The workshop “Arab-Turkish Relations from the Past to the Future” which was co-organised by the Institute of Strategic Thinking (SDE) and the Arab Thought Forum (ATF) was held on 29th December 2012 in Amman, Jordan. The workshop was also supported by the Presidency of Turks Abroad and Related Communities, the Public Diplomacy Coordinator's Office and SAM.
In the workshop, diplomatic, economic, cultural, academic and civil society aspects of Turkish-Jordanian and Turkish-Arab relations were studied. The main themes discussed were Turkey’s ever-growing commercial and trade relations with the Arab states despite the Arab Spring, Turkey’s intensifying cultural influence in the Arab world by new cultural mediums ranging from Yunus Emre Institutes to the soap operas, and Arab-Turkish academic relations particularly in higher education.
Several interesting recommendations were articulated in the presentation and discussion sessions, such as to introduce a unified Arab-Turkish economic and trade zone particularly on finance, labour force and insurance; to set up regional standards in economy, to launch an “Arab-Turkish University”, to found TV broadcasting in Turkish for the Arab public, to create the EU’s Erasmus-like exchange system for scholars and students, to bolster cooperation and projects in R&D and technology and to open joint centres to this end.