SAM, targeting to support Turkey’s Latin America initiative and give an account of Turkish foreign policy, organised the conference entitled “Soft Power and Cultural Diplomacy: Local Dynamics and Global Effects” on 18 September 2013 in Barranquilla- Colombia with the support of Rosario University’s Center for International Relations and Political Research (CEPI) and the Barranquilla Governorship. Turkey’s soft power and the place in its foreign policy were discussed at the meeting.
At the meeting where Dr. Mehmet Özkan represented Turkey, various active soft power components of Turkish foreign policy like the Yunus Emre Foundation, TIKA (Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency) and Turkey Scholarships were discussed in the scope of Turkey’s general foreign policy and its Latin America initiative. Secretary- General of the Barranquilla Governorship, Mauricio Jaramillo Jassir and Ricardo Baquero Hernández from Rosario University, Massimo Di Ricco from University of North and Santiago Ulises Jara Ramírez from Colombia’s Foreign Ministry department for cultural affairs were among the participants.
Soft power politicies of India, Japan, Colombia and Turkey’s cultural diplomacy were discussed comparatively at the meeting. Besides this, the conference generated an important opportunity to put forward Turkey’s basic parameters towards Latin America and constituted a significant step to appraise recently florished bilateral relations.
The active participation of academics, students of international relations and political science alongisde with the interest shown by the media contributed to Turkey’s communication in Colombia and can be evaluated as a successful event with regard to Turkey’s public diplomacy.