Istanbul Security Conference-2018 “Turning Challenges into Opportunities”

May6Sunday

Date/time

May 6 - 8, 2018

Loc.

Istanbul

Type

Congress

The recent past brought new challenges for Turkey and the Turkish-German relationship. How do these security policy challenges look like? How can new solutions be found?

provided by

Logo: Konrad-Adenauer-StiftungTurkey Office

The Istanbul Security Conference 2018 (which was held after nine editions in Ankara for the second time in Istanbul) dealt with regional and global challenges and opportunities. Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Turkey and the Center of Strategic Research of the Başkent University Ankara invited several speakers from politics, military, science and industry to controversly discuss the actual challenges. They looked as well into the past, to understand the genesis of the conflicts, as well as into the future, to anticipate potentially escalating conflicts and strategies for solutions. On the plan were the geopolitical hotspots of the region like Syria, Irak and Iran. But also contemporary and future challenges of security policy like extremism and terrorism, global migration movements, energy policy as well as cyber security were discussed. With regard to the Turkish elections in June the discussion of the German-Turkish relations was of importance.

In the first Panel “Countering global radical extremism and terrorism - rooting out radicalism: lessons learned and preventive strategies” Marian WENDT (Member of German Parliament) und Iulian CHIFU (Former Advisor for Strategic Affairs and Int. Security to the President of Romania and President of the Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Center, Bucharest) discussed the challenges and possibilities of fighting international terrorism. Both emphasized that fighting transnational terrorism without international cooperation would be hardly possible.

At the beginning of the second panel “International management of migration and coping with mass population movements: lessons learned and preventive strategies” the Former Amb. Ertuğrul APAKAN (Chief Monitor, Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, OSCE Former Undersecretary of Ministry of Foreign Affairs) elaborated on the importance of the UN-Charta and the Helsinki Accords for the crisis in Ukraine and the refugee situation in the Mediterranean. Matern VON MARSCHALL (Member of German Parliament) assessed, that Germany and the European Union gained the upper hand in the migration policy regarding information and implementation of policies. Prof. Dr. Satoshi IKEUCHI (University of Tokyo, RCAST, Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology, Islam and Politics, Middle East Politics) analyzed the geopolitical position of Turkey in between Europe and the Middle East.

The topic of Panel three was “Could a sustainable peace and unification be achieved in Syria and Iraq: is normalization a possibility in the Middle East in foreseeable future”. Former ambassador Selim KARAOSMANOĞLU explained, that analysis of the Syria conflict should ignore neither Russia, Iran and Turkey as forces of the status quo, nor the multiethnic composition of the syrian population or the consequences for energy security in the Middle East. Dr. Carsten WIELAND (Senior Expert for Intra Syrian Talks, UN office of the Special Envoy for Syria and fellow at Geneva Centre for Security Studies) presented the continuing fragmentation of Syria through internal and external actors. Dr. Timur MAKHMUTOV from RIAC (Deputy Program Director The Russian International Affairs Council) sees a lack of a common strategy in finding a solution for the conflict.

Panel four was dedicated to the issue of the “Effects of Israeli-Saudi-Egypt (and US) alliance on the Arab world and Iran”. In his opening statement Dr. Pyotr STEGNY (Former Amb. of Russian Federation to Turkey and Israel Member, Russian Council for International Relations) shared the Russian perspective on the geopolitics of the Middle East and emphasized the role of the US. Prof. Em. Dr. İlter TURAN (President of International Political Science Association) elaborated on the different perceptions of security in Saudi-Arabia and Israel as well on the insecurity in Egypt. Dr. Walter POSCH (Institute for Peace Support and Conflict Management National Defense Academy Austria) presented the constellation of actors and problems in the region with focus on the historic and strategic interests.

“The Future of Hybrid and Proxy Wars: (Globally and in MENA)” was discussed in the fifth panel. At the beginning Rumel DAHIYA (ret. Brig. General, Former Deputy Director General at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analysis – New Delhi) differentiated from a historical perspective between a classic war between two regular armies and hybrid conflict which is characterized by the asymmetry between the different parties. Jonathan FIGHEL (Col. res. Senior Research Scholar, Institute for Counter-Terrorism IDC Herzliya, Israel) added that hybrid organizations combined political legitimacy with a military wing. According to Prof. Dr. Ahmet K. Han (International Relations Dept., Kadir Has University) hybrid conflicts gain in international importance and destructivity.

The final panel of the first day dealt with „Challenges and opportunities in German-Turkish relations“. Member of German Parliament Dr. Andreas NICK (Head of German Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) emphasized the special relation between the Turkish and the German population, even if this close connection is sometimes challenging. His counterpart Akif Çağatay KILIÇ (Former Minister of Youth and Sports, Head of Turkish Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) missed a discussion on the same level with Germany.

