As Chairman of the Center for Strategic Research (SAM), I am pleased to present our 2015 Annual Report. SAM’s primary objective is to conduct research on foreign policy and related issues, develop alternative perspectives, provide new insights and make policy recommendations. SAM has risen to a significant peak in our Ministry’s policy making process, and has created more influence than what was ever expected. Each year, it continues to move beyond its accomplishments of the previous year.
This past year, compared to previous ones, saw developments that have had striking impacts on a global scale. Issues such as migration, terrorism, and the security environment in Syria, Eurasia and Black Sea regions all rose to prominence in our work in 2015. We held regular meetings and exchanged views with our partner institutions from significant neighbors in 2015. Along with numerous events that it undertook, SAM became a stakeholder in a multilateral Memorandum of Understanding inked among official foreign policy research centers of the Member States of the Turkic Council in May 2015.
SAM added “Foreign Policy Series” reports to its inventory and enriched the content of SAM Papers alongside its flagship publication Perceptions. Thanks to the invaluable contributions of our fellow scholars, Perceptions is becoming a much more cited and credible journal. In 2015, Perceptions covered very distinctive volumes on humanitarian issues and the Great War.
Under the SAM umbrella, we continued to organize training and internship programs in the Ministy for undergraduate and graduate students. At our summer and winter schools, the Center invited senior diplomats from different departments of the Ministry to share their experiences and diplomacy practices. At the Winter School on International Law, bachelor students of law and international relations were briefed by prominent academics on legal matters ranging from the role of the United Nations and jus in bello to maritime law and Turkish-Armenian relations. In 2015, we reached out to more than 600 university students who came in as interns, summer-winter school participants, and visitors.
All in all, we are always willing to enhance, maintain and diversify our relations with all accessible participants. We strongly believe that reaching out to more people and sharing views will help us to shape future policies and enable us all to operate more effectively and in greater cooperation. We are determined to bring the academic community and policy makers together more than ever and make a valuable difference in and contribution to traditional state-civil society relations.
On this occasion, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to H.E. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, for his valuable support and to the SAM staff for their contributions.
Prof. Ali Resul Usul
Center for Strategic Research