There are several historical, social, economic and political reasons that make the Balkan region vital for Turkey. One of them is the presence of Turkish and Muslim communities in Balkan countries. Moreover, the Balkan-orginated people constitute a major component of Turkey’s population, and these people are still closely related to their relative communities in the Balkans.
In terms of political economy, Balkans are of vital importance for Turkey. Turkey’s economic, commercial, cultural and political relations with the countries in the region have improved and are still improving especially after the socialist period.
The region is also important for Turkey’s relations with Europe, since Balkans are Turkey’s gateways to Europe. Therefore, peace, security and stability in the Balkans are vital for Turkey not only in terms of Turkey’s security but also for its cultural, historical, economic and political relations with Europe.
1990s witnessed the end of the Cold War and the collapse of socialist regimes. Balkan countries have been through an enormous transformation and transition period. Seven new independent states emerged after the dissolution of Yugoslavia. Such radical changes have deeply affected the inter-state relations in the region and caused new problems to arise.
This impressive transition and transformation process had brought up new economic, political, social and cultural problems. The reconstruction and improvement of peace and stability continues to be a vital issue for the Balkans.
Balkans are the natural bridge that connect Europe to Asia, Asia to Europe and both continents to Anatolia. Balkans are a base and support centre that reach from Europe to Turkish Straits, Suez Channel and the Middle East. The region is at the crossroads of six seas: the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, Marmara Sea, the Aegean Sea, the Adriatic Sea, and the Tyrrhenian Sea. This location provides the Balkans a geopolitical and strategic importance.
The stability and security of the Balkans, as a result of its geopolitical and strategic position, is not only important for the regional states but also for Europe and Asia. The security depressions that migt occur in the Balkans will affect the security of Europe, Asia, and Turkey - the bridge that connects these two old continents. Therefore, more secure Balkans would mean a more secure Europe, Asia and Turkey.
For all these reasons, organization of an International Balkan Congress is deemed necessary for improving security and stability, adoption and spread of new security approaches and focusing on new directions in security in the Balkans. Thus, the main theme of the International Balkan Congress is "Security Approaches of International Organizations in the 21st Century and Security of the Balkans". Successful realization of the congress will improve cooperation among our universities and countries, and facilitate creation of new cooperation and investment opportunities.
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