Turkey - Southeast Asia Strategic Dialogue | Thinking Diplomacy: New World New Horizons


Turkey - Southeast Asia Strategic Dialogue; aims at revealing how mutual potentials and existing collaborations can be transformed into a strategic alliance and targets to contribute to the capacity building of the strategic ground. ...

“Thinking Diplomacy: New World New Horizons“

When we look at the main trends in the world, global competition in the age of new economy based on "information and knowledge-based products" following "soil and machinery" is developing through "micro-nationalism", "integration" and "unpredictability’’. Challenges that determine the new nature of life and state; such as " crisis in resource and sharing ", unsustainability of production-consumption-growth formula, purge of the middle class with Chinese leverage, energy, water, and food insecurity, transition to the 4th dimension, liquidation of human resources in the workforce, transition from hard power to soft and smart power on the basis of the very changing state nature and anticipation management, can be formed as the basic references.

Within all these fundamental parameters, the transformations in technology are prone to change the whole human life and nature by developing with artificial intelligence, virtual/enhanced reality and mobility centered. It is obvious that the concepts of "Industry 4.0" and "Society 5.0" are important topics for managing the transformation of the world within the dimensions of industry and society. Another contributive factor is the turbulence that China creates as it begins to become intensively dominant on the world stage day to day. The New Silk Road project, "One Belt and One Road Initiative"; is shaped as a global integration project involving more than hundred countries, both on land and at sea, permanently changing the distribution of economic shares. In countries with no middle class, authoritarian regimes or chaos stands as two options in the fore-seeable future. How to make the division of labor in terms of regional and global security and how to share the costs is also a point of discussion in the coming period.

The development of new alliances on security can be read from the risks and the initiatives undertaken by dominant countries. The quality of the concepts of property and power, and the business model change historically. The future of the EU with the "Failure in Success" syndrome will be determined by the results of the polarization which revived in the West after the Brexit. Along with all these developments, "Ecosystem of safety" changes with the law. The "Security - Democracy" dilemma will be experienced much more after that. Because, for the democracy, it is difficult to survive in countries where the middle class is melting and security leans to a sophisticated ground. The question "Will security bring us authoritarian regimes" needs to be discussed further.

Turkey distinguishes itself with an 84-million inhabitants, growing economy and geo-strategic status in the center of Afro-Eurasia. Turkey's historical, political and cultural ties between Europe, Black Sea, Caucasus, Asia, Middle East and African countries, rising activity in the international arena, especially in the United Nations, being an important member of organizations such as NATO, OSCE and CICA and with active foreign policy, it has become an increasingly important actor on the global platform. "Safety Regulator" between East and West, Turkey's preferences will create game-changing effects.

Southeast Asia, composed of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos, East Timor and Brunei, is a strategic region connecting the Indian Ocean to the Pacific.. Southeast Asia's GDP per capita is 4,685 dollars (2020). The region, which has a share of 3% in terms of area and 8.5% in terms of population, also draws attention with its large contributions in different socio-cultural areas. Southeast Asia draws the attention of the whole world through its strategic position; dynamic and educated human resources; industrialization and technological progress; growing and developing economy; prestigious position possessed in international organizations such as the UN, OIC, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Non-aligned Movement, the APEC, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and the D8.

Due to historical ties, friendly relations have always been existing between Turkey and the Southeast Asian region, especially Malay world. The political and cultural relations between Turkey and the Region dates back to 12th century. Despite their geographical distances, these two regions have established close links in the political, cultural, and educational field. Political relations between Turkey and Southeast Asian countries progress on a lucrative and affirmative basis in bilateral and multilateral platforms. The main export items are defense industrial products, carpets and floorings, machinery and transport vehicles, tobacco and food products. The main products imported by Turkey are as follows; animal fats and vegetable oils, electronic products, machinery and transportation vehicles, textile and ready-made clothing products. However, despite the proximity of bilateral political relations, the Democratic administrations where liberal economic policies are adopted and market economies embraced by both sides, and the deep sympathy going on among people, the economic relations are far behind the expectations. It can be argued that the main reason for the relative superficiality in the relations is lack of dialogue.

Besides, there are no significant investments actualized by Turkey so far in the region. The region's investment in Turkey is extremely limited. The potential for cooperation between the two countries, especially technology sharing, halal food, Islamic banking, tourism, health, textile, and joint investment in third countries, needs to be put into practice as soon as possible. Turkey to Southeast Asian countries; a gateway to the Balkans and Europe, and a good economic partner in the Middle East and Central Asia.

Southeast Asian Countries to Turkey; a partner in which mutual relations need to be strengthened in political, economic, cultural and security-related areas. Turkey attaches great importance to cooperation in Southeast Asian countries in improving its relations with Asian countries. Turkey signed the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation with ASEAN, attaches great importance to this organization. This is because Turkey believes its capability in improving relations to a greater level in a variety of fields ranging from international trade to security co-operation and to develop relations with other international organizations in the Region and to have access to full membership. In the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting held in 2017, it has been decided to establish Sectoral Dialogue Partnership (SDP) between ASEAN and Turkey.

The competition between the intra-regional countries with China, the growing influence of the US and Western countries in Southeast Asia, has increased the geopolitical importance of the region. Another important point is that South Asia has great importance for the commercial, cultural and development potential of Central Asia, Middle East, East and Far East Asia.

On the other hand, Turkey has strategic importance linking Europe with Asia, is a country that can play an important role in the international scene. The permanent socio-economic and cultural impacts of developed countries on underdeveloped or developing countries in the region should be reduced. These countries in the region can increase their own production, and on the basis of which they can strengthen the foundations of their own policies and alleviate the negative effects and offer a balanced solution to international forces. However, adopting the model of democracy, secularism and developmental economies with a membership to UN, OIC, World Trade Organization are among the common features of both sides.

