Between 20 – 22 April 2016, in Istanbul, Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM) organised CIVIL GLOBAL 2016 SUMMIT with the gathering of public representatives, NGOs, private sectoral and media representatives, researchers, experts and academicians of both formal and civil disciplines from Turkey and abroad. The series of events were organised under the main theme of “Discovering the Potential: Capacity Management and Deepening”; the Strategic Vision Awards Programme, Continental Activities, Regional Events, Sectoral Diplomacy Workshops, “Innovation in the Diplomacy” Meeting, “Brand of Turkey for Cooperation of Development” Meeting and “International Integrations” Meeting.
The Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS) Director, Ibrahim Dogus, participated in ‘Turkey-EU Countries Projects and Activities’ panel as part of the ‘Discovering the Potential’ theme and spoke on ‘the role of civil society in the relations between Turkey and the European Union’. Chaired by former Ambassador Murat Bilhan, the other panelists were Dr Cigdem Ustun of Gediz University, Zehra Taskesenligolu Justice and Development Party MP for Erzurum, Dr Mustafa Kutlay and David Goodhart, Director of UK think tank Demos.
Mr Dogus in his presentation stated that CEFTUS was inaugurated in 2011 at a reception where the then Deputy Prime Minister Mr Nick Clegg attended. Dogus indicated that the centre took off promptly and in only a few years has achieved a great deal. Emphasising that CEFTUS has received cross-party support from the UK Parliament, Dogus said that the centre has so far not received any financial support from any public or private organisation or university. He added that the non-partisan nature of the centre has earned a good reputation amongst many British politicians and academics. He stated ‘what really made CEFTUS ever more important has been the growing relationship between Turkey and the UK. From tourism to export, binary relationships between the two countries have become stronger over the last years and migration from Turkey which is estimated to be over 400thousand people has made the work done by CEFTUS crucial as CEFTUS has been able to reach out to Turkish expats across the country and provided a platform for the public whilst organising events and public forums on Turkey related matters.’ Mr Dogus added that CEFTUS has also helped further integration of Turkish, Kurdish, Turkish Cypriot communities in the UK.
Speaking on the critical role of the civil society organisations, Mr Dogus finished his words by stating that CEFTUS aims to build and sustain bridges between Turkey and the UK and thus the centre has become a key organisation with regards to Turkish-British relations.
Other participants of the TASAM summit included Ministers, Justice and Development Party and Republican People’s Party MPs and former ambassadors including Mr Unal Cevikoz and Yigit Alpagon.