Berlin Bosphorus Initiative (formerly known as Turkey: Culture of Change Initiative-TCCI) has held its fourth Advisory Board meeting on 27th of November 2018 at Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) Headquarters in Istanbul. The meeting started with TUSIAD Vice President Simone Kaslowski’s welcome note, followed by the opening speeches delivered by BBI Advisory Board Co-President Michael Schwarz and BBI Executive Board President Hüseyin Gelis.
In his welcome note, Simone Kaslowski, Vice President of TUSIAD stated that “It is time to rejuvenate German-Turkish bilateral relations and give them the necessary momentum, as they deserve”. He continued as follows:
“TUSIAD has always been and still is ascribing particularly high significance to German-Turkish partnership. This is also manifested in the foundation of the then “Turkey: Culture of Change Initiative (TCCI)” as early as 2013, in order to advance German-Turkish bilateral economic, political and social dialogue. Today, we are excited to introduce a new name: Berlin Bosphorus Initiative (BBI). This change aims to bring in a renewed dynamism and increased synergy with the Paris Bosphorus Institute established by TUSIAD nine years ago. This is to better symbolize our commitment to an ongoing dialogue by highlighting Turkey’s involvement in global society as well as its close ties at the European level.”
During the first part of the meeting, Soli Özel, Faculty Member from the Kadir Has University, International Relations Department made an impulse speech titled “Quo Vadis German-Turkish Relations? Understanding the accelerated dynamism at German-Turkish bilateral level and its possible repercussions on Turkey- EU relations” that was followed by a general assessment of the members about the promising signs of renormalization in German-Turkish bilateral relations.
During the second part of the meeting, BBI Director Alper Üçok evaluated the Initiative’s latest activities and developments, whereas BBI Executive Board President Hüseyin Gelis presented the Initiative’s future projections. Afterwards, members gave their feedback on the critical role of BBI and its upcoming program for strengthening of German-Turkish bilateral relations.