IR4118 Guest Lecture Series Concludes with Former Ambassadors Onur G√∂kce and Faruk LońüońüluThe guest lecture series of IR4118 course, ‚ÄėTurkey and the United States: Common Concerns and New ICT Instruments‚Äô, has concluded with former ambassadors Onur G√∂kce and Faruk Lońüońülu giving the last guest lectures for the semester on April 2nd and 9th. Ambassador G√∂kce and Lońüońülu joined IR4118 students to share their diplomatic experience and reflect on Turkish foreign policy and recent regional developments.G√∂kce, Turkey‚Äôs first ambassador to Israel between 1991 and 1995 was appointed during the ‚Äėgolden‚Äô years of Israeli-Turkish relations which resulted in technological, military, and economic cooperation. In his talk, G√∂kce described the nature of the relationship between Turkey and Israel as ‚Äúbalanced and even-handed‚ÄĚ with a potential to become ‚Äúsour and confrontational‚ÄĚ at certain periods of times depending on the nature of developments in the Middle East. G√∂kce also reflected on the latest Israeli apology over the Mavi Marmara raid in 2010 while highlighting the words of Prime Minister Netanyahu who apologized for any ‚Äúerrors that could have led to the loss of life‚ÄĚ rather than admitting responsibility for the killings. However, G√∂kce said that the possibility of normalized relations with Israel still exist, referring to the fact that strong relations with Israel continued even during the Mavi Marmara crisis years.
In the last session of IR4118 guest lecture series, the course hosted Faruk Lońüońülu, former Turkish ambassador to the United States, and the Vice-Chairman of the Republican People‚Äôs Party (CHP), and a member of the Turkish Parliament. Lońüońülu reflected on Turkish-American relations and shared with the students the times of his office service as ambassador to the U.S. Lońüońülu recalled arriving in Washington D.C. shortly after the 9/11 attacks, which he described as the moment in which ‚ÄúAmerica lost its innocense‚ÄĚ. Lońüońülu talked about the history of relations between Turkey and the U.S. and the shared values of ‚Äúdemocracy, rule of law, and human rights‚ÄĚ. He indicated that the Turkish-American relations strongly developed beyond NATO membership into bilateral agreements and diplomacy, although problems did surface at times, like during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. Lońüońülu stressed the need for Turkish-American relations to be more continious, saying that economic and investment cooperation between the two countries remains limited. Lońüońülu also reflected on the recent visits of American president Barak Obama to the region, and the subsequent visits of U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, linking them to regional developments on the Syrian and Iranian front.
By Alp Eren BaŇüer (IR/IV), ńįlkin Ismayilov (IR/IV), √áańüla KńĪlńĪ√ß (IR/III), Selay Siperońülu (IR/IV), Bora Akbay (IR/IV), Yińüit Mahmutońülu (IR/III), and PńĪnar K√∂ksal (IR/IV).