health and education and strengthening the country’s macroeconomic underpinning. The World Bank has helped to contribute to these development successes by providing advice and resources and sharing experience gained through similar projects in other countries.

The Economy

Turkey has been effective in its poverty reduction efforts, with the poverty rate of 27% in 2002 dropping to just under 18% in 2006. These numbers represent large parts of the population that are reaping the benefits that come with sustainable development, including improved health, better education, and the prospect of a better life for their children.

The Government’s aggressive reform efforts have led to consistent improvements in the country’s macroeconomic situation. Since 2001, the country has seen continued progress in its overall economic situation, including an average GDP growth of 7 % over the last five years and inflation reaching a historical low of 7.7 % in 2005 down from 55% in 2001.

Making Better Health a Priority

Turkey is seeing real improvements in the health sector, with a significant reduction in infant mortality, from 43 per 1,000 live births in 1998, to 24 per 1,000 live births in 2005 according to data released by the Ministry of Health.  Further, the life expectancy at birth is now 72 years. These results stem from a number of initiatives and major ongoing reform efforts in the health sector.

Under the Health Transition Project and the Programmatic Public Sector Development Policy Program, the Government has made important steps towards the comprehensive reform of the health sector, including the introduction of Universal Health Insurance.  The aim of Universal Health Insurance is to effectively provide health insurance coverage for all Turkish citizens, including the estimated 10 million people who currently are not covered by any insurance at all. 

The previous system was highly fragmented, with certain hospitals only available to specific groups and high inequalities of care. The new system aims to make better health care available to all citizens and the Government is planning to subsidize the premium payments for Turkey's poor. The Government's comprehensive reform program also includes other important initiatives, including the introduction of family medicine for the provision of primary care services and granting more autonomy and responsibility to public hospitals to improve their efficiency and effectiveness in delivering health services to their patients. 

Supporting sustainable natural resource management
Turkey is one of the most biologically diverse countries in the region. For example, around 1,200 of its 10,000 plant species are endemic to the country, and are found only in Turkey. In addition, over 100 Important Bird Areas have been identified in Turkey, largely wetlands providing nesting habitats and food sources for huge numbers of birds passing between Africa and Europe during their seasonal migrations. Yet despite Turkey’s rich biodiversity, there are few pristine areas left. The major challenge is to conserve the habitats that remain while more fully involving local communities in their management. Through the Biodiversity and Natural Resources Management Project, Government has been working with communities to develop and implement plans for managing 4 priority nature protection sites, and the lessons learned from these sites are being extended to another 9 protected areas across the country.

Government has been making headway with other efforts to protect the environment as well. Under the Anatolia Watershed Rehabilitation Project (AWRP), community-based microcatchment (MC) plans to protect degraded areas from further degradation, erosion and pollution, were prepared and implementation is currently underway in 76 villages.  These will be the first of as many as 120 additional villages that will benefit from the project and will compliment similar efforts by other donors.

Moving Forward

Turkey is making progress in its development across a range of sectors, including modernization of the cadastre and land registry systems, increasing the efficiency of the energy sector and helping growing businesses get access to the capital they need to grow. The country as a whole is moving forward, and they are seeing results.


Permanent URL for this page: