The UK House of Lords member Lord Alex Carlile QC CBE visits Turkey
3 April 2018
The UK House of Lords Member Lord Alex Carlile came to Turkey on April 3, 2018 upon the invitation of our Center. Holding meetings in Istanbul and Ankara, Lord Carlile met with Deputy Speaker of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey Ahmet Aydın and got information about the functioning of the parliament and Turkey’s new governance system, the executive presidency. He examined the sites within the parliament, which were bombed from the air by putschists on the night of the July 15 coup attempt of Fetullah Terror Organization (FETO), and observed a session in the parliament from the audience lodge. Lord Carlile then met with Presidential Advisors Mehmet Ucum and Ahmet Selim Koroglu and received information about the post-coup process, FETO terror organization, the extradition process of suspects fugitive from law and the trials of coup plotters.
In his meeting with the press on April 5, Lord Carlile stated that he came to Turkey to know more about Turkey and that he wants to learn more closely the developments in Turkey. Underlining that the UK considers Turkey an ally country and that he is ready to do his best to advance the relationship between the two countries as well as increase the dialogue, Lord Carlile stressed that it is of vital importance that Turkey reach out to more people and express itself as regards these issues.
Lord Carlile thanked Bosphorus Center for Global Affairs for its hospitality and said that he witnessed one of the best instances of Turkish hospitality here. Also touching upon the position of Turkey in the international area and its relations with the EU, he said that Turkey’s support for Qatar was praiseworthy and that, in addition to his opposition to Brexit, he would welcome Turkey’s joining the EU.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby visits Turkey
15 February 2018
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby came to Turkey upon the invitation of our Center. He met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the Presidential Complex in Ankara.
At the end of the meeting the Turkish president gave Archbishop Welby a book titled The Vision of New Turkey: World is Bigger Than Five and a copy of the letter sent by Sultan Murad III to Queen Elizabeth I of England as a gift.
UK House of Lords delegation visits Turkey
30 January 2018
Four members of the British House of Lords came to Turkey upon the invitation of our Center. Lord Stuart Polak, Lord David Trimble, Lord James Arbuthnot and Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones held meetings with politicians, artists and business people during their stay in Turkey.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accepted the members of the House of Lords in company with our Center in the Presidential Complex in Ankara. Issues such as improving relations between the two countries, fighting terrorism and Turkey’s efforts for refugees were discussed in the meeting. After the meeting, members of the House of Lords visited the Turkish parliament. Deputy Chair of Justice and Development Party Naci Bostancı welcomed them and accompanied them to the site of the Turkish National Assembly which was bombed during the July 15, 2016 coup attempt and told the story of the coup night.
Our guests also met leading Turkish artists and discussed bilateral cultural relations. Prominent Turkish singers Ajda Pekkan, Ferhat Gocer, Sinan Akcil and Chair of the Civilization Choir Yilmaz Ozfirat, Senior Producer of TRT World Samed Karagoz and fashion designer Zeynep Kartal attended the meeting. The members of the House of Lords also met leading business people in Turkey to discuss economic relations between Turkey and the UK. Board Member of Kalyoncu Group Mehmet Kalyoncu, DEMSA Chief Executive Demet Sabanci, Chief Executive of Simit Sarayi Abdullah Kavukcu, Profilo Holding Chief Executive Cefi Kamhi, the Head of Adana Businessmen Association Omer Faruk Sakarya, board member of Global Yatirim Adnan Nas and Ozgur Kayali from Kayali Law Office attended the meeting.
British MP John Woodcock visits Turkey
21 December 2017
British Labour MP for Barrow and Furness John Woodcock came to Turkey upon the invitation of our Center. He visited Istanbul, Ankara, Gaziantep and Izmir. Woodcock visited Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu in his office in Ankara and received information about Turkey’s fight against terrorism. Then he held meetings with the ruling AK Party deputies Markar Esayan and Sena Nur Celik and the opposition CHP deputies Selina Dogan and Sibel Ozdemir and MHP deputies Kamil Aydın and Mehmet Gunal in the parliament. He closely observed the areas bombed by coup plotters on the night of 15 July 2016.
Hosted by Mayor Fatma Sahin, Woodcock went to the southeastern province of Gaziantep to visit the Nizip Refugee Camp in the city. He visited families living in the camp and asked them about their situation. Following his visit, he said that European countries must be grateful to Turkey for what it has done for refugees. Before leaving Gaziantep Woodcock also visited a family who fled the brutality of the YPG, the Syrian branch of the PKK terrorist organization, in Syria. The next day, Woodcock was granted special access to go to Izmir and visit a former DAESH member from Britain. He said that related countries must cooperate in returning DAESH members from Europe back to their country of origin.
