Turkey - Iran Van Forum | Van Declaration

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1 - Turkey - Iran Van Forum has been held in Van in a constructive and warm atmosphere on 24-25 October 2014. Turkey - Iran Forum, which was organized by cooperation of Van Governorship, DAKA (Eastern Anatolia Development Agency), IPIS (Iran’s Foreign Ministry Institution for Political and International Studies) Van Yüzüncü Yıl University and TASAM (Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies), focused on the main theme of “Sectoral and Financial Deepening”....

TURKEY - IRAN VAN FORUM
“Turkey - Iran: Sectoral and Financial Deepening”
 
VAN DECLARATION (DRAFT)
 
1 - Turkey - Iran Van Forum has been held in Van in a constructive and warm atmosphere on 24-25 October 2014. Turkey - Iran Forum, which was organized by cooperation of Van Governorship, DAKA (Eastern Anatolia Development Agency), IPIS (Iran’s Foreign Ministry Institution for Political and International Studies) Van Yüzüncü Yıl University and TASAM (Turkish Asian Center for Strategic Studies), focused on the main theme of “Sectoral and Financial Deepening”. Representatives of sectors of Turkey and Iran, opinion leaders, managers of non-governmental organizations and think tanks, academicians, members of parliament, protocol representatives from various levels, representatives of diplomatic observer missions, relevant experts, and representatives of media attended the meeting. In this framework, “Public Diplomacy”, “Culture and Tourism”, “Education (Language)”, “Health and Health Tourism”, “Energy and Petrochemistry”, “Industry”, “Turkey - Iran Dialogue of Civilizations”, “Logistic, Transportation and Communication”, “Banking and Finance”, “Economy and Trade”, “Media and Communication”, “Science and Technology”, “Construction, Construction Business and Infrastructure” topics were discussed.
 
2 - During the Forum, participants reached a decision of that works made within the Forum institution should be expanded and institutionalized, continued with events in Iran and Turkey for the benefit of Turkey - Iran mutually as well as their respective countries. In addition to this, participation and support of relevant public authorities and internationally effective NGOs are emphasized. Also, increasing the interaction in civil and official levels was underlined to improve the relation between the two countries and take care of problems with facileness.
 
3 - Although countries do not have the opportunity to choose their neighbors, they have opportunity to determine on which ground their relations will base on, like friendship, competition or hostility. Thus, they should take care of using language of friendship. Protecting the sense and environment of trust is worthy of notice. The Iran - Turkey relation is defined with both of “intense competition” and “high cooperation” and for the future of the relation both parameters should be managed together. While competitive relations foster regional dynamism unless it becomes hostility; expanding cooperation areas, developing language of friendship and improving relations are important. In this way, both countries can contribute solutions of regional and global problems jointly.
 
4 - Disputes between Iran and Turkey are only serving for interests of extra-regional actors. Iran and Turkey should focus own bilateral relations regardless of progress of relations with third countries and parties. Mending and improving relations will increase effectiveness and expand the room for political and economic maneuvers for both countries continentally and globally as well as regionally. The gravity center that is constituted by Iran and Turkey will affect the equilibrium in the region, Islamic World and the globe.
 
5 - Acting in concert in Islamic World is vital for a healthy interaction among sects (mezhebs), preventing extremist movements and stabilizing the Islamic World.
 
6 - Volume of trade of Iran - Turkey, which is targeted 30 billion dollars in 2015, has the potential of 150 billion dollars. “Sectoral and financial deepening” based on “mutual dependence” is the cognitive threshold that is needed to exceed for that purpose. Essential condition for progressing the commercial and economic relations on a healthy path, which is also vital for the future of political relations, is establishing a working joint banking system. With the approach of turning crisis into an opportunity on that issue, relations between Iran and Turkey should be improved considering interests mutually in every area.
 
7 - Border cities like Van and Hoy do not get the share they deserved from Turkey – Iran economic relations. For this purpose; financial, bureaucratic and diplomatic services as well as transportation and communication should be made up.
 
8 - Tourism relations should not be considered only from point of economy. Cultural interaction among citizens of both countries will contribute relations to progress on a solid ground rapidly. To improve tourism, culture and tourism fairs should be opened, the sense of trust should be enhanced in every aspects like militarily, economically, psychologically etc. on a base of respect to the visitor.
 
9 - Student and academician exchange programs, joint sportive and cultural events should be increased and problems of equivalence in higher educations need to be solved.
 
10 - For stability and continuity of relations, cooperation environment for women should be established, art and cultural joint events among women of Iran and Turkey are required to be organized.
 
11 - Turkey and Iran progressed on health sector recently. Developing joint policies that allow sharing current experiences of both countries will be helpful to cover a distance.
 
12 - Cooperation in energy sector is possible by developing pipelines, ensuring trading equilibrium, developing policies in accordance with demand and supply of other countries, and providing regional security.
 
13 - The possibility of transforming trade relations of both countries from preferential trade to free trade level should be searched.
 
14 - Consequently; a benign and efficient event that allows to state perspectives and expectations openly and mutually has been held. 
 
25th October 2014, Van
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