2nd Turkish – European Forum was Held in Mardin


2nd Turkish – European Forum was held with the partnership of TASAM and the Governorship of Mardin between the dates of December 10-12, 2009 by the participation of hundreds of delegations from Europe and Turkey. The 2nd Turkish – European Forum with the main theme of “European Integration and Turkey” was attended by...

2nd Turkish – European Forum was held with the partnership of TASAM and the Governorship of Mardin between the dates of December 10-12, 2009 by the participation of hundreds of delegations from Europe and Turkey. The 2nd Turkish – European Forum with the main theme of “European Integration and Turkey” was attended by more than 300 delegates including the Deputy Chairman of GNAT Nevzat Pakdil; the Minister of National Education Nimet Çubukçu; ex-Foreign Minister and Member of European Commission, Parliamentarian Yaşar Yakış, Head of Foreign Affairs Commission of TGNA and Parliamentarian of Eskişehir Murat Mercan, Member of Turkish EU Mixed Parliamentary and Constitutional Commission and Parliamentarian of Musa Sıvacıoğlu, Parliamentarians of Mardin Asst. Prof. Dr. Cüneyt Yüksel, Gönül Bekin Şahkulubey, Mehmet Halit Demir, Governor of Mardin Hasan Duruer, Governor of Hüseyin Avni Mutlu and Chairman of TASAM Süleyman Şensoy as well as many other parliamentarians, ambassadors, bureaucrats, academicians and journalists.


This Forum, institutionally supported by many civil and official institutions such as the Foreign Ministry, Secretariat General for EU Affairs, Brussels Representative of TÜSİAD, Office of Prime Minister – Directorate General of Press and Information, Southeastern Anatolia Project Regional Development Administration and Turkish Airlines, was held parallel to the EU Leaders Summit to be held in Brussels at the same time.

The European participation of the IInd Turkish – European Forum included Finland Ex Prime Minister and Member of European Parliamentary Anneli Jaatteenmaki, Member of European Commission Alain Servantie, Undersecretary for Political Affairs of European Commission Diego Mellado, State Minister of the Green Party of Germany Özcan Mutlu, State Minister of Social Democrat Party of Germany Bilkay Öney, Members of European Parliamentary Jaroslaw Leszek Walesa (Poland) and Jelko Kacin (Slovenia) and many other ambassadors, bureaucrats, academicians and journalists.

Chairman of TASAM Süleyman Şensoy indicated in his opening speech at the 2nd Turkish – European Forum that the power systematic of the world has been sliding to the east from the west, that they are aware of the fact that Asia is a significant power center for the 21st century and that if Turkey establishes good relations with Asia, Africa, Latin America and Caribbean and becomes powerful in these regions, that would be a significant step for the EU too.

He emphasized the fact that Turkey has long given the biggest emphasize to the EU process in its foreign affairs and its other tendencies for other topics to be handled in its foreign affairs have been shaped according to the country’s benefits and experiences, and attracted the attention to the power balances of the 21st century. According to him, following the first quarter of the 21st century, the era that we live in will be an Asian century. Stating that our choices made in the first twenty years of the 21st century will shape where we will be at the rest of the century, Şensoy indicated that the global financial crisis taught many things to everyone and continued his speech as: “

’’Global financial crisis has taught many things to us and Europe. EU, with the effects of the financial crisis, encounters the risk of not opening its gates to foreign countries and there is a panic about it. Closing the walls within the union for a while is normal during the times of crisis. But after getting over this situation, necessary policies have to be made more powerful and more dynamic, and lessons should be taken from all the things experienced. We think that EU shall keep up with its expansion policies that will include Turkey in its structure too. We believe that EU truly and vitally needs Turkey in its way to be a global actor in the 21st century. Turkey, of course, will keep on stating this belief. However in case of any negativity, it will still be its own alternative in its real politic common sense.”    

