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.

Download the report here.

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).