On September 25, 2018, the Atlantic Council in Turkey launched the report Toward Long-Term Solidarity with Syrian Refugees? Turkey’s Policy Response and Challenges at the Concordia Summit in New York during the United Nations General Assembly week.

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On September 6, 2018 the Atlantic Council IN TURKEY, in cooperation with the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center and the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK), hosted a half-day conference in Istanbul titled Turkey’s investment Opportunities in Africa, to explore business opportunities on the African continent.

Turkey’s interest and engagement in Africa has grown significantly in recent years. Since 2013, bilateral trade volume between Turkey and Africa has grown to $17.5 billion and total Turkish investment in Africa is estimated at around $7 billion.

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In Turkey and Greece, the presence of over four million asylum seekers, displaced persons, and unaccompanied minors, combined with preexisting stressors ranging from security on Turkey’s border with Syria to the historic economic and employment crisis in Greece, have produced one of the most significant humanitarian crises in since World War II. The Atlantic Council’s study tour aims to showcase the efforts made by Turkey and Greece to address the crisis and examine its connections to international security and cooperation.

In the context of the fourth Millennium Fellowship Program, the Atlantic Council brought twenty-one fellows from around the world to Turkey and Greece to follow the path of refugees fleeing Syria via Turkey on their way to Europe. Atlantic Council in Turkey facilitated the Turkey leg of the tour. The trip was organized in partnership and with support from the Turkish Heritage Organization and Turkish Airlines.
On April 19, the Atlantic Council IN TURKEY, in partnership with the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TÜSİAD), hosted a panel titled “Changing international order and shifting geopolitics: focus on Turkey” in Istanbul. Moderated by Atlantic Council Turkey Representative Defne Sadıklar - Arslan, the panel, featuring Council of State of Spain member, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Atlantic Council Executive Board Member Ana Palacio, Atlantic Council Nonresident Senior Fellow Matthew Bryza and Kadir Has University Dean of the Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences Mitat Çelikpala, discussed the state of world affairs in light of ongoing challenges to the liberal world order.

In recent years, the world has witnessed increasing challenges to the post-World War II liberal order. The rise of populism and questioning of multilateral institutions such as the UN and EU has coincided with the inability of multilateral institutions to address the current challenges. Panelists stressed that the rules-based international order, which brought unprecedented economic growth and stability, is under threat both within and without. The US, which spearheaded the rules-based order, is no longer interested in its maintenance; the European Union is dealing with multiple crises and growing divisions among members states; meanwhile, other actors such as Russia and China present alternative visions of order. Panelists agreed that the optimism that gripped the democratic world following the fall of the Berlin Wall has vanished, replaced with a growing uncertainty in international affairs.

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A high-level Turkish government and business delegation headed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently returned from Africa after visiting Algeria, Mauritania, Senegal and Mali. This trip is the continuation of a series of visits and initiatives undertaken by Turkey as part of its official policy of “Opening to Africa” which began in 2005. As Turkey’s business interest in the continent has grown over the past decade, the Atlantic Council Turkey office hosted Dr. J. Peter Pham, Vice President for Research and Regional Initiatives and Director of the Africa Center at the Atlantic Council, for a roundtable discussion on March 19, 2018 on the opportunities and challenges presented by selected African countries in 2018 for investors as well as rules for success in this dynamic continent which presents extraordinary potential for growth but also extraordinary challenges. 

The Turkish President’s most recent trip followed his frequent visits to the continent over the past years. Since 2015, Erdogan has visited Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Sudan, Chad and Tunisia and since first becoming Prime Minister in 2003, Erdogan has visited a total of 23 countries 39 times. Turkey’s policy choice of engaging with Africa has resulted in the increase of the Turkey’s bilateral trade volume with the continent three-fold since 2003 to reach $18.8 billion in 2017. Trade volume with Sub-Saharan Africa stood at $6 billion in 2015 and total Turkish investment in Africa is estimated to have surpassed $6 billion. Currently, Ankara has diplomatic representation in 41 countries on the continent, an increase of 12 missions since 2009, while state-controlled Turkish Airlines now flies to 51 destinations in 33 African countries.

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While not much has changed for American investors, the Iran Nuclear Deal has brought about major shifts in international trade, particularity, but not exclusively, in the oil and gas sectors. Richard Nephew joined the Atlantic Council’s Turkey office on June 9, 2016, to discuss the obstacles facing Iran as the Islamic Republic reenters the global economy. “We should look at Iran as an emerging market with all of the challenges that come with an emerging market as well as the opportunities. We need to look at Iran as a place where, yes, you can do business but you have to be careful,” said Nephew.

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The Cyprus Settlement and Eastern Mediterranean Hydrocarbon Export Scenarios

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