2nd Turkey - Sudan Round-Table Meeting Held

The 2nd Turkey-Sudan Round-Table Meeting, under the main theme titled ‘Multi-dimensional Sectoral and Financial Deepening’, was taken place in Istanbul.
 
Under the main theme titled ‘Multidimensional Sectoral and Financial Deepening’, the second of Turkey-Sudan Round-Table Meetings, the first of which was taken place in Khartoum, was held on 24 December 2015 at Dosso Dossi Downtown Hotel in Istanbul.


The Sudanese delegation including Sinnar District Governor Eldaw Mohammed Al-Mahey HAMID, Shimaliyah District Mayor  Esam Aldien Ali Abdelrahman BAKHET, West Kurdufan District Lekava Deputy Mayor Taber Elbeseily Taber GADAD, Shimaliyah District Debbe Mayor Ahmed Ubuzaid Osman ABUZAID, West Kurdufan District Dali and Mezmum Mayor Mohamed Adam AbBakar ADAM, Sinnar District Sence Mayor Abdelazim Adam Yousif OBEID, West Kurdufan District Youth and Sports Secretary General Mohamed ElBasha TIBEIG, West Kurdufan District Chairman of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Saeed Mohamed Ismail SULIMAN, West Kurdufan District Council Chairman Hussein Mojamed Atyalla, Vice-Chancellor of Sudan Science and Technology University Mahir Salih SULIEMANKHALEEL, Secretary General of Dungula University Ahmed Mohamedzein Abdelwahid MOHAMED, Chancellor of Dulanch University Mohamed AlAwad Dafa Ella AHMED, Shimaliyah District State Channel Chairman Ahmed ABdu Idris AHMED and National Academy Foreign Affairs Officer Mustafa Ahmed Elgak HUSSEIN attended and participated in the 2nd Turkey-Sudan Round Table Meeting held in collaboration with Turkish-Asian Strategic Research Center (TASAM)Hayrat Foundation and the National Educational Academy of Republic of Sudan.

Also in attendance were representatives of the Turkish delegation, under the leadership of Chairman of TASAM Süleyman ŞENSOY, Vice-Chairman of TASAM Ambassador (R) Murat BİLHAN, Chairman of Economy and Finance Department of Istanbul Aydın University Prof. Dr. Sedat AYBAR. Hayrat Foundation’s Foreign Affairs Officer Cengiz GÜNAYDIN, Hayrat Foundation’s Sudan Officer Rıdvan ABUD also were present at the meeting. The agenda of the 2nd Turkey-Sudan Round-Table Meeting opened with working lunch was recent global economic and political circumstances, current and future relations between Turkey and Africa as well as between Sudan and Turkey. In the beginning of his keynote speech, after welcoming and introducing his staff, Mr. Şensoy reminded an aphorism quoted from sufis literature meaning “Friendliness was bestowed upon Sudanese when the man was created.” Mr. Şensoy noted that they’re trying to hold up Sudanese people’s decent society ethics as an example and then he gave some information about TASAM and its activities.

After pointing out TASAM is a think-tank organization which has been carrying out its activities for 13 years, Chairman Mr. Şensoy stated that “We’ve been working in three basic domains. The first one is foreign policy,comprising AfricaAsiaEuropeLatinAmerica and CaribbeanNorth AmericatheBalkansMiddle Eastand Caucasia. The Turkic and İslamic worlds also were grouped as “identity zones”. We’ve diverse instruments on these studying fields such as yearly congresses, institutions, round table meetings in key countries, strategic reports and books. We’ve an internet portal including about twenty pages and some 160 published works. For example, we’d held the 7th International Turkish African Congress, hosted by your government, in Sudan’s capital city Khartoum.”

Mr Şensoy went on his speech with the following explanations: “Our second basic domain is the networks. We’re forming networks focused on think-tanks and non-governmental organizations as part of the regions we’re interested in. We have a platform, for example, as a result of Turkey-Africa NGOs Forum held in 2008 concurrently and in cooperation with the governmental Turkey-Africa Cooperation Summit. We’ve also some other mutually organized platforms in cooperation with think-tanks of the Balkans and İslamic countries. It includes too many details to explain at the moment. 

Our third main domain is the special projects. I would like to share the most important one of these projects with you: We’ve been carrying out the project, of which is also Turkey’s first futuristic project and referring to centenary of foundation of Turkish Republic “Turkey’s Strategic Vision 2023” for nine years. We started this project under the auspices of Turkish Presidency and as of 2016 we’re going to update it as 2053. 2053 refers to the 600thanniversary of Conquest of Istanbul. In order to achieve a similar project, we signed a contact with Sudan Planning Agency. We recently mentioned the project to the delegation of ‘National Academy for Training’, and they are highly interested in. ‘Civil Global Program’ we launched currently also will be in progress for five years. On 20-22 April 2016, within this Program’s scope, 2nd Turkey-Africa NGOs and Thinking Forum will be held. 

