Prof. Dr. Nizamettin §ENKÔYLÙ Rector of Namik Kemal University, Tekirdag-Turkey.

Opening Speech

I am honoured and pleased to host the International Balkan Congress as a second time on the behalf of the Namik Kemal University. I would like to welcome all of you with my outmost respects....

Dear distinguished guests,

I am honoured and pleased to host the International Balkan Congress as a second time on the behalf of the Namik Kemal University. I would like to welcome all of you with my outmost respects.

This congress, with a focus on the "Socioeconomic Integration and Development in Balkans", is a unique opportunity to enhance the cross-border regional research on the Balkans from an interdisciplinary perspective. A recent exploratory bibliometric study of the research on Balkans shows that the research in this area is far from the expected level of the research in the light of the importance of the region to the socioeconomic and security inter­ests at a global scale. There were only 672 article-type papers indexed by the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), published between 1980 and 2009 April, roughly amounting to 20 papers per year. We believe that the number of publications on the Balkans is not satisfactory.

Furthermore, when we looked at the geographical distribution of these papers, we see that the share of the researchers from the Balkan Countries is relatively small, near 13% of the all papers. This shows the necessity to devel­op the ways to stimulate the research on the Balkans from an interdisciplinary perspective within the Balkan countries themselves as well. The research so far has been focused on the "Political Science" and "International Relations" forming more than a half of the number of the papers. Anthropology, Area Studies, Economics, Sociology, Law, Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Geography and Social Issues followed them in smaller proportions.

As a newly founded university in 2006, we would like to develop the strong academic relations with the universities and academic organisations from all the Balkan Countries. We have already formed highly valued part­nerships with some Balkan countries such as Greece and Bulgaria for the aca­demic cooperation.

As a university with the traditional focus on the Agriculture and Engineering, we have supported the regional academic initiatives such as the

Balkan Environmental Association (BENA) Conferences and the related pub­lishing activities. In this context, we have been involved in the organisation of the incoming BENA Conference titled as "Sustainable Development" to be held in June 2009 in both Tekirdag and Istanbul. We are also organising the First International Congress on the "Climate Change and the Agriculture" next month in Tekirdag.

As a newly founded university with the focus on mainly the Agriculture and Engineering until its foundation, we have been diversifying into the Social Sciences and Humanities with the recent foundation of the "Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences" and the "School of Foreign Languages". In this way in the future, we would be able to contribute further to the regional research on the Balkans from a Social Sciences perspective.

We see the regional research on the Balkans and the academic coopera­tion with the Balkan Countries as a strategic opportunity as a part of our strate­gic plan to devote more energy to the study and solution of the societal prob­lems at a global scale.

We would also like to extend our cross-border cooperation with the Balkan countries in all areas of our programs including Agriculture, Engineering, Social and Administrative Sciences, Humanities, Health Sciences, Medicine, Vocational Education and Training, and Natural Sciences. We are currently expanding our academic research capacity in all these areas with the new recruits with the global research excellence.

We are very pleased and honoured to host such a historically unique con­gress as a second time stimulating the regional research capacity on the Balkans from an interdisciplinary perspective with the distinguished speakers from Albania, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Slovenia, and Turkey.

We hope you would enjoy our hospitality and you would benefit from the presentations to be made by the distinguished speakers during the Congress. I would like to welcome all of you again with my outmost respects.

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Areas

Continents ( 5 Area )
Action
 Content ( 611 ) Event ( 165 )
Areas
Africa 64 239
Asia 69 277
Europe 13 52
Latin America & Carribean 12 38
North America 7 5
Regions ( 4 Area )
Action
 Content ( 256 ) Event ( 43 )
Areas
Balkans 22 124
Middle East 17 103
Black Sea and Caucasus 2 23
Mediterranean 2 6
Identity Fields ( 2 Area )
Action
 Content ( 376 ) Event ( 66 )
Areas
Islamic World 51 329
Turkish World 15 47
Turkey ( 1 Area )
Action
 Content ( 362 ) Event ( 49 )
Areas
Turkey 49 362

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