8th Turkish - Italian Forum

Istanbul, 24-25 November 2011

Hotel Hilton

"Rethinking the Future of Mediterranean in light of the Arab Spring" was the theme that marked the 8th Italian -Turkish Forum on 25 November 2011 in Istanbul.

In light of the recent turmoil occurred in several Arab countries, the 8th edition of the Forum held a public discussion on the Future of the Mediterranean: both Italy and Turkey, due to their closer ties with North Africa countries, are particularly involved and thus interested in working together for shaping the future of their surrounding region. The morning session, which brought together more than 200 Turkish and Italian participants, among businessmen, academicians, policy makers and government officials, gained the presence of UniCredit CEO between the Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister H.E. Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu and the new Italian Foreign Minister H.E. Giulio Maria Terzi di Sant'Agata.

In relation to Egypt, Libya and Tunisia common goals were presented by the two countries' ministers by revealing their intent to restore peace and sustain the local recovery thought new investment flow in the region. Deep concerns were also shared for the current turmoil in Syria and a clearer position was also shown by Turkey which - in light of the country's "Zero Problem Foreign Policy" - at the beginning did not openly condemn the Assad regime.
The Minister Davutoglu also took the opportunity to renew the friendly ties which has linked the two countries and the importance of the Italian support and commitment amid the Turkish negotiations; the Minister Terzi di Sant'Agata, at his second mission abroad as foreign minister, also highlighted the great satisfaction for the intense economic partnership between the two countries not only thanks to nearly 900 Italian corporations present in the Turkish region but also to the several Turkish-Italian joint ventures which are operating abroad.

Furthermore in light also of the core purpose of the Italian-Turkish Forum - a closed door roundtable amongst high qualified Turkish and Italian experts was also set up for a fruitful debate on the theme "Civil society contribution and proposals to re-launch the Turkey-Eu membership process". Because of Italian long-standing commitment to Turkey's European integration, Turkey is now calling for a more effective advocacy among those sceptical EU members and at the same time the Italian friends ask Turkish people for clearer signs proving the real wiliness to be part of the EU. In this framework the 100 high representatives of the two civil societies met to start up a joint work in an attempt to analyze and launch new initiatives to carry on the path of Turkey towards the European Union.


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