Istanbul (February 23-25, 2007)
Can Turkey function as a mediator between the EU and the Middle East? That was the question at the heart of the 136th Bergedorf Round Table that took place in Istanbul from February 23 to 25, 2007. Turkey, an EU accession candidate, also directly neighbors on Syria, Iran, and Iraq, is a secular state with an overwhelmingly Muslim population, and maintains amicable relations with Israel.
These traits are often cited to support arguments favoring a Turkish mediating role. Still, what real value can Ankara add to EU policies relating to challenges that include the instability in Iraq, Iran's nuclear program, or problems in Lebanon? Is Turkey more valuable as an EU partner or member in dealing with these challenges, and how should its role be regarded – as a bridge, a strategic partner, or a model for the states of the Middle East?
Twenty-five outstanding politicians and experts from Germany and other EU states, Turkey, and the Middle East discussed policy options for collaborations in foreign affairs between the EU and Turkey.
The conference in Istanbul marks a further step in the Bergedorf Round Table's dialogue with the Middle East.
Downloading Protocol (PDF):
Appendix (Biographies, Glossary, Literature)
List of Participants
Lecture by Ahmet Davutoğlu, Senior Advisor to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan