Antalya Diplomacy Forum: The Next Davos

As President of MUSIAD’s Diplomatic Relations Committee, I attended the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, which is a key event showcasing our country’s emergence as a center for diplomacy and demonstrates accumulated soft power both regionally and globally. Based on the meetings I attended and the impressions I gained over the course of three days, I believe this forum will be a significant rival to Davos in the coming years.

The Antalya Diplomacy Forum has evolved into a platform for regional and global stakeholders, such as leaders with a voice in diplomacy, politics, business, and academia, to exchange ideas and deliberate on global challenges. Due to technological advancements, digitalization, and fluctuations in global relations, together with the additional effect of the COVID-19 pandemic,  the culture and language of diplomacy, which is the fundamental mode of communication in international relations, have entered a transformation process.

Personally, I noticed that the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, which was held for the second time during this period, has taken firm steps toward becoming an interactive debate platform in the process of reviving diplomacy.

We held a marathon of meetings at the Forum, where I saw for the first time that Turkey has a voice in international diplomacy, where we discussed international trade relations and regional cooperation. We had very successful meetings with President of Albania Edi Rama, Minister of Defense Niko Peleshi, Minister of Foreign Relations and International Cooperation of Libya Najla El-Mangoush, President of TRNC Ersin Tatar, President of Autonomous Territorial Unit of Gagauzia Irina Vlah, and Minister of Foreign Relations of Lebanon Abdallah Bouhabib with the participation of MUSIAD Chairperson Mahmut Asmalı, Vice President of Foreign Relations Davut Altunbaş, Secretary General Cihad Terzioğlu and related commitee members.

We are fortifying our central position in diplomacy.

Due to its geographical location and the associated economic and regional fluctuations, Turkey must support its neighbors and the countries with which it has close relations. We are all aware of the importance of being a self-sufficient country in terms of politics, economics, and defense. While implementing a growth strategy in investments, employment, production, exports, and current surplus, Turkey is determined to achieve its goal of becoming one of the world’s top ten economies. This also strengthens its standing as a key diplomatic location. Our current service infrastructure, combined with our production and technological strength in strategic areas, enables us to support not only ourselves, but also other countries in need.

With the help of our increased strength, we were able to bring the two sides of an ongoing conflict, Russia and Ukraine, together on the same table at the Forum. The international community’s long-awaited bilateral meeting of the two foreign ministers has finally taken place in our country, and it is critical for reopening diplomatic and dialogue channels.

Apart from the Russian-Ukrainian diplomacy meetings, one of the most important signs that Türkiye is the center of world diplomacy is the participation of presidents from 17 different countries at the Forum, with more than 50 diplomatic visits and phone calls accrued with representatives of governments and states such as the Prime Minister of Germany, the President of the United States, the President of Poland, and the Prime Minister of Greece in the lead-up to and during the Forum. This versatile and comprehensive forum, I believe, was extremely beneficial to all participants, including myself.

I believe that in the coming years, Antalya Diplomacy Forum will strengthen its position in the recreation of global diplomacy, in tandem with our country’s progress in the international arena.