Meeting With The Students In The Institute of Turkish and Central Asian Studies

During our previous meeting with Madam Aslan, we planned a workshop with the students of the International Relations Department of the Babeş Bolyai University about the regional politics and Romania-Turkey relations.

Before starting the discussion, we talked more about the Institute of Turcology and Madame Aslan was very kind to give us copies of their works about the Turkish and Central Asian studies. They will be available in our universities library upon our return.

For the discussions several students and two professors arrived in the conference room and majority of them were also interested in the Russian politics as well. Therefore, we began with talking about the Black Sea region politics and we have talked about the Middle Eastern issues. They were enthusiastic about the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Association and the Natural Gas pipelines passing through Turkey so we have had fruitful discussions about the economic and political problems that the region was facing today.

We have also had the chance to talk about the common heritage Turkey and Romania were sharing because of the Ottoman Empire and we have expanded on the cultural ties that were not visible before. We all agreed that the handicap of the communication between the Balkan states and Turkish Republic was a big problem and that the main solution behind this was inter-populations relations instead of inter-governmental relations. They have told us about an initiative that they were working on that was trying to foster cooperation in Eurasia and we have told them that we were ready to help them find partners in Turkey if they needed it.

While talking about Ukraine, Syria and the relations between Turkey and Russia we have all agreed that the populism was an important threat for the stability of the region and that for a sustainable peace a lasting form of communication and friendship between the nations must be established. We have also talked about the future of the region and the oil and natural gas supplies was our biggest point of discussion and we have talked about the impact it had in all the international relations.

When we asked them what the opinion of the Romanians was about Turkey, they told us that the older generations were fueled by the Nationalistic education during the communist era and they were grown hostile towards Turkey but they added that the younger generations saw Turkey very much differently and as a good neighbor with whom they could grow sustainable and good relations. We agreed that the countries were not very close at the moment but that it could be achieved using bilateral relations between universities and institutions. They said that the Turkish Embassy was rather active and people were interested in their events but they were not reaching enough people as of yet.

At the end of the discussion we took each other’s contact details to be able to help in case of future projects and thanked them for their contributions to the discussions.