Final Declaration of the IVth International Turkish – Asian Congress

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IVth International Turkish Asian Congress was held between 27-29 May of 2009 in Istanbul and was taken place in a deeply constructive and sincere environment. The Congress was arranged by the Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies (TASAM) and focused on the theme of “Regional Organizations, Institutionalization and Cooperation in Asia”.
 
In the Congress, secretary generals of many regional and international organizations such as the Organization of Islamic Conference and Shanghai Cooperation Organization being in the first place, academicians and experts presented their speeches on several subjects such as “New Balances: Asia’s Geopolitics and Institutionalization”, “Regional Cooperation Organizations”, “Regional Speciality Institutions and Integration” for two days. 

1.The Asian continent’s being in the focus of the geoeconomic and geopolitics of the World has made Asian countries more sensitive towards global developments and as a result has played an important role in the figuration of international balances. However we have to face the fact that today Asia encounters a set of challenges and problems:
? Required legal and institutional framework has not yet been set for the economic, political and security cooperation in the Asia Continent. For this reason, Asian countries are deprived of the ability to work together against global problems. 
? Beside Asia’s not being able to overcome its internal problems, the presence of exterior interferences makes the politics and safety related processes more complicated.
? Together with the problems, tensions and frictions in Asian countries which are related to the past, nontraditional problems such as water, environment, energy and food safety, etc. do damage to the security and cooperation of the continent.  
? The presence of diverse Asian institutions such as CICA, SAARC, APEC, ASEAN, ACD, PGCC, ECO, ŞİÖ with all their different structures weakens the decision making and decision implementing processes while it has positive affects on the other hand.

2.Amicable relations based on common values and past must be focused on and the Asian identity must be redefined in order to reach to the ability of working together for the same tendency in Asia. Asian countries are accustomed to see themselves in the Western mirror as a result of their tendency towards the West under the effects of modernization. And naturally this process causes the disappearance of constructive practices and alienation of Asian countries for each other. At this point, the first steps to reach to the ability of working together for the same tendency in Asia shall be taken inside the continent and by Asian countries and communities. Carrying out the activities of economic and political institutions of Asia in the same direction has a vital place in preparing the infrastructure of domestic unity in Asia.  

3.International relations and practices comprise the most important part of the improvement process of the Asian continent. Establishing a consensus and a dialogue, and gaining continuity for them under the framework of common method and attitude for situations arised in the continent and in the international arena between the political, economic and cultural authorities of Asian countries become more of an issue in this process. Of course these developments have to stay in the level of official relations. Cooperation, improvement in the same direction, establishing togetherness, backing up the historical memory of Asian nations and communities and supporting a common apprehension of the Asian identity will be effective in the configuration of improvement and development in the Asian continent and make it more meaningful. 

4.Together with generating ideas, comprising the necessary literature and exchange of ideas, consultation and regional cooperation, the opportunities of cultural and media diplomacy, think tank organizations and scientific, cultural and academic research centers of Asian countries will enable the unity of Asia and turn Asian countries into a geopolitical capital and privilege, will create a proper environment for the constitution and figuration of Asian unity. The cooperation of regional institutions and the institutionalization of it is the main target of this meeting. This subject is of so much importance. Because institutionalization is one of the primary conditions of cooperation and working in the same direction.    

5.Asian countries have an esteemed position in the world with their historical and cultural acquisitions, huge economic capacities and rich energy resources. Being an ancient continent, Asia will enlighten the cooperation opportunities in the future and create an international cooperation area by using its opportunities and capacities.

6.Asia has to be cleaned from nuclear weapons and has to go on that way. Each country has to be given equal security while providing international peace environment. Because if some countries are not let to benefit from security, it will be impossible to stop the potential security problems between countries. 

7.Existing charts reveal that Asia has been ceaselessly assuring its place in the international arena in terms of its politics and economy. This continent has a potential for development in different areas through cooperations to be provided in the future. We have to use every opportunities and capacities in order to actualize these cooperations. These opportunities have to be actuated through using the successes of political, economic, cultural and regional institutions. This way we will be able to find extensive ways of cooperation by using the talents inside many institutions of Asia. Then we will be able to overcome the difficulties of the continent, solve the problems and get on with every sector.

8.Asian continent has been benefiting from the significant political and economic cooperation institutions of the region. Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) is some of these institutions. Each of these institutions is structured for regional strategic targets. In order to reach aims that are in the level of Asian continent, regional institutions have to increase their efficiencies and be prepared for inter-agency cooperations.

9.Asian continent lacks a multi-dimensional institutional structure, required for unity and solidarity, despite its rich potentials and opportunities. There have to be economic, cultural and political cooperations. An institutional structure that is to be built up for unity and solidarity shall carry out multi-dimensional and comprehensive strategies aimed at the abundance and composure of Asian nations. 

10.It is a must to create common academic study groups between Asian countries and operate them effectively. Academic cooperations will positively affect and support other relations too. Universities and think tank organizations of the continent are given too many responsibilities and assignments in this sense.  

11.The first things to be done for the continuity of investments are to guarantee, protect and improve the legal rights of investors. “Mutual” investments will contribute to the basic development of economic activities in Asia. Every commercial obstacle coming from the past has to be cleared off. There are problems in approval, license, visa, customs, protectionism and tax related matters about the investments and economic activities to be made. For instance, there are serious difficulties such as crossing tariffs and infrastructure inadequacy of customs and there are many problems about transportation. These subjects have to be solved mutually in a haste.  

12.In order not to indifferent to the rapidly changing balances of the world and Asia, Turkey has to participate in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and ASEAN as an observer state, and closely follow the Shanghai Cooperation Organization for its strategic importance. Strategic relations with China, India and Russia have to be empowered in every dimension and some certain prejudices and understandings, that have been continuing from past to the present and negatively affecting the relations, have to be left behind in a conscious process.

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Areas

Continents ( 5 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 406 ) Actiivities ( 172 )
Areas
Africa 65 135
Asia 75 208
Europe 13 28
Latin America & Carribean 12 30
North America 7 5
Regions ( 4 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 167 ) Actiivities ( 44 )
Areas
Balkans 22 92
Middle East 18 56
Black Sea and Caucasus 2 15
Mediterranean 2 4
Identity Fields ( 2 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 172 ) Actiivities ( 66 )
Areas
Islamic World 51 143
Turkish World 15 29
Turkey ( 1 Fields )
Action
 Contents ( 197 ) Actiivities ( 48 )
Areas
Turkey 48 197

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