Southeast Asian countries and Turkey in the field of tourism are known as the most attractive potential power in the world. It is important that cooperation agreements in the tourism sector and the projects that will stimulate tourism to be passed on to bring about a more appropriate and strong economic factor. The continuation of the mutual flights of Turkish Airlines and other local air routes and the increase of these flights will strengthen the role of this field. Various fairs such as tourism fairs, trade fairs, trade days etc. to be held in Southeast Asian countries and Turkey will contribute to strengthening economic cooperation. However, information sharing, mutual visits, cooperation and agreements on different production areas and sectors are also crucially needed. For example, it is important to reach agreement and cooperation between two sides in fields such as trade, economic and technical cooperation; cultural, military education and training cooperation, banking; marine; mutual encouragement and protection of investments; technical cooperation; cultural exchange program; airfreight; technical and defense industry cooperation; prevention of double taxation; military field training; technical and scientific cooperation, air transportation..

Bilateral trade agreement between Southeast Asian countries and Turkey was signed at different times. The participation of Southeast Asia in trade fairs organized in Turkey has increased considerably. Another important factor is that the emergence of the New Silk Road will surely accelerate the commercial and economic relations of both sides. South Asia is considered among the best- economies showing the best performance during the 2008 financial crises like Turkey.

Turkey has tried to win the support of the Southeast Asian countries over different international issues or disputes, mainly Cyprus. In the following periods, it will be possible to further strengthen cooperation between the two sides in political, economic, cultural and security-related fields within the context of organizations such as the UN, CICA, SAARC, ASEAN, D-8, and G20. The developments in the regions, especially the Gulf, where the energy dependencies of the parties are interdepended, should be closely followed and necessary to pay attention to these developments. The instability of the Gulf is a situation that will drag the whole world into instability and this situation does not seem very far away in the light of current developments. Therefore, these regional relations should be brought to a level of global activity that can also be effective in the region.

Turkey and Southeast Asian countries are faced with humanitarian crises. While Turkey providing assistance in the education and accommodation of Syrian refugees in adopting them to local life, Southeast Asian countries deal with crises such as Rohingya issue. Cooperation in resolving these crises, both at the regional and global level, is a matter of question. Turkey has long been working on hosting the refugees. Turkey can share this experience and also contribute to the education and safety.

Both sides are struggling against local and terrorist organizations PKK, DHKP-C, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Jemmah Islamiyah and so on. It has always been the case that in many respects the two sides act together from time to time and bring the matters to table to create mutual solutions in terms of combating terrorism and international relations. Urgently, each country must present its own solution principles and experiences one another, and concrete steps should be taken in cooperation with these international and local terrorist organizations.

The basic tendency of globalization, which has gained momentum with the end of the Cold War, is the development of the countries not only by themselves but through certain regional collabo-rations and cross-regional partnerships. Countries are now turning towards an open structure based on dialogue and cooperation in economic, political and cultural terms, and incompatible ones are experiencing serious instabilities. In this context, development of long-reaching strategic cooperation relations between Southeast Asia and Turkey is the spirit of this time.

Turkey - Southeast Asia Strategic Dialogue; aims at revealing how mutual potentials and existing collaborations can be transformed into a strategic alliance and targets to contribute to the capacity building of the strategic ground. The Strategic Dialogue aims to promote the recognition of relevant institutions and foundations, to increase the influence of civil societies, to contribute to development, to utilize the expertise in the development of resources and workplaces, to contribute to promotional activities, to explore opportunities for academic cooperation and to develop a strategic approach to ensure that all these studies are evaluated in integrity.

Main Theme
Thinking Diplomacy: New World New Horizons

New Balances New Economy
Economic Relations: Opportunities and Challenges
Regional Peacebuilding Efforts: Turkey - Southeast Asian Countries
Turkey-EU Relations and the Southeast Asian Countries
Technological, Academic and Cultural Cooperation
Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asian Countries Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation
Energy, Geopolitics and Security Cooperation
Relations with US, China and New Partners

Basic Sectors
Public Diplomacy, Education and Language
Culture and Tourism
Construction, Contracting and Infrastructure
Health and Health Tourism
Energy, Petrochemicals and Investments
Logistics, Transportation and Communication
Banking and finance
Economy and Trade
Media and Communication
Science and technology
Brand Cities and Environment
Defense and Space Industry



Inductive Reasoning, Participation and Economic Deepening

Turkey – Southeast Asia Committee of Wise Persons Meetings Workshop

Building Capacity and Ecosystem Inventory

Preparation of Research Projects and their Reports

Development of Pro-active Policy Recommendations

Round-Table Meetings/Workshops

Multilateral Workshops/Studies

Sector Workshops/Activities

Applied Interactive Modelings

Strategic Reports

Publication of sector studies as strategic reports for decision makers, private sector, media and public opinion of the sides. Providing literature and memory support.

Media Conferences

Other Academic Studies

Strategic Reports, Books, Articles, Thesis and so on Academic Studies

Activity Page
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Continents ( 5 Fields )
 Contents ( 465 ) Actiivities ( 219 )
Africa 0 148
Asia 0 234
Europe 0 40
Latin America & Carribean 0 34
North America 0 9
Regions ( 4 Fields )
 Contents ( 176 ) Actiivities ( 53 )
Balkans 0 93
Middle East 0 61
Black Sea and Caucasus 0 16
Mediterranean 0 6
Identity Fields ( 2 Fields )
 Contents ( 176 ) Actiivities ( 74 )
Islamic World 0 147
Turkish World 0 29
Turkey ( 1 Fields )
 Contents ( 221 ) Actiivities ( 59 )
Turkey 0 221

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