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III. Eurasian Forum on Social Sciences organised by Khoca Akhmet Yassawi International Turkish-Kazakh University, Hacettepe University, Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University and Azerbaijan State University of Economics was held by Eurasian Research Institute between 15-16 November 2014 in Almaty Kazakhstan. Academicians from 34 different universities from Kazakhstan, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan with 46 papers discuused on the topic ‘Quest for Econoic Integration in Eurasian Region. The main purpose of the Forum is to discuss political and economic effects of a possible Eurasian Economic Integration and all other economic integrations in the world on not only the member countries but also the region countries and to share the related researches with the other academicians and to discuss on future projections.

In this international Forum, especially Eurasiaism was discussed in political and economic perspectives and integration possibilities in Eurasian region, challenges and perspectives of Turkic Speaking Countries during the integration process in Eurasia, current situation and perspectives on Eurasian Economic Integration, institutional requirements for integration in Eurasian Region and Turkey’s policies and perspectives during the process of quest for integration in Eurasian region were analysed in detail.

In the first day of the Forum, Prof. Murat TUNCER, The Rector of Hacettepe University; Prof. Velihan ABDIBEKOV, The President of Khoca Akhmet Yassawi International Turkish-Kazakh University and Prof. Mehmet KUTALMIS, The Co-President of Khoca Akhmet Yassawi International Turkish-Kazakh University; Prof. Adalet MORADOV, The President of Azerbaijan State University of Economics, Prof. Mahmut IZCILER, The Co-President of International Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University  and Asso. Prof. Nevzat SİMSEK, The Coordinator of III. Eurasian Forum on Social sciences and the Director of Eurasian Research Institute made openning speeches.

Prof. Murat TUNCER, The President of Hacettepe University indicated that competition among world countries especially in industrialisation, economy, education, etc. led many countries to face some problems and specific policies should be implemented to solve these problems and in this sense, universities have an important role and they have to change. Prof. Velihan ABDIBEKOV, The President of Khoca Akhmet Yassawi International Turkish Kazakh University emphasized on the importance of the Forum in his openning speech and indicated that holding these kinds of organisations is essantially important among universities. Prof. Mehmet KUTALMIS, The Co-President of Khoca Akhmet Yassawi International Turkish Kazakh University stated in his openning speech that the main purpose of the Forum is to analyse regional economic integration issues in the context of Central Asian and Caucasus countries in perspectives of economics and internatonal relations. Besides, Prof. Mehmet KUTALMIS emphasized on the relevance of the title of the Forum to the current conjuncture and indicated that Khoca Akmet Yassawi University will continue to hold these kinds of organisation sin future. Prof. Adalet MURADOV,  Azerbaijan State University of Economics stated that extremely important issues on Eurasian region are analysed in this Forum and these issues are of great importance not only for the academicians that deal with Eurasian region but also for the academicians from all over the world. Prof. Mahmut IZCILER, The Co-President of International Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University indicated in his openning speech that he is very pleased that his university is one of the partners of this organisation and this Forum will give great contribution to analysis on issues about Eurasian Region by asserting the importance of capital movements in global world. Associate Prof. Nevzat SIMSEK, The Director of Eurasian Reserach Institute and The Coordinator of the Forum stated in his openning speech that he is very pleased with the high interest to the Forum (nearly 200 papers for application) but  only 46 papers are approved after the evaluation of The Scientific Committee. He said that academicians and experts from 34 different universities especially from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan will discuss on very important issues about Eurasiaism, integration possibilities in Eurasian region, institutional requirements for integration in Eurasian Region, political analysis of integration, analysis of the current situation of Eurasian Economic Integration and perspectives for future,   Turkey’s policies and perspectives during the process of quest for integration in Eurasian region and challenges and perspectives of Turkic Speaking Countries during the integration process in Eurasia.

Following the openning speeches, Halil AKINCI, Former Consulate and Former Secretary General of Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking Countries, Prof. Dr. Darhan KIDIRALI, President of International Turkic Academy and Anar RAHIMOV, Head of Legal Expertise and Public Relations Section of Parlamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries and then Prof. Jeffrey B. Nugent from South California University, USA and Elena KUZMINA from Institute of Economics, Russia expressed their opinions as invited speakers.

