The Crisis in Syria: From Border Security and Regional Politics to Opposition Support and the Refugee InfluxMay 27, 2015 35 Old Queen Street, Westminster, London, United Kingdom
DS Centre and ECFR is delighted to organize an off-the-record and invitation-only lunch discussion looking at Turkey’s evolving response to the crisis in neighbouring Syria with leading Turkish officials and experts.
A panel organized jointly by the DS Centre for Policy Studies and the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in London on May 27, Wednesday discussed the five year Syrian civil war, its effects on Turkey and Ankara's Syria policy.
The panel focused on Turkey's evolving response to the crisis in neighbouring Syria with leading Turkish officials and experts.
The panel brought together Turkish security and regional experts to provide an account of the Syrian crisis and recent developments from a Turkish perspective, including Ankara's efforts to improve border security, address the ISIS problem and manage the question of refugees.
Speakers at the panel included Fatma Ceren Yazgan, the deputy director for security and intelligence at the Foreign Ministry; Şaban Kardaş, the director of the Centre for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies and associate professor of international relations at TOBB University of Economics and Technology and Daniel Levy, the director of the ECFR Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Programme.
Fatma Ceren Yazgan is Deputy Director for Security and Intelligence, at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in where she joined in 1993. She served at the Turkish Embassies in Muscat, Kiev and Moscow as well as at the Turkish Permanent Mission to the OSCE. Ms Yazgan has worked at bilateral political desks (EFTA countries; Americas) as well as at the Directorate for Security and Intelligence.
Saban Kardas is director of the Centre for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies and associate professor of international relations at TOBB University of Economics and Technology. He is the assistant editor of the quarterly journal Insight Turkey as well as an analyst for the German Marshall Fund’s On Turkey series and the Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasia Daily Monitor.
Daniel Levy is the Director of ECFR’s MENA programme.
European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) is an award-winning international think tank that aims to conduct cutting-edge independent research; provide a safe meeting space for policy-makers, activists and intellectuals to share ideas; offer a media platform to get Europeans talking about their role in the world. It was established in 2007 by a council of fifty founding members, chaired by MarttiAhtisaari, Joschka Fischer, and Mabel van Oranje, with initial funding from George Soros’s Open Society Foundations, the Communitas Foundation, Sigrid Rausing, Unicredit and Fride. Inspired by the role American think tanks played in helping the US move from isolationism to global leadership, ECFR’s founders set about creating a pan-European institution that could combine establishment credibility with intellectual insurgency. Today, it has over 50 staff from more than 20 countries, and receives funding from a wide range of charitable foundations, national governments, companies and private individuals.
With the emergence of ISIS and shifting dynamics inside Syria and across the region the role of Turkey has come under increasing international scrutiny, particularly in the context of Turkey’s forthcoming parliamentary elections. Turkey’s border security has become a major issue between Turkey and its Western allies given the flows of foreign fighters and the activities of ISIS on the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syria border. Increasing attention is also now being paid to the support for Syrian opposition factions, including claims of enhanced coordination with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in light of apparent recent opposition gains on the battlefield. This panel aims to bring together Turkish security and regional experts to provide an account of the Syria crisis and recent developments from a Turkish perspective, including Ankara’s efforts to improve border security, address the ISIS problem as well as manage the question of refugees.