Japan and Turkey: Humanitarian Powers

Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies (ORSAM) organised a symposium on 24 November 2016, entitled “Japan and Turkey as Humanitarian Powers” with the support of the External Relations Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, Center for Strategic Research of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SAM), TOBB University of Economics and Technology and Japanese Embassy in Ankara.

This symposium is the continuation of an ongoing dialogue between the Turkish and Japanese think-tanks. The symposium series have started on 2014 on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of Turkey-Japan diplomatic relations. The first joint symposium was titled “Japan and Turkey: Where did we come from? Where are we going?” which has focused on bilateral relations. ORSAM also held a second symposium titled “Japan-Turkey Dialogue on Global Affairs” on 1 March 2016, with the support of the Embassy of Japan in Ankara, aiming to offer an insight into Japan-Turkey relations in a global context and the opportunities of cooperation on various regional and global issues. The third symposium that this report covers, further carries the dialogue to a higher level, focusing on “Humanitarian Diplomacy” of Turkey and Japan, with a special focus on applications to the continent of Africa. The results of the previous symposiums can be obtained from ORSAM website as “ORSAM Report No:193” and “ORSAM Report No:207”.

This report now you are reading is the collection speeches and the evaluation of the third symposium, and it is also available online. For the realisation of this symposium and this report, we would like to express our sincere appreciation for the endless support of the External Relations Presidency under the Prime Ministry of the Republic of Turkey, the Center for Strategic Research of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SAM), and especially the Japanese Embassy in Ankara. TOBB University of Economics and Technology also generously supported our event this year. Their support and assistance has been vital for the realisation of this event, and of course, as well as the other participants, such as academics from various universities in Ankara, representatives of diplomatic missions, government institutions, research centres, Japanese citizens living in Ankara, and a large number of students from universities as well as those interested in the foreign affairs and international politics of Japan and Turkey, who have attended the symposium and showed a high degree of interest to the event, to whom I feel obliged to express my feelings of deep gratitude.