Conference: “New Directions for Turkish-Greek Engagement in the Middle East and Balkans”


The time is ripe to assess the state of Turkish-Greek relations as dramatic changes occur in both countries and their neighbourhoods. Ties are conditioned by domestic developments in the two countries including unprecedented economic challenges and opportunities, and the complex Turkish-Greek relationship within the EU/EU-accession framework. At the same time, they are embedded in a dynamic landscape in which orientations are being reconfigured in the Arab world, and as Balkan states pursue an uneven path to stabilisation complex challenges and may offer windows for fruitful collaboration, we are bringing a group of distinguished experts to explore the new realities on the ground.

We will ask our participants to take stock of the current state of bilateral relations between the two countries and their respective (common or competitive) relationships toward their neighbours. At the same time, we would like to reflect on how the transforming regional context, especially the Arab revolutions and evolving relations with Israel, may shape Turkish-Greek ties? What is the impact of the current economic crisis in Greece on the wider political economy of the South East European region, including Turkey? How does the ever increasing problem of illegal migration affect bilateral relations? How might Turkey, Greece, and the EU work together to further the cause of democracy and like to draw your attention to and invite you to participate in the following programme which has been made possible by the support of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, as well as by the Istanbul Policy Center (1PC).

27-29 September, 2011

Bahcesehir University
Ciragan Caddesi, No. 4
Besiktas, Istanbul


Tuesday, 27 September

Venue: Akademik Cafe (terrace restaurant in A Blok)

Roundtable: Taking Stock, Looking Ahead: How to Move the Turkish-Greek Agenda Forward?
Speakers: Dimitris KERIDIS (University of Macedonia); Alex RONDOS (Advisor, Greek Prime Ministry); Umut OZKIRIMLI (Bilgi&Lund Universities); Fuat KEYMAN (IPM); Osman KAVALA (Kavala Holding)

Wednesday, 28 September

Venue: D Konferans Salonu (B Blok)

Panel I: Turkish-Greek Dynamics in the Middle East and Israel
Speakers: Şaban KARDAŞ (TOBB University); Sotiris ROUSSOS (University of Peleponnese): Ebru Canan SOKULLU (Bahçeşehir University); Karabekir AKKOYUNLU (LSE)
Chair: Nora Fisher Onar (Bahçeşehir University/SEESOX)

11.00-11.15 Coffee Break

Panel II: Transitions: Implications of the Arab revolutions
Speakers: Reem ABOU-EL-FADL (St. Peter’s, Oxford); Alex RONDOS (Advisor, Greek Prime Ministry); Kerem ÖKTEM (SEESOX); Joshua Walker (GMF)
Chair: Sabri SAYARI (Bahçeşehir University)

13.15-14.45 Luncheon for conference participants

Panel III: Turkish-Greek Dynamics in the Balkans
Speakers: Bulent ARAS (Turkish MFA); Dimitrios TRIANTAPHYLLOU (Kadır Has University); Othon ANASTASAKIS (SEESOX); Dimitar BECHEV (ECFR)
Chair: Ayșe KADIOĞLU (Sabancı University)

16.45-17.00 Coffee Break

Panel IV: New Political Economy of Southeast Europe
Speakers: Çaglar KEYDER (Bosphoros University); Mert BİLGİN (Bahçeşehir University); Antonis KAMARAS (Mayor’s Office, Thessaloniki)
Chair: Taner BERKSOY (Bahçeşehir University)

Reception (open to all)

Thursday, 29 September

Venue: D Konferans Salonu (B Blok)

Panel V: Turkey and Greece as Gateways to Europe – the Case of Migration
Speakers: Sema ERDER (Bahçeşehir University); Despina SYRRI (Navarino Network, Thessaloniki); Konstantinos TSITSELIKIS (University of Macedonia)
Chair: Atila ERALP (Middle East Technical University)

11.00-11.15 Coffee Break

Panel VI: Stalemate in Cyprus?
Niyazi KIZILYÜREK (Cyprus University); Harry TZIMITRAS (BILGI); Hugh POPE (ICG); Contantinos FILIS (Panteion University)
CHAIR: Cengiz AKTAR (Bahçeşehir University)

13.15-14.45 Luncheon for conference participants

ECFR Report: What Does Turkey Think?
Speakers: Hakan ALTINAY (Brookings), Şahin ALPAY (Bahçeşehir University); Gerald KNAUS (ESI); Mehmet KARLI (SEESOX/Galatasaray University)

Please RSVP by 23 September

Tel: 212-381-5728
Selma Bardakçı,
Zeynep Ece Emon,