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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Bilateral agreements and worldwide cooperation


13.Mobility and internationalisation

13.7Bilateral agreements and worldwide cooperation

Last update: 27 November 2023

Bilateral Agreements

In the field of education in different countries, negotiations, agreements and protocols were signed with the international agreement executed. Agreements, protocols and case memorandum have been signed with 116 countries in mid-2018. A total of 2013 different agreements have been made with 105 countries and put in effect. After the coup attempt of the FETO in 2016, six agreements, five of which were made with African counties within the struggle against the FETO in 2018. Negotiations of 102 agreements with 81 countries are still in progress.

Eleven agreements were made with 11 countries in 2017. Various agreements, educational cooperations and collaboration protocols were signed in 2017. Negotiations of 103 agreements with 86 countries were conducted in this year.

Collaborations with Worldwide Programs and Organizations


Turkey is one of the twenty founder members of Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and participates actively in the studies of OECD about education.

Ministry of National Education is represented in the Committee of Educational Policies and Educational Research and Innovation Center of the OECD, in which critical decisions are taken about education.

The most important studies of OECD to which Ministry of National Education participate are as follows:

  • Program for International Student Assessment (PISA)
  • The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS)
  • The TALIS Starting Strong Survey 
  • Indicators of Education Systems (INES) 
  • Network for the Collection and Adjudication of System-Level Descriptive Information on Educational Structures, Policies and Practices (NESLI)
  • The Network on Labour Market, Economic and Social Outcomes of Learning (LSO)
  • Social and Affective Skills of OECD
  • Early Childhood Education and Care 
  • International Education Classification Descriptors Program
  • Centre for Studies of Education, Research and Innovation (2018 Budget Presentation)

Program for International Student Assessment (PISA)

The Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students. The subjects/skills covered are reading, mathematics and natural sciences. Turkey has taken part in the PISA since 2003.

The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS)

The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) collects internationally comparable data on the learning environment and the working conditions of teachers and principals in schools across the world. Turkey joined first to the TALIS in 2008 and the second participation is in 2018.

The TALIS Starting Strong Survey 

Starting Strong Survey provides early childhood staff and center leaders with an opportunity to share insights on their professional development; pedagogical beliefs and practices; and working conditions, as well as various other leadership, management and workplace issues. This survey aims at identifying strengths of and improvement opportunities for early childhood learning and well-being environments across different countries and jurisdictions, while identifying factors that are open to change. Turkey has taken part in the PISA since 2015.

Indicators of Education Systems (INES) 

The Indicators of Education Systems (INES) program is an authoritative source for accurate and relevant information on education around the world. It provides data on the performance of the education systems in the OECD’s 34-member countries and a set of partner countries, including non-member G20 nations. The data are exploited OECD, UNESCO, EUROSTAT publications and databases.

Social and Emotional Skills Study

The "Social and Emotional Skills Survey (SSES)" is being conducted by the Education and Skills Directorate of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and is the first international initiative to develop a comprehensive set of metrics on social and emotional skills designed to develop policies to improve children's development and well-being. Our Ministry took part in the first cycle of the study, which was completed in September 2021.

The SSES Main Practice was carried out with approximately 3000 students from each of the 10 and 15 age groups, between 28 October 2019 and 8 November 2019, in a total of 176 schools, 96 of which were in the 10-year-old group and 80 of which were attended by the 15-year-old students. . The analysis and reporting of the research was completed and the international report titled “Beyond Academic Learning: First results from the Survey on Social and Emotional Skills” was presented to the public by the OECD in September 2021. In addition, the OECD has prepared and published country reports for each city participating in the study. The country project team also published a report titled “OECD Social and Emotional Skills Survey Turkey Preliminary Report”.

International Educational Assessment IEA

IEA studies involve assessment of student achievement in one or more subject matters or an interdisciplinary area of learning, contributing to a deep understanding of educational processes within individual countries and across a broad international context. The assessment is offered to 4thand 8thgrade students with “Mathematics and science: Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMSS)”. Turkey first participated in TIMMSS in 1999 in 8th-grade level, and in 2011 4th-grade was also included in the assessment.

Our country participated in the International Research on the Development of Reading Skills (PIRLS) for the first time in 2001, conducted in 5-year cycles by the International Educational Achievement Assessment Organization (IEA), which aims to reveal the reading comprehension skills and reading habits of primary school 4th grade students according to different text types. After the break, our country also participated in the PIRLS 2021 cycle.

Educational Activities Conducted with UNESCO

As one of the founder member countries, Turkey gets involved in the studies of UNESCO with the active participation of the Ministry of National Education. The collaborations with the UNESCO are as follows:

Selection of Turkey to the Executive Board of UNESCO

Executive Board of UNESCO, the top execution body of UNESCO, is comprised of 58 members selected by the decision of the General Conference.

