İstanbul Kültür University

International Seminar: EU-Turkey Relations and the Swedish Presidency

In collaboration with the Swedish Institute of International Affairs (UI), Global Political Trends Center organized an international conference in Stockholm, Sweden on 25 May 2009.

The seminar program included keynote speeches by Ambassador Ertuğrul Apakan, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Turkey and Ambassador Frank Belfrage, State Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Sweden. During the meeting, Amb. Apakan and Amb. Belfrage discussed EU-Turkey Relations and the implications of Swedish EU Presidency on Turkey’s negotiation process. Following the keynote speeches, comments were provided by Mark Rhinard, Senior Research Fellow and Head of the EU Program at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, and by Sylvia Tiryaki, Deputy Director at the Global Political Trends Center (GPoT). The meeting was intended to complement the discussions on Turkey’s EU accession process and to provide a platform for tackling the question of Turkish membership in the EU. Moreover, bearing in mind that Turkey represents both a great challenge and a great opportunity for the Union, participants underlined how the sheer dimension of Turkey, its geopolitical location, and its cultural and religious identity that are perceived as structural liabilities can be turned into strategic assets.

- Speech of Undersecretary Ambassador Apakan.pdf

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