Stating that EU believes that it is successful in its position at the moment but this should be evaluated both with its positive and negative sides, Şensoy continued as “EU is an integration model for all of the world, however, the criterions brought up by this success and the prosperity parameters that are presented by the EU of this time and which are not possible to hang on to in the future may cause an ending for EU. For this reason, EU needs a fresh blood, new co operations and powerful initiatives”. Furthermore, Şensoy emphasized the perception that EU will be the only one to strengthen the International Law, which is recently discussed to lose its legitimacy base, and  prevent the expected big potential chaos and conflicts but he specified that this perception will turn into reality only if EU cooperates with Turkey to be a global power in the future.

In his opening statement, the Deputy Chairman of TGNA Nevzat Pakdil stated that the 2nd Turkish – European Forum’s taking place in Mardin is very meaningful in terms of the city’s being a center for different civilizations, cultures and belief systems.
Pakdil referred to the fact that the city’s culture of living together with all of its differences corresponds to the goals of the European integration and mentioned about EU’s similar goal of integrating with diversities within the concept of respect towards human rights and democratic values on a larger scale. 

He also stated that Turkey has a potential to contribute to process of bringing peace, stability and prosperity not only to the European Union, Caucasus, Balcans, Middle East and Central Asia, but to all of the world with its unique location between Europe, Middle East and Central Asia.

He continued his speech by mentioning about Turkey’s capability to reach to the most remote places of the world both with the hands of its governmental opportunities and its civil society organizations and stated that “One truely has to understand the power of Turkey. An institution together with ve supportive of Turkey will become much more functional. As a result, Turkey, whose role in the field of energy has been intensified with the Nabucco Project, who has taken great steps in the process of finding solutions to its problems with its neighbours within a dialogue environment, and who takes active roles in regional issues, shall have a common approach in the regional and global matters with the European Union and thus, only after this cooperation, the European Union will be empowered and an increase in its efficiency in world issues will be witnessed. The potential and dynamism of Turkey, having a civilization that gathers different cultures and points of view and providing an opportunity for diversities to live together, will supplement a great wealth and power to the EU.      

Turkey is not only a candidate country, but at the same time a participant country that has started the accession negotiations. Full membership to EU is a strategic goal of Turkey. It is a goal which has been a state policy for many years and which has been worked on with this appreciation. It is not only a foreign policy tendency of our country, it is also an element that constitutes the framework of the very significant reform process which Turkey has been going through. We see the values of EU as international common values. Our main target is far beyond just being a member of EU; we aim for our people to have what they really deserve in terms of international common values system, we aim to increase the level of our economic prosperity and we aim to create a public that is hopeful of the future.”

Governor of Mardin Duruer also presented an opening statement at the Forum in which he mentioned about how satisfied he and the city of Mardin felt honorable to host the participants of the Forum in Mardin, one of the most important Cultural Heritage centers of the world, and he talked about the history of Mardin with its having served as a bridge for many cultures, religions and civilizations
He underlined the fact that in this city, everyone being Turk, Kurd, Arab, Assyrian, Yezidi and Muslim, can live in peace and this characteristic of the city makes it a good example for the world.

He went on to state that he believed that Mardin deserved to be the “European Cultural Capital” and they had started their efforts to improve the standards of outside life in Mardin within the scope of “Historical Transportation Project” and they planned to restore historical buildings of the city with the purpose to protect its history of seven thousand years.


He completed his speech as “Diversities are not weaknesses for communities, they are indicators of wealth and superiority. The expression of “uniting at differences” emphasized by the EU was already actuated by this country hundreds of years ago because Turkey had the consciousness that diversities meant wealth. Turkey shall be seen as a good model and a conciliatory power for finding solutions to regional problems by the EU as it is a country with a young population. In case Turkey is accepted to the membership of EU, the Union will be able to interact directly with different geographical, political and cultural regions. I believe that Turkey’s membership will be a significant platform for the EU to communicate with the Middle East, Asia and Caucasus. I believe that Europe Union would crown its “Unity” by accepting the full membership of Turkey.”

