International Balkan Congress

03 May 2011
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International Balkan Congress was held on the 28-29th April of 2011 hosted by Kocaeli University. It was organized with the joint contributions of Kocaeli University, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Namık Kemal University, Trakya University, Kırklareli University and Wise Men Center for Strategic Studies (BILGESAM).


The congress commenced with the inaugural speeches of Prof. Dr. Sezer ŞENER KOMSUOGLU, Rector of Kocaeli University, Prof. Dr. Hasret Çomak, Vice Rector of Kocaeli University and the member of BILGESAM Executive Board, also with the speeches of Prof. Dr. Mustafa Aytaç, Rector of Kırklareli University, Prof. Dr. Timur Kırgız, Rector of Trakya University and of Assoc. Prof. Atilla Sandıklı, the President of BILGESAM.

In his speech under the name “The Balkans and Turkey” Sandıklı touched on the geopolitical and geostrategic importance of the Balkans and its crucial importance for Turkey as well. Stating that Turkey had come to be the regional power with the changes in the late 20th century and at the beginning of the 21st century, the President of BILGESAM said that Turkey’s interests in the Balkans could not be restricted to its historical and geo-cultural ties with the Balkans. “But instead, Turkey’s interests are also closely related with being a regional power in economic, political, cultural and military fields.” he said. Sandıklı, emphasizing the crucial importance of Turkey for the Balkans and vice versa, put an end to his speech. Besides, Assoc. Prof. Sandıklı became the moderator of the session named “Power Centers of the World and Their Balkan Policies”.

Furthermore, Bilgehan Emeklier –research fellow from BILGESAM on International Security- presented the study “New Security Perspectives and Approaches in the 21st Century”. In his presentation, Emeklier, in a theoretical framework, focused on the change/transformation of the security perspectives and approaches after the Cold War period. Besides, Athina Tesfa-Yohannes, assistant specialist of BILGESAM, made a presentation under the name “The Contribution of Turkish-Serbian Relations towards Improving Security in the Western Balkans”. In her speech, Tesfa-Yohannes discussed how the growing relationship between Turkey and Serbia must be utilized in addressing three economically-devastated regions within the Balkans [Sandžak Region/Preševo Valley, Republika Srpska, and Northern Kosovo] in order to foster inter-ethnic harmony as a means of securing regional security. "

Prof. Dr. M. Oktay Alnıak, the member of BILGESAM Executive Board, was the moderator of the session “Minority Issues and Ethnic Conflicts in the Balkans”. Besides, Alnıak, addressed the Balkans geography from a theoretical perspective with his presentation “Turkey’s Technological Progress and Initiative for Regional Cooperation”.

Prof. Dr. Hasret Çomak moderated the session under the name of “Security Crisis in the Disintegration Process of Yugoslavia” and following all the sessions, International Balkan Congress came to an end with Kocaeli Cultural Tour.  


Click here to see the website of International Balkan Congress.


Click here in order to download the speech of Assoc. Prof. Atilla Sandıklı.


Click here in order to dowload the presentation "The Contribution of Turkish-Serbian Relations towards Improving Security in the Western Balkans". 


Click here in order to dowload the Congress Program.
















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