“Getting to Zero: Turkey, Its Neighbors and the West” Released
On June 10, 2010 in Istanbul, Turkey, the Transatlantic Academy in partnership with the Istanbul Policy center held a one day conference for the release of the Academy’s report Getting to Zero: Turkey, Its Neighbors and the West.
Üstun Ergüder, director of the Istanbul Policy Center, welcomed participants and was followed by a brief introduction of the Transatlantic Academy report given by Stephen F. Szabo, executive director of the Transatlantic Academy. Güler Sabanci, chairperson of the board of trustees of Sabancı University concluded the opening with a keynote address.
Taner Yıldiz, minister of energy and natural resources of the Republic of Turkey set the stage for the first panel discussion on energy saying that Turkey imports two thirds of its energy and therefore has to maintain good relations with its neighbors to meet its needs. The panel, “The Geopolitics of Energy: Turkey, the Black Sea, Russia and the Caucasus”, was introduced by Joschka Fischer, former foreign minister of the Federal Republic of Germany and was joined by Mehmet Öğütçü, director of BG (British Gas) Energy Holding Group, Boru Grgic, founder and director of the Trans-Caspian Initiative and member of the advisory board of the European Policy Institute. Ahmet Evin, senior fellow of the Transatlantic Academy and Sabancı University moderated the discussion.
Kemal Derviş, senior advisor for the Istanbul Policy Center and vice president of Brookings Institution and Peter Balazs, former minister of foreign affairs of Hungary and director of the Center for European Englargement Studies, Central European University followed with a discussion on Turkey’s European Perspective. Balasz began by saying that Europe should find a place for Turkey. “The EU should shape the chair for Turkey around the table,” he said in explaining that Turkey doesn’t necessarily fit into the current EU, but it is important to find room for Turkey to remain engaged. He outlined how difficult the process is and how certain actors have undue influence. Derviş said that friends of Turkey in the European Union need to speak up and say that Turkey should be part of the Union because these are the last days and weeks for this to happen.
The conference concluded with two off the record sessions on Turkey’s role in the Middle East and on implications of Turkey’s growing regional role for the transatlantic relationship.
Getting to Zero: Turkey, Its Neighbors and the West, written by fellows from the Transatlantic Academy is a report from a multi-disciplinary, year-long study evaluating Turkey’s evolving global and regional role, internal change in Turkey, and how these affect the transatlantic relationship. Transatlantic Academy Fellows spent 10 months in Washington, DC, collaborating on this report and took study trips to the Middle East, the Black Sea region, and Turkey. They also took part in workshops and discussions with academics, policy analysts, business leaders, journalists, and government officials in Turkey and its surrounding region, as well as throughout North America and Europe.
The Transatlantic Academy is an initiative of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. In addition, the Academy has received funding from the Transatlantic Program of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany through funds of the European Recovery Program (ERP) of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology. The Compagnia di San Paolo also joined as a financial partner in May 2009. The Academy serves as a forum for a select group of scholars from both sides of the Atlantic, and from different academic and policy disciplines, to examine a single set of issues. Working together from a transatlantic and interdisciplinary perspective, Academy fellows use research, publications, and ideas to make policy-relevant contributions to policy debates facing the transatlantic community. Fellows for the 2009-10 year included: Ahmet Evin, Sabanci University, Turkey; Kemal Kirisci, Bogaziçi University, Istanbul; Ronald H. Linden, University of Pittsburgh, United States; Nathalie Tocci, Istituto Affari Internazionali, Rome; Juliette Tolay, University of Delaware, United States; Joshua W. Walker, Princeton University, United States