Halil AKINCI emphasized on the effect of The Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking Countries which was established in 2009 with the guidance of Nursultan NAZABAYEV, The President of Kazakhstan in Antalya Summit in 2006 on the Eurasian Region countries. Prof AKINCI expressed his opinions on the integration of Turkic countries and made emphasison three main points. Firstly, he indicated that there have been various traditional ties and differences between Turkey and Central Asian Turkic countries as a result of nearly 1000 years separation and these differences can lead to different commitments among these countries. In this sense, Prof. AKINCI said that regional balances should be taken into account. Secondly, Prof. AKINCI pointed out specific barriers about integration among Eurasian countries and said that transportation services should be developed by reducing costs and increasing trade among region countries. Thirdly, Prof. AKINCI made emphasis on the necessity of multi dimentional cooperation among Eurasian countries during integration process and indicated that The Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking Countries is a successful example for this kind of cooperation. Beside this cooperation he mentioned that International Turkic Academy, Parlamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries, TURKSOY and Turkic Culture and Inhertance Support Fund which has recently been established in Azerbaijan also have important roles in the region in forming Turkic cooperation. Prof. AKINCI stated that the cultural basis of Turkic cooperation should be established and especially Turkic history should be learnt correctly ans sufficiently in order to form the Turkic cooperation in the region.   He gave the example of establishing Turkic World Universities Cooperation for implementing common policies among region Turkic countries beyond the commutual opinion sharing process and he said that the decisions of the General Assembly of this Cooperation will become common decisions of the Turkic countries in the Assembly that will be held with the participation of Ministries of education of Turkic countries in Baku shortly. In this process (known as Orhun Process) Prof. AKINCI stated that student exchange program among these countries will be enlarged by including secondary and high school education together with university and the region languages will be included in education program as selective lectures in secondary and high school education with the support of presidents of these countries. In this respect, Prof. AKINCI indicated that there will be a comprehensive integration in all fields and he said that he is very pleased to see that there have been a collective consciousness for the necessity of extensive cooperation among Turkic countries.

Prof. Darhan KIDIRALİ, The President of International Turkic Academy  stated that the future of Turkic World Universities Cooperation which was established by The Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking Countries is promising. He said that the members of Turkic World Universities Cooperation such as Khoca Akhmet Yassawi University, Hacettepe University, Azerbaijabn State University of Economics and International Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University are also the partners of this Forum which is a clear example of this kind of promising future. Prof. KIDIRALI emphasized that the final decisions about Turkic World Universities Cooperation will be discussed in detail in the Assembly that will be held with the participation of Ministries of education of Turkic countries in Baku shortly. He also said that issues on transportation and costums will be discussed in detail in the Assembly. Anar RAHİMOV , Head of Legal Expertise and Public Relations Section of Parlamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries stated in his speech that Parlamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries has been operating since 2009 and it was first mentioned by Nursultan NAZARBAYEV in 2006 and it started operating officially in 2008 with Istanbul Treaty which was signed by Parlamentary Generals of Kazakhstan, Turkey, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan in Istanbul Turkey. RAHIMOV talked about the main purposes of Parlamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries and said that they have made commitments with The Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking Countries for giving legal support to all their projects. He also indicated that Parlamentary Assembly of Turkic Speaking Countries focus mainly on working areas to achieve the aims of developing parlamentary experience among member countries, adjusting legislation of member countries in preferential fields of cooperation, working on cultural inheritance and history of Turkic world, increasing cooperation in fields of education, science, technology, economy, culture, etc.

Prof. Jeffrey B. Nugent from South California University, USA who attend the Forum as an invited speaker indicated the results of the study that they have made on the trade of Central Asian countries among themselves. In this study he focused on the degree of trade among these countries and how some trade variables (which were neglected by previous trade models)  affect these results. He also indicated the contributions of regional trade agreements on these trade variables and how the effects of these contributions differ among Central Asian countries and other countries.

Elena KUZMINA from Institute of Economics, Russia also expressed her opinion as an invited speaker. She pointed out the developments in several sectors  especially in industry after the process of European Union. She also discussed the effects of European Union in the region.

