Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has recently launched a new initiative aimed at improving relations with the Asia-Pacific region, titled “Asia Anew” (Turkish original: Yeniden Asya). In order to discuss the initiative and produce policy recommendations, the Center for Strategic Research (SAM) under the Ministry has organized a one-day workshop in Ankara, bringing together academics and think-tankers.
The workshop commenced with a keynote speech by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. The opening ceremony was followed by four regional sessions focusing on Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia respectively.
I chaired the session on East Asia, where the speakers, Prof. Merthan Ali Dündar from Ankara University, Prof. Sedat Aybar from Istanbul Aydın University, and Dr. Çağdaş Üngör from Marmara University discussed Turkey’s relations with China, Japan and South Korea in multiple perspectives. There has been an extensive Q&A session as well.
The workshop concluded with a wrap-up session moderated by Dr. Ufuk Ulutaş, chairman of SAM, where I joined Ambassadors Burak Akçapar, Namık Güner Erpul, Yönet Can Tezel and Rıza Hakan Tekin from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as Prof. Oktay Fırat Tanrısever from METU, Dr. Ömer Aslan from Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University, and Yasin Temizkan from SAM to discuss the findings of the day and propose concrete policy recommendations.