Bosphorus Global hosts journalist Rula Jebreal
3-8 August 2017
We hosted famous author and journalist Rula Jebreal in Istanbul and organized her visit to the Nizip Refugee Camp in the city of Gaziantep where she met with Syrian refugees. After her visit, she wrote in an article published in the New York Times that Turkey sets an example in treating refugees humanely.
Our Publications are now available in three languages
13 July 2017
A series of four books have been published in Turkish, English and Arabic. The series includes Timeline Turkey, Chronicles of Shame, Crackdown Report and FETO Facts.
Timeline Turkey presents Turkey’s developing democracy in the last 15 years through timelines. Reforms for different groups from Kurdish society to Alevis and the Roma have been covered in the book. Chronicles of Shame focuses on examples of discrimination, racism, Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and human rights violations from all over the world. The book consists of four chapters: Refugees, Islamophobia, Racism and Human Rights Violations. Crackdown Report presents a collection of human rights violations by the United States and European countries. FETO Facts presents information about Fetullah Gulen and his secretive network’s involvement in 15 July Coup attempt and their covert activities.
Roundtable Discussion on the Recent Constitutional Change and the Presidential System in Turkey
24 March 2017
Bosphorus Global hosted the leading representatives of Istanbul-based foreign journalists from the Buzz Feed News, the Middle East Eye, the Times and the Wall Street Journal and researchers in a roundtable discussion on the recent constitutional change and the presidential system.
Among the keynote speakers were Can Paker, the Chairperson of PODEM, Mehmet Ucum, chief advisor to the President, Prof. Dr. Gonca Bayraktar Durgun and Dr. Selman Ogut. The program started with a brief introduction about our Center and the keynote speakers.
Mr Paker explained the duality in the executive body that emerged in 2014 when the president was elected by popular vote for the first time. Mr Ucum talked about the necessity to move into a presidential system with examples from recent history. Prof Dr Gonca Bayraktar explained the content and the details of the constitutional change while Dr. Ogut pointed out some of the frequently voiced false claims about the amendment.
The presentations were followed by a Q&A session, which provided an opportunity for all participants to exchange ideas and discuss the recent constitutional change and the presidential system. We would like to thank our guests and keynote speakers for attending our event.
Bosphorus Global Publishes Report on Fetullah Terror Organization’s (FETO) Involvement in the 15 July Failed Coup
5 December 2016
Bosphorus Center for Global Affairs published a report on the 15 July failed coup attempt, when a faction within the Turkish army launched a coup attempt to topple the democratically elected Turkish government and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The report demonstrates the involvement of the Fetullah Terror Organisation (FETO) in the coup attempt with evidence. The cult leader Fetullah Gulen's words regarding the coup and the organizational structure of FETO are also covered within the report.
On 15 July 2016, army helicopters opened fire on civilians who had gathered in front of the Turkish General Staff headquarters in Ankara to protest the unfolding coup. Pro-coup soldiers seized the General Staff headquarters and the state broadcaster TRT, and blocked the two bridges over Istanbul’s Bosphorus Strait. The Turkish parliament was bombed by fighter jets 11 times while deputies were inside. Helicopters opened fire on a hotel in Marmaris where President Erdogan had been staying just minutes before he left. Pro-coup soldiers blockaded the hotel and two police officers were killed in the clash that followed. Jets in the command of pro-coup soldiers also dropped two bombs near the Presidential Complex in Ankara.
As a result of the attempted coup, 246 people were killed in total, 179 of whom were civilians and a total of 1,540 people were wounded, 1,390 of whom were civilians.
Bosphorus Global Organizes Famous Actress Lindsay Lohan’s Visit to Syrian Refugees
21 October 2016
We, as Bosphorus Center for Global Affairs, organized famous actress Lindsay Lohan’s four visits to a Syrian refugee family in Istanbul’s Sultanbeyli district in September 2016 along with her visit to the refugee camp in the city of Gaziantep on 8 October 2016 . We would like to make it clear that neither our Center nor Lindsay Lohan received any funding for the visits. The entire process was carried out voluntarily.
Through the visits our Center has organized, Lohan has drawn attention to the humanitarian crisis Syrian refugees face and Turkey’s generous hospitality towards them. She has also voiced President Erdogan’s quote “The World is Bigger than Five” to draw attention to the unequal structure of the United Nations Security Council.
Please find the report here on the national and international coverage of Lohan’s visits to Syrian refugees. We present a short summary of the report below.
