TurkStat, as an institution playing a significant role in reflecting the general view of economic, social, environmental structure, has been pursuing a policy of openness to cooperation and collaboration in the international arena in order to improve the production and dissemination of statistical data in accordance with international methodology and standards. This is of particular importance in terms of increasing the effectiveness of the decisions to be taken and transferring the accumulated knowledge over many years to the demanding national statistical offices in this field. Within this context, TurkStat attaches high importance to the cooperation activities with international organizations at bilateral and multilateral levels and takes an active stance towards the possibility and opportunity of increasing the joint studies with these organizations.
Due to the political, social and economic developments experienced in the last decade of 20th century, importance of cooperation has significantly increased. In line with this development, TurkStat has considerably intensified its cooperation with international organizations in order to play an active role at the international level by rapidly adapting itself to this new environment. Within this context, cooperation activities have been continued intensively with many international actors, namely cooperation with the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) by the establishment of the Statistical Data and Economic Information Exchange Centre within our Institution in 1993, cooperation with the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) by virtue of the organization of the first "National Focal Points Meeting" in Ankara in 1998 and cooperation with the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) established to coordinate the statistical research and educational activities of 57 member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) from 2000 on.
In addition to these, from 1994 on, cooperation studies have been actively carried out by means of joint training programs / seminars and consultancy services with United Nations and its specialised agencies, Statistical Office of European Union (Eurostat), United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), International Labour Organization (ILO) and World Bank (WB).
Relations between TurkStat and Eurostat have been following the same trajectory with that of between Turkey and European Union. The relations between TurkStat and Eurostat have begun with the "Cooperation Protocol" in 1993 and steadily continued after the Helsinki Summit in December 1999 when Turkey was announced as the candidate country to EU membership. After the candidacy process, "Screening Process" was initiated on 20 November 2005 as a second stage of the accession negotiations that started on 3 November 2005. In May 2006, Eurostat transmitted the List of Statistical Acquits, the document for which TurkStat is responsible in order to ensure full compliance with European Statistical System. Since then, TurkStat has carried out significant studies to increase the level of compliance with the EU Acquis.
Within this framework, statistical activities of TurkStat have become a part of SMIS+ (Statistical Management Information System) developed by Eurostat in order to monitor the compliance level of the candidate countries to the European Statistical System and to monitor the progress in this area. In addition to SMIS+, Peer Review Studies have been carried out by Eurostat to assess the compliance level of TurkStat with the European Statistics Code of Practice and the EU Acquis. As a result, TurkStat has become highly compliant with the European Statistics Code of Practice and compared favourably with other NSIs according to the Second Peer Review Report.
Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) has been conducting EU funded programmes and projects with the aim of integrating with European Statistical System and increasing the its existing institutional capacity. Within this context, Turk stat has been implementing Multi-beneficiary Statistical Cooperation Programmes in cooperation with Eurostat. Since 2005, seven of these programmes were completed and one is being implemented currently. These programmes are conducted via direct grant agreements with the Eurostat and consisting of three components as technical assistance (participation to meetings, seminars, conferences, trainings and traineeships), expertise activities (study visits, consultancies) and data collection projects.
On the other side, TurkStat has been conducting National Programmes under IPA Programme. With these national programmes, theoretical and practical knowledge level of TurkStat staff members have increased, information and communication infrastructure of the Institute has been upgraded, coordination role of TurkStat among the Turkish Statistical System has been enhanced and Institutional capacity has been significantly improved.
To put it briefly, TurkStat attaches great importance to cooperation with international organizations and closely follows the methodological studies, strengthens and renews its information infrastructure by adapting itself to technological changes, develops its institutional capacity on a large scale, increasingly meets today's changing data demands and needs in a more comprehensive, timely manner and shares its experience and knowledge in these fields with third countries in response to the increasing demand.
TurkStat has been maintaining its cooperation studies with international actors and some among them have been fostered by such documents as memorandum of understanding, rolling working plan with international organisations signed in the year of 2020.
Within the framework of the cooperation between the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and TurkStat, a Rolling Work Plan (RWP) was signed to strengthen qualified data, information and support for children's rights in order to ensure the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2019. With the RWP signed on 19 June 2020, which takes into account the priorities of the 11th Development Program and the Official Statistics Programme 2017-2021, the parties have aimed to carry out studies towards meeting the statistical demands on children more effectively. The activities set out in the RWP are considered important in terms of emphasizing the role of statistics in monitoring the situation of children and defending children's rights in our country.
TurkStat also signed a cooperation protocol with International Labour Organization (ILO) on 6 January 2020 with the purpose of producing the gender wage gap, which is defined as the difference between median earnings of men and women relative to median earnings of men and is currently being produced in accordance with international standards using different data sets. Following the signature of the protocol, a working group consisting of experts in the field was established and methodological studies were initiated by the working group to calculate the “Gender Wage Gap” and" Motherhood Wage Gap” using different survey data and administrative registers. These studies culminated in the report titled "Gender Wage Gap" and it was prepared both in English and Turkish to be made accessible to the public and its results included in the report was shared by means of a webinar on 30 September 2020.
The Memorandum of Understanding between TurkStat and the World Bank was also signed on 18 August 2020 with a view to collaborate in carrying out activities conducive to help developing countries improve their statistical systems. With the MoU, it is aimed to ensure that TurkStat's wide knowledge and well-established experience in compliance with international norms and standards in the field of statistics is to be shared with third countries to support and strengthen their statistical systems by conducting joint activities with the WB. Within this context, various kinds of activities such as meetings, seminars, conferences and training programs could be organized together with the WB for the NSIs of demanding countries.