MDRC

Turkey

Turkey

The MDRC sent 5 member delegation to Turkey on 17-22 October, 1998. The delegation included Mr. J. Boldbaatar, Professor of Mongolian National University, Mr. G. Chuluunbaatar, Director, Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Mr. S. Lhagva, Expert of National Security Council, G. Nyamdavaa, Rector, Hovdo branch of Mongolian State University, and Ts. Batbayar, MDRC. The delegation stayed 3 days in Istanbul and 4 days in Ankara. 3 day stay in Istanbul mostly included the observation of tourism development in Turkey, including the sightseeing of St. Sophia Museum, Dolmabahche Palace Museum, Galata Tower Museum.
   
Turkey receives every year up to 10 mln. tourists from abroad, revenues from tourism account about 7 - 7.5 bln. USD.
The 4 day stay in Ankara included extensive meetings both with government and academic people.

The first day (19 Oct.) delegation visited the Constitutional Court of Turkey and met with chairman Ahmet Mehmed. Then we went to National Security Council where we met Gen. Ergin Celasin, Secretary General of that body. In the afternoon, the delegation went to Agricultural Research Center, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. Dr. Huseyn Sungur, Deputy General Director told us about the agriculture and animal husbandry in Turkey. Turkey has about 12 mln. cattle and 45 mln. sheeps. The Agricultural Research Center has about 1400 research people working at 55 local research stations. The center runs about 600 projects every year.

The delegation paid a visit to Mr. Burhan Kara, Minister without portfolio, and the Chairman of the Turkish-Mongolian intergovernment committee on economics and trade. Mr. Burhan Kara told us about the importance of developing transport links between Turkey and Mongolia including direct flights by MIAT between Ulaanbaatar and Istanbul via Moscow.

The second day (20 Oct.) the delegation visited Center for Strategic Research affilated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and met its President Amb. Unal Marashli. The Center was established in 1993 and coordinates its research work with Universities, publishes quarterly journal “Perception” , “SAM Reports”.

The delegation also visited Turkish Foreign Policy Institute and met its Director Mr. Seify Tashhan. This institute was founded in 1974 is a private cooperation engaged in research, organization for conference and publishing on foreign policy and strategic issues. It is currently affilated to the Turkish Foundation for International Relations and Strategic Studies. It publishes a quarterly journal “Foreign Policy”.

In the afternoon, the meeting was held at Tubitak, The scientific and technical research council of Turkey. Its president Dincer Ulku, vice-president Mehmet Cankurtaran told us about the activities of Tubitak.

It fulfils two functions, first as the funding agency gives grants to basic science research and applied research. Secondly, it has research panels which investigate submitted proposals. It has a budget of USD 50 mln.

The meeting was held in the State Planning Organization, which is one of undersecretariats under Prime Ministry. Mr. Timuchin Sanalan, deputy undersecretary received the delegation and told about the macro economic performance of Turkey in the 1990s. State Planning Organization consists of 6 General Directorates and employs about 700-750 people. Turkey has a liberal trade and economic regime since 1980 and tried to minimize state involvement. Turkey enjoyed 6-7% of average annual growth. The inflation rate has fluctuated during the 1990s but remains high. The unemployment rate is moderate. Many Turks work abroad, which helps to keep unemployment under control: remittances from these workers provide a major source of foreign exchange (about 4 bln. in 1997).

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