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Giresun University

Harvard Black Sea Security Program

International Centre for Black Sea Studies

20.04.12 | 15:20 Age: 7 Years


Category: Karadeniz Uluslararası Sempozyumları


IV. Black Sea International Symposium: “Conflict&Cooperation” was held by Giresun University Black Sea Center for Strategic Researches (BLACKCSR) on October, 6th – 8th 2011.




Academicians and experts from Black Sea littoral countries, Black Sea neighboring regions and the other parts of the world which is interested in the Black Sea region were brought close together in the symposium. 


Significant interest has been taken and intense participation has been ensured to this symposium at which Prof. Dr. Aygün ATTAR, the general director of organizing committee, made the opening speech and Prof. Dr. Hüseyin BAĞCI, chairman of International Relations of Middle East Technical University, made the keynote speech.


The symposium was done simultaneously at two conference halls and included ten sessions and an evaluation-closing session. The issues, discussed in the symposium were intensified under the issue of Black Sea policies of international actors, security of Black Sea, history, economy, energy, bilateral relations, the geopolitics of the region, the conflict issues of the region and the other issues in the wider Black Sea region.


At the first session in the Rectorate Conference Hall, August 2008 War, between Russia and Georgia, was the most emphasized topic.  It was considered that how armed conflict in South Ossetia can be evaluated through international law, how the events done in Abkhazia and South Ossetia can affect the security of the Black Sea region and the policies of global and regional actors through the region.     


At the first session in the Social Facilities Building Conference Hall, conflict and cooperation issues in the region were discussed as well Besides, the strategies and diplomatic channels that could be useful for “how the regional cooperation can be achieved and developed.


Within the second session in the Rectorate Conference Hall, the papers overwhelmingly discussed the relations between Turkey and Russia as regional powers with important influences over the region. Thus, the panel helped to examine the reflections of the bilateral relations of these two countries on the Black Sea region as a whole.


Simultaneously, at the second session of the Social Facilities Building Conference Hall, the “region policies” of Russia and Turkey as regional powers, were considered in detail. 


At the third session that held at Rectorate Conference Hall, Black Sea policies of the USA were mentioned with considering its interests through the region and more specifically the relations between Turkey and Georgia and Turkey and Azerbaijan were discussed.


Third session at the Social Facilities Building Conference Hall, was a panel focused on Euro-Black Sea issues. Black Sea policies of both EU and France, historical and current economic interest areas of Romania in the West Black Sea Region and alternative security studies in the West Black Sea Region were examined.


At the fourth session, in the Rectorate Conference Hall, regional problems and conflict issues of the region were dwelled on and regional energy policies and potential cooperation areas about energy were discussed. 


Within the fourth session, at the Social Facilities Building Conference Hall, issues such as cooperation in environmental issues, female employment data through the region, the place and history of agriculture in Turkey’s economic activities at (Turkey’s) Black Sea Region, the administrative structure and taxable population in the Black Sea Region of Turkey were evaluated.  


The fifth session, at the Rectorate Conference Hall was another session on regional bilateral relations especially those of Ukraine’s. Relations between Russia and Ukraine were handled and especially Crimea’s position and importance in these relations were evaluated. However, economic integration endeavors in the region were examined as well. Besides, the impacts of the perceptions in the international relations through the case of Russia-Turkey relations were mentioned.    


Black Sea International Symposiums, the first one was organized in 2008 and the fourth one has been realized by this year’s activity, has become the most stable platform in Turkey, thus becoming a traditional event.


Not only Black Sea neighboring countries but also the other actors, who have interests in the region, have been interested in Black Sea International Symposiums which has aimed to make a contribution about what the opportunities for cooperation in the region are and how the regional cooperation can be developed. For these purposes, Black Sea International Symposiums has given a start to get efficiency and the notion of “Giresun Initiative” which is based upon enduring dialogue between conflicting parties of the region, giving importance to share the scientific / scholarly grounds for bilateral points for political debate and finally, priority of the Black Sea littoral countries in the regional affairs has taken a step further.


Prof. Dr. İbrahim TELLİOĞLU who was the chairman of evaluating-opening session, bring forward a proposal which may be the source of inspiration steps for reifying the notion of “Giresun Initiative”. In this sense, it has been put in the words that common history of the Black Sea region may be written and these series of symposiums may be done in the other regional actors’ countries. Assoc. Prof. Dr. Fırat PURTAŞ who is deputy general director of TÜRKSOY (The International Organization of Turkic Culture) and who was one of the speakers of the evaluating-opening session, indicated that the next symposium will be 5th and so far he will do his best in order to contribute to maximize the international participation, to strengthen the financial support and to be cared of by the stakeholders.


Social activities were done after the two days in which academic sessions had been held.  In social program, after visiting of the historic Rectorate building of Giresun University and Giresun Castle; Kümbet Plateau – Koçkayası Facilities had been the destination. In Koçkayası facilities, Turkish folk music and folk dance were presented to our guests with background of unique beauties of Black Sea Mountains.