In the polls of General Conference on 30 October – 14 November 2017, Turkey was selected to the Executive Board by obtaining 134 votes of 184 countries and will serve between 2017-2021. This enables Turkey to become one of the decision-maker countries among 58 other member countries and contributes to the decision-making processes concerning global education, scientific and cultural policies. Other member countries selected from the 1stSelection Group to the Executive Board are Finland and Portuguese.

During our UNESCO Executive Board membership, where we have been serving for the first time since 2005, we have taken an active role in UNESCO to be the voice of the countries we have supported, to bring their demands and concerns to the UNESCO agenda and to be a part of the solution.

Membership of Turkey to SDG-4 Direction Committee

Turkey has become the member of the UNESCO SDG-4 Education Direction Committee among 1stGroup countries to secure the realization of the objective (SDG-4) “Providing equal and inclusive education for all and promoting the opportunities of lifelong learning”.

With Turkey, Germany was selected as a member to SDG-4 Committee to represent the 1stSelection Group countries for 2018-2020 period. With this opportunity, Turkey operates as one of the countries who provides leadership about educational provisions. 

On this occasion, our country has had the opportunity to be among the countries that direct education and transfer its experiences to the whole world.

Membership to UNESCO Teachers Task Force for Education 2030

The International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030’s aims at taking a system-wide approach to gear up to the task of improving teacher quantity and quality, as the two goals pursued by the Teacher Task Force. The goals will drive the activities for each main line of action: advocacy; knowledge creation and sharing; and country support and engagement. Ministry of National Education has been represented in Administrative Board of Task Force by a member since 2017.

Educational Activities of Council of Europe

Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice (CDPPE)

The Steering Committee for Educational Policy and Practice oversees the Council of Europe’s programs in the field of education and advises the Committee of Ministers on education issues. The studies of the Committee are monitored by a Ministry representative.

Council of Europe Education Policy Advisors Network (EPAN)

The EPAN Network was established by the Council of Europe in December 2017 in a meeting of Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice (CDPPE) to encourage integration of the new Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (RFCDC) in the education systems of the States Parties to the European Cultural Convention, and the studies of EPAN are monitored by the Ministry of National Education.

Project Generation Democracy: Strengthening a Culture of Democracy in Basic Education Institutions in Turkey

The European Union – Council of Europe Joint Project “Generation Democracy: Strengthening a Culture of Democracy in Basic Education Institutions in Turkey” aims to integrate a democratic school culture that corresponds with universal core values as well as fundamental rights and freedoms into the Turkish national education system. The specific objectives of the Project are 1) Strengthening democratic values and practices in schools and school communities, 2) The ETINED Platform is a network of specialists appointed by member States of the Council of Europe and of States Parties to the European Cultural Convention (50 States). Its mission is to share good practices in the field of transparency and integrity in education, to define guidelines on the subject and to develop capacity-building for all actors.

Council of Europe Platform on Ethics, Transparency and Integrity in Education (ETINED)

ETINED was established under the roof of Council of Europe to address this concern: “There is currently worldwide concern over corruption in education. This concern touches all Member States and all levels of education.” ETINED wants to propose a new approach based on the idea that quality education will only be achieved, and corruption effectively addressed, if all relevant sectors of society commit fully to fundamental positive ethical principles for public and professional life, rather than relying only upon top-down mechanistic regulatory measures. The Ministry of National Education has participated in ETINED since 2016.

Educational Activities Conducted with Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)

Economic Cooperation Organization as established on 14 September 1996 via İzmir Agreement and the headquarter of the ECO is in Tahran, Iran. Turkey is one of the three founding members of the ECO along with Iran and Pakistan. The ECO, which can be identified as a trade and economy-based organization, is also an important platform bringing Turkey together with the Central Asian Republics and the South Asian countries. The other member countries are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Establishment of ECO Educational Institute

There are three educational institutions within the body of ECO:

  1. ECO Cultural Institute: Established in 2000, the institute has its headquarters in Tehran. Turkey although not a member, participates in its activities.
  2. ECO Science Foundation:Established in 2011 and the headquarter is in Pakistan.
  3. ECO Educational Institute: “The Law on Agreement Concerning the Ratification of the Charter of the ECO Educational Institute signed in Almati on 9.5.1998” no. 5587 dated 28.2.2007”, has been published in the Official Gazette dated 3.3.2007. The institute’s headquarters is in Ankara.

Educational Activities Conducted with the Turkish Council

Cooperation Council of the Turkish Speaking Countries (Turkic Council) was established as an international organization with the Nakhchivan Agreement signed at the Turkic Summit in Nakhchivan in 2009 in order to encourage comprehensive cooperation among Turkic-speaking countries. Founding members are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkey.

Within the scope of the activities of the Turkic Council; Studies such as Student Exchange Program, Teacher Exchange Program, "Common Turkish History" textbook, "Common Turkish Literature" textbook and "Common Turkish Geography Textbook" are being prepared.