Lohan’s charity work with Syrian refugees has widely been covered by the international media outlets with news stories and video footage in the following countries: the US, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Egypt, Qatar, South Africa, Algeria, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia and Japan. Associated Press (AP) news agency published Lohan’s Syrian family visit in Istanbul’s Sultanbeyli district and her refugee camp visit in the city of Gaziantep in its “Big Story” section. A number of leading media outlets such as The Washington Post, The Sun, The Daily Mail, Sky News also published stories on Lohan’s visits.
To provide numbers about the coverage of Lohan’s visit to the Syrian refugees in Turkey; 186 news stories were released in Turkish, 97 in English, 84 in Spanish, 77 in Arabic, 71 in Russian, 25 in Indonesian, 16 in Greek, 14 in French, 9 in Italian and 3 in German. Other languages added, more than 600 news articles in total were published in various news portals and blogs.
The most highlighted aspect in the English news was the responsibility Turkey has taken with its inclusive stance on refugees. Besides this, Lindsay Lohan’s voicing of the motto “the world is bigger than five” was underscored, and it was also mentioned that this motto was created in accord with the idea of reforming the UN.
In the Spanish news, it was emphasized that through Lohan’s visits, international public attention has been drawn to the refugee crisis. Lohan’s words on the crisis appeared in the Spanish news coverage.
The most underlined issue in the Arabic news was that Lindsay Lohan put on a headscarf during her visit to the refugee camp. Lohan’s call for the US and the EU to provide more support to solve the refugee crisis was also noted in the coverage.
Activities in favor of Turkey’s theses regarding the refugee crisis has drawn international public attention to Turkey’s encompassing stance on the issue. Furthermore, Lindsay Lohan’s frequent emphasis on the fact that Turkey is a safe country was marked as a countermovement against the understanding that is being propagated in the international public opinion that Turkey is an ‘unsafe country’. In sum, these efforts dedicated to influencing the international public opinion made an important contribution to the richness of Turkey’s public diplomacy.
Roundtable Discussion on the Gulenist Network in Post-Coup Turkey
1 September 2016
Bosphorus Global hosted the leading representatives of Istanbul-based foreign journalists from the Danish newspaper Berlingske, BuzzFeed News, the Guardian, Le Figaro and the Middle East Eye in a roundtable discussion on the Gulenist networks in the aftermath of the 15 July failed coup attempt.
Among the keynote speakers were Can Paker, a leading figure in civil society, experienced journalist Hilal Kaplan, and the prolific academic Associate Professor Sadik Unay. The program started with a brief introduction about our Center and the keynote speakers.
Mr Paker explained the historical and sociological dynamics of Turkey and commented on the failed coup attempt. Ms Kaplan presented the historical evolution of the Gulenist Terrorist Organization while Professor Unay talked about the financial sources of the group.
The presentations were followed by a Q&A session, which provided an opportunity for all participants to exchange ideas and discuss the Gulenist network in post-coup Turkey. We would like to thank our guests and keynote speakers for attending our event.
Alevi Dedes and Representatives of Alevi Associations Visit Bosphorus Global
27 August 2016
Alevi dedes (socio-religious leader of Alevis) and representatives of Alevi Associations in Istanbul visited our Center on 27 August 2016. The Director of Bosphorus Global Suheyb Ogut welcomed Alevi Dedes and representatives. After the opening speech, we exchanged ideas about how we could strengthen our national unity and solidarity and cooperate in future projects. We also discussed the problems of the Alevi community and solutions to them.
As Bosphorus Center for Global Affairs, we would like to thank all participants for visiting us, and we would also like to extend our gratitude to Mr Huseyin Keskin, Mayor of Istanbul’s Sultanbeyli district, who helped us organize this meeting.
President Erdoğan Receives Syrian Journalists
22 January 2016
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received a delegation of Syrian journalists from our center at Mabeyn Mansion in Yıldız Palace.
Summarizing Turkey’s efforts in the face of the tragedy in Syria, President Erdoğan listened to all his Syrian guests. The President’s guests, expressing their gratitude for Turkey’s assistance to Syrians, conveyed the difficulties, they faced as journalists working along the Syrian border, which the President noted down.
Expressing that the tragedy in Syria affected the whole world, President Erdoğan underscored that terrorist organizations such as Daesh, Al Qaida, the PYD and the YPG, feeding off of the chaos in the region, as well as the atrocities of the regime posed a serious problem. Recalling that Turkey housed 2.5 million Syrians at the moment, President Erdoğan said the Turkish people endeavored to act as ‘Ansar’ (helpers) to help their Syrian brothers and sisters, who were “muhajirun” (immigrants).