Understanding the Middle East

Istanbul Aydın University Head of Economics and Finance Dpeartment, Prof. Dr. Sedat Aybar, Dean of Marmara University Faculty of Political Sciences, Prof. Dr. Cengiz Tomar, Kültür University Faculty Member Dr. Bora Bayraktar and BILGESAM Middle East Research Specialist Dr. Ali Semin participated to the panel organized by Nişantaşı University IISBF International Relations Department with the title of "Understanding the Middle East".

The panel which was moderated by Dr. Ragip Kutay Karaca Head of the International Relations Department of our university, focused on socio-cultural structure of the Middle East that transform in the historical process, the situation Turkmen people in the region, relation between geography and economy, and Turkey's Middle East policy.

"The Arab Spring was instrumentalized by imperial powers."

While stating that Islam, which emerged in the Middle East and transformed all belief systems before itself, took its current shape by being influenced by these beliefs and values, Dr. Cengiz Tomar stated that there is competition in the region between the Shiite/Iran and Sunni/Saudi Arabia, and peace cannot be reached without resolving the problem between Israel and Palestine, and democracy cannot be formed unless democracy comes to Saudi Arabia.

"Introducing Shiite government in Iraq aims to create an alternative Shiite country to Iran."

By attributing the fact that British become more successful in the region to that they know the dynamics of the region better than USA, Dr. Ali Şemin emphasized that the elections to be held in Iraq on 12 May 2018 will not lead to power alone because of the system and thus compelled the ground for an agreement, thus Turkmens could come out strong. He added that Turkey's policy prevents the formation of a new government in the referendum process in the region and after the referendum Peshmerga could not enter in Kirkuk.

“The geopolitical-economy relationship in the region is very important.”

After stating that the ecological balance deteriorated with the scarcity of energy resources made the world uninhabitable, Prof. Dr. Sedat Aybar told that the Ethiopia-Uganda Sudan-Egypt axis on Nile River has made Egypt functional, and Israel is also included in this axis. Aybar emphasized that the elements of ecological balance play a decisive role in world politics, and that this mostly disrupts the social balances in the Middle East.

“We are located between the East-West axis and the North-South axis.”

Dr. Bora Bayraktar emphasized that Turkey is between, East-West axis of USA and Russia and North-South axis of RF-PRC-EU-USA, stressing that this situation increases the strategic importance of Turkey. Bayraktar told that Turkey is dependent on the region in terms of energy, and regional instability makes this dependency and regional trade more expensive, migration in the region influences life in Turkey more and more every day.

After answering the questions of the participants, the panel ended with a plaque presentation to the guests.

Release date: 04.05.2018