Gökçin Özuyar, P., Gürcan, E.C. & Bayhantopçu, E. (2021) The policy orientation of Turkey’s current climate change strategy. Belt & Road Initiative Quarterly, 2(3). 31-46.


This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of Turkey’s approach to climate change on its path to an ecological civilisation. How does Turkey perceive climate change? What proposals does Turkey offer to tackle climate change? How have Turkey’s perception and policy proposals on this matter taken their current shape? This article uses qualitative content analysis and descriptive statistics to address these questions. A fuller understanding of Turkey’s climate change strategy can be gained through an integrative analysis of its recent Strategic Plan and Five-Year Plans in tandem with its key official documents related to climate change strategy and action plans. Our analysis suggests that Turkey’s approach to climate change centres on an ambitious mission to place economic and social development within a sustainability framework. This mission springs from Turkey’s growing percipience that the key to success in the struggle against climate change is in pursuing these efforts in coordination with the Sustainable Development Goals. The selected documents reflect a growing awareness that these efforts can be enhanced through closer cooperation between the public sector, private sectors, and civil society. Moreover, Turkey exhibits a strong understanding of the need for strengthening ties between the environment and future generations on the road to “green development”. The addressed documents acknowledge the current obstacles on this road, particularly those relating to scant institutional, financial, and technical capabilities. Finally, the documents’ frequent emphasis on sustainable energy, energy efficiency, and clean energy technologies points to the relevance of taking into consideration Turkey’s energy strategy and action plans. In this area, Turkey’s efforts at improving its institutional, financial, and technical capabilities seem to have borne their first fruits, though there is still a very long way to go to attain the capabilities required for fully implementing the intended strategies and action plans. A promising development is that enhanced public support for clean energy technologies and production has led Turkey to become a leading actor in clean energy.

Keywords: clean energy, climate change, climate policy, sustainable development, Turkey