Let me, please, remind you the importance of building such kind of future project and strategic vision. It’s significant for peace, cooperation and unity of the nation inside the country and in terms of setting an objective to people by civil society and state. The aim is not only to introduce the plans prepared by bureaucrats, but also to develop a process being participated by all parts of the public and the civil society. In order that the project will be able to efficient, everyone, from non-governmental and governmental organizations to media and private sector, have to participate in the discussions. In this regard, we’re ready to share our experiences gained in Turkey with Sudan.

We’re also passing through some unsteady days in a global scale. As observed by all of us, the competition between East and West gained speed. Three parameters have effect on all nations and each of us has lots of risks. These three instruments actually are changing and re-shaping the whole world. The first one is ‘micro-nationalism’, which Sudan experienced first as a result of contemporary history. You’re still dealing with so many issues related to micro-nationalism as well. Turkey also faces with some similar problems. So, during the next ten years period, it would be decisive for all of us that in what way micro-nationalism will be handled. The second instrument, on the other hand, is ‘integration’ and it has gradually become important to choose to involve in which integration. From now on, the world tends toward an appearance managed by some integration. The third one is ‘unpredictability’. Currently every issue is being managed within the scope of crisis management and it’s unclear when this tendency could come to an end. Next ten years would be very unsteady for everyone. Ten years later, many countries will may not exist anymore or most of them will not be able to exist in their own present structures at least.   

When it comes to speak more specifically within the framework of the meeting, it’s more important than ever that Turkey and Sudan will keep in cooperation with each other. There is a great number of things we can mutually do for each other and learn from each other. We should be insistent and resolute about the issue. We also should make use of the time well, because we did not born to live for ever. I believe the current relations will be taken much better and further stage. I want to give you an example: For me, the project to reservation of agricultural land for Turkey in northern and southern Khartoum is a very important step in terms of Sudan’s agricultural change and development. Turkey will invest the country with $500 million and leave 20% of its investment to Sudan. This pilot project can contribute to Sudan’s change. Turkey has been operating much better than most of European countries in local government level and it’s very successful about this level. There is a wide range of areas to cooperate. However we have to work together persistently and deepen the process of cooperation and of course if we want to make it real.”

Then Prof. Dr. Sedat Aybar gave some information about recent circumstances of Turkey and Turkish economy. He also noted that the automotive and electronics sectors are cores of the export domains in which Turkey is very strong now. He specified, with an example, that one of the two televisions being sold in Europe that has a Turkish brand on top. He reminded that Turkey aims to be among the 10 biggest economies in the world, until 2023. To achieve this it’s needed to have more knowledge, more specialization and experiences. To compensate the gap in this field, some companies were bought by Turkey in the United States and Europe. These activities actually are some sort of taking also the knowledge which brings the technologies out.

Assoc. Prof. Abdullah Özkan discussed the issues related to communication, media, culture and public diplomacy. He highlighted that culture and media are the issues as important as economy in medium and long terms effects. “If you do not have your own media resources, your own culture then you will disappear” said Mr. Özkan by putting emphasis on the issue when he concluded his speech. 

At the closing session, while the speakers were answering the questions of the participants, the following questions, perspectives and wishes of Sudanese guests drew attention: “Will Turkey increase its investments on Sudan’s fertile cultivated and livestock areas?”, “What the Turkey’s strategic vision on Europe and Arab world, and what will its way be in the future, under the current circumstances causing globally much more polarization?”, “Turkey probably aware of Sudan as an entrance and exit door to Africa, in these circumstances, in what way are Turkey’s foreign policies and approaches on the issues forming?”, “The Nile comes from the heaven, let’s take advantage of it together.”, “Insufficient though its oil resources are, Turkey has developed really fast during 10 or 15 years. We want to see Turkey among the five most developed countries as opposed to seeing among the ten.”, “If Turkey, starting with agriculture and improving toward industrialization, heads for Africa with its all these experiences that we would like to take advantage of, then I believe we will be able to collaborate greatly.”, “We’re doing diverse activities in collaboration with NGOs. However, the organizations, particularly under auspices of United Nations generally have been engaging in missionary activities. In your opinion, how can we deal with these sort of activities?”

When answering the questions, Vice-Chairman of TASAM Ambassador (R) Murat Bilhan underlined that there are indissoluble bonds between Turkey and Africa. So, Sudan would remain a very important friendly nation for Turkey for ever. The problem of Islamic world today is disunity and it’s needed to be resolved this dividedness as well as sectarian fanaticism” said Mr. Bilhan and added: “When Turkish Republic was about to be established, there were only two Islamic countries in the world: Iran and Afghanistan. In these two country embassies were opened and relationships established by Turkey as soon as the Turkish Republic was founded.”