500 Projects by TİKA in North Macedonia in 6 Years
Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) has played an important role in reaching out a friendly hand of Turkey to the North Macedonians by carrying out about 500 projects in different fields, primarily education and health, in North Macedonia in the last 6 years.
Starting its activities in the country with the protocol signed between the governments of Turkey and North Macedonia in 2005, TİKA has a wide range of activities in fields of education, health, agriculture, livestock and rural development, from strengthening administrative and civil infrastructures and developing institutional capacity to social and cultural cooperation and protecting cultural heritage.
TİKA carried out 493 projects in North Macedonia between 2015 and 2021 in fields such as education, health, social infrastructure and services, production, administrative and civil infrastructures, restoration and immediate and humanitarian aid.
TİKA renovated and equipped the Mustafa Kemal Atatürk Primary Schools in Gostivar city center, and the village called Upper Banitsa in Gostivar, and contributed greatly to the improvement of education infrastructures with modern education buildings where nearly 2000 students will have education in the Turkish language.
Carrying out a school building project for every Turkish village in the eastern region of North Macedonia, TİKA also built, equipped and landscaped a four-story high school building consisting of 29 classrooms, science laboratories, library, meeting hall and administrative offices in an area of 5400 square meters in Debre in the west of the country. With the construction and providing equipment to a new kindergarten for Macedonian, Albanian and Turkish communities living in Kichevo, TİKA supported the development of the educational infrastructure by coming up with educational projects for all communities living in the country, it has also helped 15 thousand students since 2006 by providing them with stationery support and scholarship.
So far, TİKA has renovated and provided equipment to 40 primary schools, high schools and Turcology departments of universities in North Macedonia, 24 of which are renovated and 16 of which are constructed, and it has provided educational opportunities to approximately 17 thousand students. Offering Turkish language courses to hundreds of students in the centers it opens throughout the country every year, TİKA organized historical and cultural trips to Turkey in order to contribute to the strengthening of the native language and culture. Nearly 500 teachers have benefited from this service, which organizes in-service training programs for classroom teachers working in schools where the language of education is Turkish, with the participation of academicians who are experts in their fields at Turkish universities.
Attaching importance to health as well as education, TİKA, considering the measures taken against the risks that may occur in North Macedonia due to the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic affecting the whole world, 550 non-contact thermometers and 750 sanitizer stations were provided to nurseries, kindergartens, primary schools and various educational institutions.
In order to improve the health infrastructure of North Macedonia and to enable the population living in rural areas to benefit from health services effectively, TİKA repaired and provided equipment to health centers, also by providing patient transport, grant for emergency aid and ambulance, and medical equipment support.
In order to reduce infant mortality in the country, under the auspices of the Presidency of North Macedonia, the Emergency Unit of the Pediatrics Clinic in Saint Cyril and Methodius University Clinical Center of Skopje State Hospital was renovated and equipped. TİKA also extensively renovated the Neonatal/Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the Pediatrics Clinic in Skopje State Hospital and provided medical device and equipment support. Within the scope of the project, TİKA launched the project of Mobile Clinical Health Screening in order to increase the access of citizens living in rural areas to health services, to control the tuberculosis cases in the country, and to provide early diagnosis and preventive treatment services to patients who cannot reach the center. In addition to providing the hospital with the necessary medical supplies, TİKA provided the technical equipment needed for the mobile clinic to operate.
TİKA also carried out projects to establish family businesses in order to reduce unemployment and prevent migration from rural areas by increasing quality food production in North Macedonia and contributed greatly to agricultural greenhouse businesses of families.
In 80 villages in rural areas of North Macedonia, for 1000 farmer families in need, it established agricultural greenhouse businesses, where vegetables can be grown all year long, regardless of the climate. Under the Development of Beekeeping and Bee Products Project, necessary training and equipment support for modern beekeeping was provided to 200 families from different ethnic groups, mainly Turkish and Macedonian, who are living in different regions of North Macedonia. While the annual honey harvest throughout the country is 250-300 tons, 25-30 tons of honey is produced by the project stakeholder families.
In the development of fruit growing, orchards were created thanks to various projects, in order to increase the economic welfare of the people by reducing the migration rates in the country. TİKA also implemented the Walnut Cultivation Project in order to create an alternative source of livelihood for low-income families living throughout the country, and within this scope, 10,240 walnut saplings were donated to 308 families.
Strengthening Administrative Infrastructures
TİKA has carried out activities to increase the service and material capacities of the public institutions of North Macedonia. It implemented capacity-building programs to share and transform Turkey's knowledge and experience with friendly North Macedonia and also contributed to the improvement of material and IT infrastructures to develop the service in public institutions.
In this context, TİKA undertook the extensive repairing and equipping of the main meeting room of the Constitutional Court of North Macedonia, and it provided training support by supplying 3 desktop computers, 2 color multi-function printers, 5 scanners, 1 archive storage device, 1 server and 1 advanced archiving software under the "North Macedonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Establishment of Digital Archive Infrastructure" project.
Constructing a new public service building for the Municipality of Plasnitsa, TİKA also renewed the equipment and IT infrastructure of this building.
TİKA carried out projects for the archival materials’ identification, classification, preservation, their transfer to digital media and bringing samples to Turkey; these archive materials were Ottoman period documents, registries, records and manuscripts found in the Balkans and Eastern European countries, where the Ottomans ruled for nearly 500 years.
Approximately 130 thousand images were obtained from the archives of the Ottoman period, consisting of 774 files/records in North Macedonia. These were delivered to the Ottoman Archive, classified and presented to researchers. TİKA also implemented restoration projects in order to keep the common historical and cultural values alive and to sustain the existence of these historical structures in North Macedonia. In this context, it restored and landscaped the Sultan Murat Mosque and the Ishak Bey (Alaca) Mosque in Skopje and the Huseyin Shah Mosque in the Saraj Municipality of Skopje.