Member of European Commission Yaşar Yakış indicated about Mardin’s intercultural balance witnessed throughout the history in his speech at the beginning of the first session that he moderated and continued his words as “Perceiving Europe as a unique castle  is wrong. I hope that Europeans will observe Mardin and change their views.”
He mentioned about how globalization has scaled down the world and focused on the fact EU had emerged as an initiative that gathered the advantages and disadvantages of globalization, and he presented the case of EU as a successful example of globalization.  He declared that he accepted the attitude of EU towards Turkey is a temporary one and this attitude was mostly as a result of the actions of some closed minded leaders of EU.
He continued to say that Turkey should not turn its back to EU considering all these attitudes, and that Turkey and politicians should do anything necessary to make it possible to run democratic mechanisms.

Stating that “After Turkey succeeds all of these facts, the matter of entering into the Union or not will lose its significance”, Yakış recorded that Turkey would then, keep up with its way as a country having European standards with or without the EU on its side.

The first of the forum was held between the dates of 5-6 December 2008 in Sopot, Poland and the address of the second forum was Mardin this time. It was be held by the partnership of TASAM and the Governorship of Mardin. The forum covered the topics of “Global Problems and Global – Regional Solutions”, “Changing Europe and Security Requirements”, “Turkey’s Accession Period for EU”, “Human Rights, Law and Democracy”, “Energy and Energy Security”, “Turkey and Europe Against the Global Financial Crisis”, “European Identity Discussions: Micro Nationalism and New Challenges”, “Demographic Movements, Immigration and Refuge”, “Regional Integration Movements: New Opportunities and Risks”, “Transformations in the Internal Politics of European Countries and European Integration”

TASAM Strategic Vision Awards were given to the winners on December 12, within the scope of the 2nd Turkish – European Forum. The awards are given in eight different categories offered for Statesman, Politician, Bureaucrat, Scientist, Corporation, Businessman, Artist and Journalist-Writer. The award ceremony will be held in the Mardin Atatürk Cultural Center at 20:00 on December 11, 2009. TASAM Strategic Vision Awards have been presented to statesmen, politicians, bureaucrats, businessmen, public corporations, artists, journalist-writers who share our country’s strategic vision to increase the respectable status of our country in its region and in the world with their distinctive opinions, actions and scientific approaches and who work hard to get Turkey over the level of contemporary civilizations since 2006, with the purpose of honoring them for their great efforts.

Stylist Creator from Ankara Ahmet Özceyhan presented his big fashion collection comprising of cultural motives and having the name of “Mardin & Mardin” at a fashion show on December 11 within the Forum.

Artist Tuluyhan Uğurlu performed a breathtaking performance by signing the song “Güneş Ülke Anadolu” that was be accompanied by a visual presentation that described the Anatolian culture on the second day of the Forum, December 12.

This content is protected by Copyright under the Trademark Certificate. It may be partially quoted, provided that the source is cited, its link is given and the name and title of the editor/author (if any) is mentioned exactly the same. When these conditions are fulfilled, there is no need for additional permission. However, if the content is to be used entirely, it is absolutely necessary to obtain written permission from TASAM.


Continents ( 5 Fields )
 Contents ( 405 ) Actiivities ( 172 )
Africa 65 135
Asia 75 207
Europe 13 28
Latin America & Carribean 12 30
North America 7 5
Regions ( 4 Fields )
 Contents ( 167 ) Actiivities ( 44 )
Balkans 22 92
Middle East 18 56
Black Sea and Caucasus 2 15
Mediterranean 2 4
Identity Fields ( 2 Fields )
 Contents ( 172 ) Actiivities ( 66 )
Islamic World 51 143
Turkish World 15 29
Turkey ( 1 Fields )
 Contents ( 193 ) Actiivities ( 54 )
Turkey 54 193

Last Added