Along with the Turkey programming managed by the Ankara office, GMF has launched a multi-year effort bringing together leaders from the United States, Turkey and Europe for twice-yearly off-the-record discussions on selected themes affecting all sides of the "triangle". GMF partners with the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), Koç Holding, and the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on this project, which is planned to include a series of briefings and publications as well for wider policy audiences.
The eighth meeting of the Trilateral Strategy Group, titled “Power and Influence in the 21st Century,” was held in Stockholm on October 3-5. The meeting brought together forty-nine prominent participants from Turkey, the European Union, and the United States to discuss a range of regional and global issues.
The meeting, held under the Chatham House rule, began with a dinner on November 3 featuring His Excellency Carl Bildt, foreign minister of Sweden, as the keynote speaker. The discussions were kicked off by the opening remarks of GMF’s Transatlantic Center Executive Director, Dr. Ian Lesser; Senior Adviser to Swedish Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Olof Ehrenkrona; and TÜSİAD’s International Coordinator and Institut du Bosphore President, Mr. Bahadır Kaleağası. The meeting featured in-depth discussions on the changing nature of power, aid and development; peace-building and mediation; corporate social responsibility as well as mass protests around the globe. A photographic presentation of the Göbekli Tepe (the oldest sanctuary built about 12,000 years ago by gatherers and hunters and is located in the mountains near ancient cities of Harran and Urfa, Turkey) by Pavol Demes, senior transatlantic fellow at GMF, followed the discussions.
The next meeting of the Trilateral Strategy Group is expected to take place in the United States in spring 2014.