At his dinner speech on 7th May 2018, Parliamentary State Secretary Stephan Mayer emphasized that terrorism, as an enemy of democratic orders, was not a national matter but had to be discussed bilaterally and multilaterally. The existing international dialogue and exchange among security authorities must be further developed, he added.

The second day was opened with the panel-6: “Energy for peace in the East Mediterranean: Turning challenges into opportunities”. Member of German Parliament, Thomas BAREISS (Parliamentary State Secretary, Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy) skeched the German view on the constellation of energy political and geostrategical situation of the Middle East and the implication of the German transition to renewable energies. Dr. Micha‘el TANCHUM (The Harry Truman Inst., Asia and Middle East Units, Israel Non-resident Scholar at Başkent University) presented his vision of how to overcome challenges in the area of energy policies and thus find solutions in security policy. At the end Prof. Dr. Mitat ÇELIKPALA (Kadir Has University, Dean - Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences) showcased Turkey’s new strategic direction in energy policy and accentuated the plans to diversify energy suppliers.

In the center of the seventh panel “The EU’s approach to regional security in the East Mediterranean: problems and prospects” were possibilities and obstacles on the way of finding a solution for the Cyprus and Syria conflicts. Sir Peter WESTMACOTT (Ambassadorial Fellow Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative) presented Great Britain’s perspective on the Syria conflict. Prof. Dr. Hans-Joachim KRAUSE (Academic Director, Institute for Security Policy at Kiel University) concluded, that the policy of the EU in Syria hasn’t reached its goal and that a change of strategy is appropriate. Former Amb. Namık TAN discussed the process of EU-Accession for Turkey and the role of national states in the fight against terrorism.

The last panel was facing the question of “Cyber Security: challenges and strategies”. Hans-Wilhelm DÜNN (General Secretary, Cyber-Security Council Germany) gave an insight into the ever changing field of cyber-security and demanded political initiatives for the protection of critical infrastructure, more digital education and enhanced expertise of the decision makers. After him, Peter ROST (Director Business Development and Strategy Rohde&Schwarz Cybersecurity) explained that the possibilities of digital transformation brings challenges with it in the aspect of security. Finally Roland SUPPER (Head of Cyber Defence Center s IT Solutions AT Spardat GmbH, Vienna) added that organized criminal organizations can abuse IT-infrastructure without being hindered by borders and regulations.

The two hosts and organizers, Sven-Joachim IRMER (Head of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Turkey) and Ercan ÇİTLİOĞLU (Başkent University, Center for Strategic Research) recognized as well as the participants that the Istanbul Security Conference 2018 made an important contribution in connecting decision makers from politics, science, military and industry. Faced with such various crisis and challenges such dialogue formats are decisive in finding new solutions.

Akif Çağatay Kılıç, Former Minister of Youth and Sports, Ali Aslan, Journalist, Dr. Andreas Nick, Member of German Parliament

Akif Çağatay Kılıç, Former Minister of Youth and Sports, Ali Aslan, Journalist, Dr. Andreas Nick, Member of German Parliament

Sven-Joachim Irmer, Head of KAS Turkey

Sven-Joachim Irmer, Head of KAS Turkey

Dr. Micha'el Tanchum, The Harry Truman Inst., Prof. Dr. Mitat Çelikpala, Kadir Has Univ., Thomas Bareiss, Parliamentary State Secretary, Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Ahu Özyurt, CNN Türk

Dr. Micha'el Tanchum, The Harry Truman Inst., Prof. Dr. Mitat Çelikpala, Kadir Has Univ., Thomas Bareiss, Parliamentary State Secretary, Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Ahu Özyurt, CNN Türk

Stephan Mayer, Parlamentary State Secretary, German Ministry of Interior, Building and Community

Stephan Mayer, Parlamentary State Secretary, German Ministry of Interior, Building and Community

Iulian Chifu, Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Center, Bucharest, Ali Aslan, Journalist, Marian Wendt, Member of German Parliament

Iulian Chifu, Conflict Prevention and Early Warning Center, Bucharest, Ali Aslan, Journalist, Marian Wendt, Member of German Parliament

Contact person

Sven-Joachim Irmer

Head of the KAS Office Turkey

Phone +90 312 440 40 80
Fax +90 312 440 32 48
Languages: Deutsch,‎ English,‎ Türkçe

Arzu Yüzgeç

Project Manager

Phone +90 312 440 40 80
Fax +90 312 440 32 48
Languages: Türkçe,‎ Deutsch,‎ English