World Economic Forum Opens in Istanbul With Focusing on Turkey

n_72289_1The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) two-day special meeting in Istanbul kicked off September 29 with the aim of shining light on Turkey’s transition against the backdrop of regional challenges . Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, who delivered the keynote speech at the event, the meeting is hosting politicians, academics, business executives and journalists from various countries, including Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Georgian President Giorgi Margvelashvili, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, and former U.K. Prime Minister and WEF Global Strategic Infrastructure Initiative chair Gordon Brown.

Speaking at the opening press conference, Turkish EU Minister Volkan Bozkir said “the problems of the 21th century require much deeper cooperation” and underlines “the importance of dialogue,” expressing his belief that “the forum will give a new vision and a lot of new ideas to us.” The minister also asserted the reasons for the decision to choose Turkey as the host of the event. “Turkey is located at the heart of the African and European region. It is interlocked between various challenges and the biggest opportunities. Around 99.9% of the Turkish population is Muslim.

At the same time, it comes to the forefront as a democratic country that respects the superiority of law and has sustained a free market economy for years. In addition to all these, being a country proceeding toward EU membership makes Turkey unique and distinguishes it from others,” he said.

The forum said Turkey’s first-ever direct presidential elections in August as well as its upcoming assumption of the G-20 presidency in December would create new opportunities for shaping both the domestic and international agendas.