DECEMBER 6, 2011, BELGRADE- More than 100 representatives of academia, non-governmental organizations, media, and students attended the first eduBamerc event at Dom Omladine, Belgrade. Speakers of the panel discussion “Turkish Foreign Policy in the 21st century: blanching between geopolitics and geo-economics” were Darko Tansković, reputable professor at Faculty of Philology, University of Belgrade, Boško Jakšić, Politika’s Foreign Editor and Senior Columnist, Filip Ejdus, Assistant at the Faculty of Political Science, Univeristy of Belgrade and Nikola Lakić, Researcher at BAMERC Serbia.
Speaking about the influence of Turkey in the Balkans Tanasković said that the foreign policy of Turkey should not treat the Muslim community as its stronghold if it wants to contribute to stability in the region.
“It has to be find a way to warn Turkey that there will not be success in its activities until it does not released of ‘neo-osmanistic ballast’. Performance of Turkey in the region has a strategic character and, judging by the effects of its foreign policy, it is an influential country and its policies in the Balkans could potentially be productive and useful”, Tanasković added.
Bosko Jaksic underlined the growing popularity of Turkey in the Arab world.
“It is obvious that Turkey is interested in becoming a kind of mentor to new and emerging democracies in the Arab world, but at this time the Arab world do not seem ready up to the concept advocated by Ankara”, said Jaksic.
Nikola Lakic explained the relevance of the panel discussion topics by the fact that this country is emerging as a new self-confident actor in the changed international environment. He added that “noticeable consideration of geopolitics in the Turkey’s foreign policy, which more than before relies on its own geopolitical and economic power. Turkey abandoned the doctrine of static isolation policies and politics of conservative realism led by the army during the Cold War, and replaced it by the concept of Turkey having a special geopolitical position of ‘strategic depth’ among the major geo-cultural basins: the West, the Middle East, the Balkans, the Caucasus and Central Asia.”
Dragana Mrvos, president of BAMERC Serbia, presented the conceptual idea of BAMERC saying that “Due to the lack of proper information and knowledge about the Middle East countries, cultural, economic and political features, we want to as civic association that contributes better understanding and improved level of cooperation of these two regions.”
Mrvos added that the aim of the association branches in three directions. The first is to promote mutual cooperation and cultural exchanges; the second is to improve cooperation between educational institutions, and to promotion advance economic assistance as the third goal. BAMERC will seek to achieve its goals and objectives with many further activities to come, such as publishing academic papers, organizing round tables, panels, debates, seminars, study visits and other project activities.