In the Forum between 15-16 November 2014 2 sessions with invited speakers were held and 8 different sessions were held with participants from 34 different universities and 4 different countries. In the Forum, academicians and experts who focus on regional economic integration discussed on Eurasiaism in political and philosophical perspectives, integration possibilities in Eurasian Region were analysed, challenges and perspectives of Turkic Speaking Countries during the integration process in Eurasia were discussed, current situation of Eurasian economic ntegration and perspectives on this issue were discussed, integration efforts in Eurasia were analysed in political ğperspectives and institutional requirements for integration in Eurasian region were taken into account. Besides, Turkey’s policies and perspectives during the process of quest for integration in Eurasian region were discussed in detail and other integration possibilities in the region were analysed.

The assessment session (with the Chair Prof. Recep KOK) was held by Associate Prof. Nevzat SIMSEK, EFSS’14 Forum Coordinator, Dr. Elsen BAGIRZADE, Azerbaijan State University of Economics, Dr.Seyit Ali AVCU, Kyrgyzstan-Turkey Manas University and Dr. Alpaslan BASARAN, Hacettepe University. In this session, a general evaluaton of the papers presented in the Forum was made. In this sense, in order to support the piece in Eurasian region the importance of decisions about regional economic integration and the importance of policies implemented by the region countries were pointed out and besides, efficient usage of sources in the region and the contribution of developments in economic cooperation among region countries on the coutries’ economic  development were mentioned. Associate Prof Nevzat SIMSEK, The Forum Coordinator stated that III. Eurasian Forum on Social Sciences which is held by Eurasian Research Institute has an important contribution for the institutionalising of the forum process from Azerbaijan to Kazakhstan and expressed his good wishes about the next steps of the forum to be held in Kyrgyzstan and in Turkey in future.  Associate Prof Nevzat SIMSEK emphasized on the circumstances of integration in both developed and developing countries and said that developing countries should complete their development processes ( in this sense industrialisation processes) in order to get the expected benefit from integration and the integration model that they choose should give them the opportunity to complete their development processes.

Associate Prof. SIMSEK indicated that countries with similar economic development levels can benefit from economic integrations more, otherwise countries will complement each other and competition will not occur so the positive effect of competition and trade creation effect may not take place among countries. SIMSEK pointed out the necessity of developing institutional infrastructure in countries for both current and possible integrations and made an interpretation with regard to Turkey for possible integrations. He indicated that as Turkey is in the Customs Uninon with European Union countries, she can not make free trade agreements with third countries when EU countries make free trade agreements with third countries. In this sense SIMSEK stated that Turkey should decide whether to stay in the Customs Union with EU (removing visa and tariffs and attaining the agreements that are made between EU with third countries)  or to get out of the Customs Union and make free trade agreements with EU countries. SIMSEK indicated that free trade agreements can be preferable as it is a more flexible method of trading. Associate Prof,  Nevzat SIMSEK said that Eurasian Research Institute will continue the academic researches on these issues in future.

Prof. Osman HORATA, The President of Board of Trustee of Khoca Akhmet Yassawi International Turkish Kazakh University made closing speech. Prof, HORATA made emphasis on the relation between Turkey and Russia in the quest for integration in Eurasian region. He stated that Eurasian jeopolitical circumstances have led the two countries to have cooperation even in Cols War period and in 1960 the cooperation process started and in 1970 this process accelerated and since 1980’s with liberal policies the cooperation between the two countries has increased and after the collapse of USSR a new process started in the relations between Turkey and Russia. Prof. HORATA said that the relations between Turkey and Russia have increased with rational policies and one of the most important indicator for this increase is that Russia is the second biggest trade partner of Turkey after Germany. Prof. HORATA stated that the future policies and relations between the two countries will be determined by international conjuncture and the foreign policies of the two countries. He said that in recent years as indicated by several authors in Eurasian region, if the circumstances are available, a new civilisation which is similar but also very different from European Civilisation will ocur among Eurasian communities and Turkey, Russia, Central Asian countries and Caucasus countries will have an important role in this process. Prof. HORATA concluded that he is very pleased to host for III. Eurasian Forum on Social Sciences and expressed his good wishes on continuing to organise these kinds of qualified forums for the contribution to the process of the quest of economic integration in Eurasian Region.

Tags: Economy, Integration, Eurasia, International Relations