The SETA Foundation at Washington D.C.
Near East Studies Department at Princeton University Presents
Roundtable Discussion: Turkey and its Role in Global Affairs
On September 23rd, SETA DC and the Near East Studies Department at Princeton University hosted a round table discussion on “Turkey’s role in Global Affairs.” The participants list read like a “who’s who” in policy relating to a Turkish agenda, as well as businessmen. SETA’s Director General, Mr. Taha Ozhan, was present at the gathering and was the first to address the distinguished participants among others. Dr. Ibrahim Turhan, Deputy Governor of the Turkish Central Bank; the Hon. Suat Kiniklioglu Spokesperson for the Turkish Foreign Affairs Committee; Dr. Ertan Aydin, Director of Pollmark Research; Mr. Joshua Walker of Princeton University, as well as Princeton faculty and students and SETA experts. The roundtable was moderated by Dean Christine Paxson of the Woodrow Wilson School and Dr. Sukru Hanioglu, Chair of the Near Eastern Studies department. Also present was former Ambassador to Azerbaijan and Afghanistan, Dr. Robert Finn.
Director General Ozhan addressed the gathering and spoke about the challenges facing the modern international system, with a growing number of increasingly powerful voices in the global dialogue. He labeled Turkey as a new power player, stating that Turkey is achieving success by utilizing both hard and soft power to accomplish its goals.
Mr. Nuh Yilmaz, Director of SETA DC, added his opinion on the critical question of both US and Turkish policy toward Afghanistan. He drew from his personal travel in the region during the recent national elections, and the release of the SETA publication on his findings. He then proceeded to field questions from the participants.
Ertan Aydin of Pollmark, who teamed up with the SETA Foundation to conduct the recent research on the Kurdish initiative, discussed the shifting views on the part of the Turkish public, toward America since the new administration took office this past January.
A wide range of topics were broached in this hour and a half long discussion, covering topics such as Turkey’s relationship with Russia, its growing influence in the Black Sea region and importance as an international player. Turkey’s successful providing of technical aid in the war in Afghanistan was also applauded. Additionally, there was lively discussion on Turkish identity as it relates to the European Union, however, little discussion of the future of Turkish-US relations. Following the round table, many participants regarded the SETA and Princeton sponsored event as a success in facilitating greater communication between relevant parties.