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Research Report

Turkey’s New Horizon:: Turks Abroad and Related Communities

Kemal Yurtnaç
Copyright Date: Oct. 1, 2012
Pages: 14
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Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 3-4)
    Kemal Yurtnaç

    Across the world, there are many countries that have established institutions to serve and engage with their citizens and kin living abroad. Such institutions are called Diaspora Ministry/Department in some cases, while in others they operate as independent units under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The dissolution of the Soviet Union in the late 1990s paved the way for the birth of a set of new countries that have their nationals or ethnic kin beyond their borders, and consequently increased the need to establish such institutions. The ensuing process of globalization facilitated countries in their efforts to establish closer ties...

  2. (pp. 4-5)

    The Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities is established as a public institution under the Prime Ministry. After its establishment, Turkey’s relations with its citizens living in different parts of the world, as well as with kin communities with whom Turkish people share a common cultural and historic heritage, have been firmly restructured on a more institutional foundation. Of its various responsibilities, the Presidency’s coordination responsibilities include defining strategies to meet the needs of related communities and Turkish citizens living abroad, and implementing steps in accordance with the planned strategies.

    The Presidency is comprised of a Legal Advisory Office...

  3. (pp. 5-6)

    The Presidency collaborates and cooperates with different institutions that also have responsibilities pertaining to the Turks and related communities abroad. The Presidency mainly works closely with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Directorate of Religious Affairs, Turkish International Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), The Council of Higher Education (YÖK), The Yunus Emre Institute, the Public Diplomacy Office, and other institutions and organizations.

    Although countries face similar problems in the rapidly globalizing world, their people have different cultural traditions and there are different laws in place in each country. In its work, the Presidency takes into account those local differences. Within...

  4. (pp. 6-9)

    The Presidency concentrates on four main areas:

    Citizens living abroad constitute one of the main areas of focus for the Presidency. Under this category, the Presidency assists the citizens who over the years have emigrated to different countries for a variety of reasons. It develops strategies directed towards them, identifies and analyzes the problems they face abroad, and coordinates related domestic and international activities.

    In its work with the citizens living overseas, the Presidency encourages them to actively participate in public life in their respective host countries while preserving their own culture, and supports all efforts in that direction. The...

  5. (pp. 9-10)

    There are more than six million Turkish citizens living abroad, and the number of kin and members of related communities exceed 200 million. Turkey sees great potential for developing mutually beneficial projects among these communities. In the future, the Presidency will continue prioritizing efforts to help Turkish citizens become prominent forces in the countries they reside in, work towards ensuring their equal participation in public life, as well as foster a common consciousness amongst them.

    The Presidency focuses on strengthening common historic and cultural values shared with the kin and related communities who live in different regions of the world,...