Turkey holds "International Conference on Eastern Mediterranean"
The "International Conference on Eastern Mediterranean" where Turkey’s vision of equity and cooperation in the Mediterranean and its effects on the international system were discussed, was held by Turkey's Directorate of Communications on Thursday.
The keynote speech of the video conference was delivered by the Director of Communications Prof. Fahrettin Altun.
Pointing out that the Eastern Mediterranean had been called many things in recent years, Altun said: “Some former colonial empires see it as the birthplace of their new empires. Others consider it ‘the next global flash point’. For Turkey, the Eastern Mediterranean represents part of our Blue Homeland.”
Indicating that Turkey gave quite a clear message to the whole world in recent months, Altun stated: “The Turkish people may disagree on certain issues, as people do in democracies, but we are united in our defense of Turkey’s rights and interests. We know that the law is on our side. We know that the loudest voice in the room isn’t necessarily right. That’s why Turkey, under the leadership of our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been advocating diplomacy.”
“Not a bilateral dispute, but a regional issue”
Emphasizing that, despite attempts to reduce the Eastern Mediterranean question into a bilateral dispute, it was hardly about Turkey and Greece Fahrettin Altun noted the following:
“Yes, the disagreement is primarily bilateral. Any solution, like any confrontation, must and will involve both countries. At the same time, it is up to Turkey and Greece to further escalate or defuse the situation. Still, this is more than just another bilateral dispute. That people everywhere follow it so closely supports this claim. The second level is regional. There are regional players on both sides. Their decisions calculate policy decisions in Turkey and Greece. Indeed, across the region, there are two competing ideals: On the one hand, Turkey and others believe that democracy and diplomacy are needed. On the other hand, you have disruptive actors that have a clear taste for military dictatorships and violence. Which side wins will determine the future of the region – and the international order.”
“Determination of President Erdoğan ...”
Director of Communications Altun said that thanks to the determination of Turkish President Erdoğan, and with the help of NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and European Council President Charles Michel, dialogue and diplomacy had been given a chance. Stating that they welcomed the opportunity to engage in exploratory talks with Greece; because they could not go wrong with diplomacy Altun said: “This is a step in the right direction. It is what we have been advocating during this difficult time.”
“The area should be turned into a basin of peace and stability”
Expressing that going forward, they had to de-escalate tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and maintain the momentum towards a fair and lasting solution together Altun said: “A regional conference, inclusive of the Turkish Cypriots, must be our next move to build on this momentum. This is the only way to create win-win solutions and use the region’s resources to promote peace.”
Altun emphasized that they hoped to de-escalate tensions and turn the area into a basin of peace and stability.
“The purpose is to serve the ‘common good’ in the Eastern Mediterranean”
Expressing that they had gathered to tackle a series of questions to make sense of the issue during the International Conference on the Eastern Mediterranean, Fahrettin Altun said: “Those questions include, but are not limited to, the following: How does the Eastern Mediterranean dispute fit into international law? What will be the impact of the Eastern Mediterranean question on the future of bilateral and multilateral relations? What is Turkey’s vision for the Eastern Mediterranean? Today’s event will facilitate a timely discussion on all those issues – and more.”
Altun stated that in the first session of the meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister Yavuz Selim Kıran, Deputy Energy Minister Alparslan Bayraktar, and Prof. Çağrı Erhan would discuss Turkey’s Vision of Equity and Cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Stating that, in the second session, Prof. Gülnur Aybet, a Senior Advisor to the President, Mike Doran, Senior Researcher from the Hudson Institute, the President of Jamestown Foundation, Glen Howard, and Prof. Mark Meirowitz from Suny Maritime College would make evaluations on “The impact of an equitable cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean on the international system” Fahrettin Altun concluded his speech with the following remarks: “On behalf of everyone at Turkey’s Directorate of Communications, I hope that today’s event will serve the common good in the Eastern Mediterranean.” (ILKHA)