Inaugural Suna Roundtable Discussion - The Middle East on Rise: Turkey and the EU
GPoT Center in collaboration with the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences (FSES) of the Comenius University in Slovakia organized the Inaugural Suna Roundtable Discussion entitled The Middle East on Rise: Turkey and the EU on the premises of the FSES in Bratislava on October 25, 2012.
The event took place with the aim to commemorate H.E. Suna Çokgür Ilıcak, who passed away while serving as the Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to the Slovak Republic in 2006.
When welcoming the audience, H.E. Haluk Ilıcak, the Undersecretary of the Ministry for EU Affairs of the Republic of Turkey said: "Ambassador Ilıcak dedicated the last year of her life to further strengthening of relations between Turkey and Slovakia. I am very pleased to see that Turkish-Slovak relations are steadily enhancing in every field."
After H.E. Haluk Ilıcak and H.E. Jozef Šesták, Consul General of the Slovak Republic in Istanbul, delivered their respective keynote speeches, the representatives of diplomatic corps based in Bratislava, academics, experts and students, who attended the event had an opportunity to discuss Turkey's role in the Middle East and EU-Turkey relations with the esteemed speakers as well as with GPoT Center's Director, Prof. Dr. Mensur Akgün; and his Deputy, Dr. Sylvia Tiryaki; H.E. Lebibe Gülhan Ulutekin, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey to Slovak Republic; and Prof. PhDr. Silvia Miháliková, PhD, Dean of the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences of Comenius University.
In this respect, H.E. Jozef Šesták said the following: "The candidate countries have to cope with rather tough legal, economic and technical criteria, but the decision taken at the end of the accession process will be a political one. [I believe]… that the final political decision on Turkey’s accession to the EU will be positive.
The debate with Turkish and Slovak diplomats and experts was followed by a ceremony, during which a birch tree in the memory of H.E. Suna Çokgür Ilıcak was jointly planted in the garden of FSES by participants of the event.
"Even after six years, Suna Çokgür Ilıcak is remembered and recalled with great admiration and respect here in Slovakia. It is an honor for me to be one of her successors," shared H.E. Lebibe Gülhan Ulutekin.
This was the first one in a series of roundtable discussions, that will be held annually in Bratislava to commemorate H.E. Suna Çokgür Ilıcak. The Meeting Report (available below) prepared by Lenka Peťková contains texts of the speeches delivered during the meeting. In addition, the publication features David Cameron's Words on Turkey.