Turkey & South Africa: Regional Powers with Global Responsibilities

Event Description

Turkey and South Africa are two regional powers with international roles, responsibilities and influence. This conference will bring together experts, policy-makers, current and former officials, as well as representatives of international agencies to share their perspectives and provide new insights on the current situation and future of Turkish and South African politics and relations. The conference will have three sessions: The first session will focus on the ways in which dominant party politics affect internal and international dynamics within these two regional powers. The second session will evaluate the roles and responsibilities of Turkey and South Africa towards the MENA region. The last session will concentrate on new initiatives and opportunities for partnerships between Turkey and South Africa in Africa.


09:00 – 09:30 Registration
09:30 – 09:45 Welcome, Introduction:
Galip Dalay – Research Director, Al Sharq Forum
Na’eem Jeenah Executive Director, Afro-Middle East Centre
09.45 – 11:00 Keynote Address


Cevdet Yilmaz – Former Minister of Development & Deputy Chairman of AK Party

Taha Ozhan – Chairman of Foreign Affairs Commission, Turkish Parliament

Fatime Hajaij – Former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs

11:15 – 12.45 Session I: Opportunities and challenges of dominant party politics in Turkey and South Africa

Ali Osman Ozturk – General Coordinator, Offie of Public Diplomacy, Turkey

■ AK Party and ANC: Dominant parties at play
Steven Friedman Director of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Rhodes University and the University of Johannesburg.
Halil Berktay Emeritus Professor at Sabanci University

■ The implication of Turkey’s failed coup on Turkey-South Africa relations
Ertan Aydin Senior adviser to the Turkish Prime Minister.

■ Dominant Party Politics and National Reconciliation
Na’eem Jeenah Executive Director, Afro-Middle East Centre

12.45 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.30 Session II: Turkish and South African roles in the face of a turbulent MENA region

Galip Dalay – Research Director, Al Sharq Forum

■ The evolution of Turkey’s Middle East Policy: Causes, Consequences, and Implications
Prof. Nursin Guney – Head of International Relations department at Yildiz Technical University.

■ South Africa’s imperatives in its foreign policy on the Middle East
Ambassador Welile NhlapoSouth Africa’s former Ambassador in the United States.

■ Where will Turkey’s Syria policy lead to?
Mesut Ozcan – Director of Diplomacy Academy, Foreign Ministry of Turkey.

■ A novel approach to the Syrian Crisis: Local Administration Councils
Ammar Kahf – Director of Omran Center for Strategic Studies

■ A South African view on the Syrian imbroglio
Ambassador Mohammed Dangor – South Africa’s Ambassador in Libya.

15.30 – 15.45 Coffee Break
15.45 – 17.15 Session III: South Africa and Turkey: The potential for cooperation in Africa

■ Is the new ‘scramble for Africa’ good for the continent?
Patrick Bond – Professor of Political Economy at the Wits School of Governance and honorary professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal School of Built Environment and Development Studies.Turkey’s role in Africa: A critical assessment
Volkan Ipek, Hacettepe University

■ Development Aid in Africa: Old Issues, New Solutions?
Fatima Shabodien – Country Director at ActionAid South Africa.

■ The potential for South African-Turkish cooperation in Africa after the failed coup attempt in Turkey
Thembisa Fakude – Head of Research Relations at Al Jazeera Centre for Studies.

■ Turkey – Africa relations: A social perspective
Tubanur Sonmez – Advisor to the President, Republic of Turkey

17:15 – 17:45 Closing Remarks

Galip Dalay – Research Director, Al Sharq Forum
Na’eem Jeenah Executive Director, Afro-Middle East Centre



The conference will take place at the Sheraton Hotel in Pretoria, South Africa.

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Sheraton Pretoria Hotel

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