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UNDP Turkey: This is the New Horizons Podcast prepared by United Nations Development Programme in Turkey. In this episode, we will talk about Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Growth Agenda for Southeastern Anatolia Region, of which preparations continue these days. This agenda will shape the development efforts about Southeastern Anatolia Region between the years of 2016 and 2023. Recently, a workshop was organized on the evaluation of needs and opportunities, definition and prioritization of short and medium term areas of intervention for the agenda. During the workshop, Sadrettin Karahocagil, President of Southeastern Anatolian Project Regional Development Administration, explains why this agenda is important:

Sadrettin Karahocagil: Such works are substantially important both for our country and our future interventions. Competitiveness Agenda was a very good document. It was a visionary document when you look at it now. It was prepared at the beginning of 2000s and finalized in 2007. Then, it was started to be implemented. In fact, Competitiveness Agenda is an exemplary project which can take place in the literature of regional development. The initiatives regarding this agenda was supposed to end in 2015. Another opportunity for the agenda has been the Southeastern Anatolian Project Action Plan for 2008-2012. Many projects were implemented with this Action Plan in order to increase the competitiveness capacity. Both the Action Plan and the Agenda supports, finances and increases the value for each other. As you might know, the second Action Plan for 2014-2018 is adopted which is under implementation right now. Therefore, we wanted to review the Competitiveness Agenda in accordance with the new developments, potentials and context in the region. We would like to update it in accordance with this action plan and to implement it until 2023.  

UNDP Turkey: The Competitiveness Agenda was developed with the cooperation of Southeast Anatolian Project Regional Development Administration and UNDP for Southeast Anatolia Region to be implemented between the years of 2007-2015 which aimed to direct the socioeconomic development of the region.  The workshop was organized to update the Agenda in accordance with national, regional and sectoral plans. The strategic framework for the Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Growth Agenda for the Southeast Anatolia Region was developed during the workshop. Priority areas of intervention on a thematic and/or sectoral basis were identified and needs and possible areas of intervention in order to decrease the socioeconomic and spatial effects of Syrian Crisis in Southeast Anatolia Region were specified. Sadrettin Karahocagil briefly explains what they will take into account while preparing the agenda:

Sadrettin Karahocagil: Of course, the conditions in the region, as in Turkey and in the world, is constantly changing. We will take these changing conditions in the region into account. We will especially focus on the Syrian Crisis, which has a lot of effects for the region. One of the most important issues here is what to do after the end of the crisis because there are people who will return back to Syria but there are also ones who won’t. We need to provide an environment for these people so that they feel happy and they contribute to the social and economic life here. In other words, we will look into what we need to do during the crisis and afterwards. Also, there is a rising tension in the region. We also wanted to consult the experts within this context what we shall do and how we shall do it.

UNDP Turkey: Sadrettin Karahocagil talks about what kind of a perspective will be used to develop Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Growth Agenda:

Sadrettin Karahocagil: While we discuss the Competitiveness Agenda, we will truly develop an inclusive perspective. We will strengthen the logic of sustainability and try to look into the resilience issue. In fact, the region is really resilient and developing because although there are these crisis and problems it is still developing. The region is developing and both the welfare and income level of people are increasing. In addition, the gini coefficient is decreasing, in other words inequalities in income is decreasing. When you look at it from this perspective, there is a resilience. First, we will look into the reasons for this resilience and we will look for which measures we should take in order to increase this resilience. We are really happy that this workshop attracted a great attention from the experts, public institutions, NGOs and semipublic institutions in the region. As the administration, which ensures the security of the region, we will see the coming years for the region, the problems that are arising and the measures and areas of intervention to solve these problems.

UNDP Turkey: The vision, primary areas of intervention, corporate roles and responsibilities and primary actions and projects for Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Growth Agenda for the Southeast Anatolia Region is identified with the consultations. Sadrettin Karahocagil, President of Southeastern Anatolian Project Regional Administration, tells which subject he wants to see as a priority in the Agenda:

Sadrettin Karahocagil: Indeed, we must increase our inclusiveness. In fact, the Competitiveness Agenda hasn’t lost its relevance. The areas where the region is highly competitive are renewable energy, organic agriculture. These areas are very important. We have some difficulties in tourism, but these are temporary. The region has gained some speed in tourism but we think this speed will continue after the crisis. In this framework, we have a project on publicity and branding.  We actually need to look into new born areas. We need to strengthen the innovation side of our interventions. As we see that without increasing the added value, you can’t do anything, we will promote innovation in the areas identified by the Competitiveness Agenda and in all areas that the region is competitive with. We need to produce goods that have a high added value. We need to sell ideas and knowledge. Hence, I would like to see these areas in the Agenda. But, generally speaking, the social distress we are experiencing right now, as you know, is Syrian crisis. We will look into this issue in detail. We do not think this issue that will end in one or two years’ time. Eventhough the crisis ends, its repercussions will continue for a long time because there are many people who came, established and feels that they belong to this country. It is very important to ensure the social integration of these people and receive their contributions. I think the Syrian crisis is very important topic in this regard.

UNDP Turkey: We have come to end of the episode of New Horizons with the words of Sadrettin Karahocagil. In this episode, we talked about Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Growth Agenda for Southeastern Anatolia Region, of which preparations continue these days. This program has been recorded at the studio of Yodiviki in İstanbul. You can follow our program on FM frequency in İstanbul, on Açık Radyo (Open Radio) on Internet, on university radios in our broadcasting network, on iTunes, Soundcloud, TuneIn, Pure Connect, Yodiviki, Audioboo and TTNET Müzik in podcast format, and also on tr.undp.org. Our user name for social media is undpturkiye. Hope to see you soon, good-bye!
















Inclusive, Sustainable and Resilient Growth for Southeastern Anatolia Region

Sadrettin Karahocagil, Head of Southeastern Anatolian Project Regional Development Administration