Posted on 10 April 2013
Countries in Eurasia could play an important role in the new global structure, with Turkey’s help according to a new statement from Turkish President Abdullah Gul. In a message to the 16th Eurasia Economic Summit in Istanbul today, where leaders from across the region are gathered to discuss a wide range of subjects including women’s role in development, the economy, politics, energy, health, education and culture, Gul stated his intention for the meeting to form a study aimed at creating regional and international cooperation opportunities.
The Turkish president drew attentions to the position of the Eurasia geography and stated the importance of the region’s future role could not be denied where the power balance shifted from the West to the East and from the North to the South.
The word Eurasia just about sums up Turkey right now as it builds new relations and expands its influence out into Asia and the East, while trying to keep its roots and at least not lose any ground in Europe and the west, not to mention the fact that Turkey straddles the land between the two continents almost perfectly. Indeed, the city the meeting is held in, Istanbul is famed for its European side and its Asian side.
At present Turkey is looking at being accepted into the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, in which it would be the first non-Asian member, and is also making renewed progress towards accession into the EU, in which it would be the first Muslim member. It will certainly be interesting to see which one comes first, and if Turkey can achieve the two. Already it is easy for the sceptical to see the connection between Turkey’s recent moves in the SCO, and the renewed efforts from the EU to kick-start its accession.
For Turkey, bridging the gap between Europe and Asia is more than Eurasia it is a top priority.