Conference on new political challenges for Germany, Turkey and the EU – 2018

INSITER realized in cooperation with the Center for Turkey and EU Studies (CETEUS), Turkish-German University Political Science and International Relations Department, Center for Migration and Integration at the Turkish-German University (TAGU) and German Academic Exchange Service DAAD an international symposium titled “New political challenges for Germany, Turkey and the EU – 2018” with the participation of more than hundred guests including academicians, representatives of non governmental organizations and students from different universities on 18th of May, 2018 at the Beykoz campus of the Turkish-German University.

The opening speeches of the symposium were given by the Rector of the Turkish-German University, Prof. Dr. Halil AKKANAT, faculty member of the University of Cologne and Vice-President of the German Consortium responsible for the foundation of the Turkish-German University Prof. Dr. Wolfgang WESSELS and Head of the Political Science and International Relations Department Prof. Dr. M. Murat ERDOĞAN. Following the opening speeches, the keynote speakers, Head of EU Delegation to Turkey Ambassador Christian BERGER and Deputy Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Mehmet Kemal BOZBAY, gave their speeches during which they elaborated on the recent developments in relations between EU, Germany and Turkey.

Following the keynote speeches, the symposium has continued with the opening panel entitled “Introductory Panel: Present and Future of EU-Turkey Relations”. At the panel chaired by Prof. Dr. Hartmut MARHOLD (CIFE- Centre International de Formation Européenne), the present and future of EU-Turkey relations have been discussed by Prof. Dr. Sinem Akgül AÇIKMEŞE (Kadir Has University), Prof. Dr. Mathias JOPP (IEP- Institute for European Politics), Prof. Dr. Atila ERALP (METU, Istanbul Policy Center) and INSITER Coordinator Asst. Prof. Dr. Ebru TURHAN (Turkish-German University). At the panel, it was emphasized that even though EU-Turkey relations periodically pursued a course of ups and downs, EU and Turkey needed each other mutually in view of joint interests and challenges. The panel also touched upon the future prospective institutional architecture of EU-Turkey relations.

In the second session moderated by Prof. Dr. Kai OPPERMANN (University of Sussex), the refugee crisis was discussed in view of the triangle “EU, Turkey and Germany”. In this session entitled “EU, Turkey, Germany Triangle in view of the Refugee Crisis”, Dr. Günter SEUFERT (SWP- German Institute for International and Security Affairs), Assoc. Prof. Deniz Şenol SERT (Özyeğin University) and Prof. Dr. M. Murat ERDOĞAN (Turkish-German University) made their presentations. At the panel, the effects of the existing refugee crisis on the EU member states, the challenges that Turkey faces with the Syrian refugee population and lastly the role of the readmission agreement between the EU and Turkey in solving the refugee crisis and its deficiencies were discussed.

At the last session of the symposium entitled “German-Turkish Diaspora Policies: Latest Trends and Impact on Bilateral Dialogue”, German-Turkish diaspora policies have been discussed. At this session chaired by Assoc. Prof. Thomas KRUMM (Turkish-German University), Prof. Dr. Ayhan KAYA (Bilgi University), Dr. Yaşar AYDIN (Evangelische Hochschule Hamburg) and Asst. Prof. Dr. Enes BAYRAKLI (Turkish-German University)  made their presentations. The policies of the governments of Turkey and Germany concerning Turkish immigrants in Germany have been discussed and the incompatible policies of the parties have been criticized. Furthermore, the impact of Islamophobia on the integration of Tukish immigrants has been examined.

Following the keynote speech of Mithat RENDE, member of the board of TSKB and retired former ambassador, about recent developments in energy policies within the scope of the relations between Turkey and EU, the symposium was finalised by closing remarks of the Head of Political Science and International Relations Department in Turkish-German University Prof. Dr. M. Murat ERDOĞAN,  INSITER Coordinator Asst. Prof. Dr. Ebru TURHAN, faculty member Asst. Prof. Dr. Deniz KURU and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang WESSELS.